Alibi Drops USA Network’s ‘White Collar’

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USA Network’s drama series White Collar is once again without a UK broadcaster.

After airing the show’s second and third seasons, executives at UKTV have decided not to acquire any further seasons of White Collar from 20th Century Fox Television Distribution for their Alibi channel, representatives of the network have confirmed to TVWise.

Created by Jeff Eastin, White Collar follows Neal Caffrey, a white collar criminal who is sent to prison by FBI Agent Peter Burke. After having served three years and nine months of his four year prison sentence Caffrey escapes from prison, ostensibly to find his ex-girlfriend. However, Agent Burke locates Caffrey and sends him back to the federal penitentiary, at which point Caffrey proposes a deal in which he would assist the FBI in their cases as part of a work release program. Initially skeptical of the proposal, Agent Burke eventually agrees when information provided by Caffrey pans out. The drama series stars Matt Bomer, Tim DeKay, Tiffani Thiessen, Willie Garson, Hilarie Burton, Marsha Thomason and Sharif Atkins.

This marks the second time that White Collar has been dropped by its UK broadcaster. The first occurred when Bravo, following BSkyB’s acquisition of the Living TV Group, shut down and Sky opted not to transfer the series to any of its existing entertainment channels (such as Sky1 and Sky Living). This second such occasion comes after the series struggled to find much of a loyal following in the UK. Though initially debuting strongly (with the opening episode of season 2 drawing in just under 300K viewers), the series quickly lost viewers with more recent episodes from the show’s third season pulling in under 90K viewers, below the channel’s 12 month slot average. Insiders were clear that due to the dwindling ratings and the fact that the series was being outperformed on Alibi by shows in re-runs and the (considerably cheaper) Australian drama series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, it simply wasn’t cost effective to acquire the fourth and fifth seasons of White Collar from Fox.

White Collar has been re-added to TVWise’s Acquisitions Scorecard as unsold.