Earlier this month A+E Networks UK broke their silence on one of the worst kept secrets in the industry: that they’re launching the female-skewing entertainment channel Lifetime in the UK. As part of that announcement, A+E Networks UK also announced the content they had lined up for the channel’s launch, which included, amongst others, the fourth season of the FX/DirecTV drama series Damages.
I’ve since learned that the volume deal that was inked with Sony Pictures Television to acquire the series (alongside The Client List and a slew of Lifetime original movies) also gives A+E Networks UK the rights to the show’s first three seasons and that the company plans to air those three seasons on their Bio channel. This before the channel shuts down to make way for the launch of Lifetime in October, when Damages season 4 will, sources say, be a key launch title.
Created by Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler and Daniel Zelman, Damages follows lawyers Patty Hewes and her protégé Ellen Parsons, who have a complicated relationship, as they take on high profile cases. The drama series, which aired on FX for three seasons before moving to DirecTV, is produced by Sony Pictures Television and across said seasons starred Glenn Close, Rose Byrne, Tate Donovan, Ted Danson, Željko Ivanek, William Hurt, Martin Short, Lily Tomlin, Keith Carradine, Peter Facinelli, Mario Van Peebles, Marcia Gay Harden, Timothy Olyphant and Campbell Scott.
This is, of course, not the first time that the first three seasons of Damages have aired in the UK. The series was initially acquired by the BBC, with the corporation airing seasons 1 – 3 on their flagship channel BBC One. However, as TVWise exclusively reported at the time, the BBC later dropped the series due to what sources called “dwindling ratings.” In addition, while the fourth season has never aired in the UK on conventional television, it is available on DVD and via Netflix UK (as is the show’s fifth and final season).