UKTV has closed a deal with Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution to acquire the exclusive UK broadcast rights with Will Forte’s high-concept Fox comedy series The Last Man On Earth for their Dave Channel. The series is set to premiere this August.
Created by Will Forte, The Last Man On Earth is a single-camera comedy that chronicles the life and adventures of an average guy – and humanity’s last hope – who discovers what life is like when no one is telling you what you can and cannot do. The comedy series is produced by 20th Century Fox Television and stars Will Forte, Kristen Schaal, January Jones and Mel Rodriguez.
This marks the latest tie-up between UKTV and Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution and is the first comedy the broadcaster has acquired from the studio. The two companies have pacted together in the past for such drama series as the Gillian Anderson starrer Crisis, as well as The Glades and USA Network series White Collar. The Last Man On Earth deal was brokered by UKTV’s Director of Acquisitions Catherine Mackin and Fox’s SVP and MD Stephen Cornish.
“We are delighted that The Last Man on Earth is Dave’s first US studio comedy with Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution”, said Catherine Mackin. “Our evolving relationship with the studio means we continue to deliver brand-defining shows for our network.”
Notably, The Last Man On Earth is the second US scripted comedy buy for UKTV in the past few days, after they previously poached the UK rights to Parks & Recreation in a deal with NBCUniversal International Television Distribution. The acquisitions come at a time when UKTV is making a concerted push into comedy with the likes of Undercover and Hoff The Record on Dave; and five scripted comedies on Gold, including Marley’s Ghosts starring Sarah Alexander and John Hannah.
“It’s fantastic to have such a great show coming to Dave, there has been so much hype surrounding it in the US”, added Steve North, General Manager of Dave. “The witty humour and inventive storylines makes The Last Man on Earth a perfect fit for the channel, as we continue to grow our slate of US scripted comedy.”
UKTV has been in the market for high profile US comedy series for Dave, which could sit alongside flagship acquisition Suits, for the last couple of years. It has taken some time to settle on which comedies to pursue, as UKTV has been looking for shows that specifically meet the “editorial spec” on Dave. “It is very much about finding that comedy which is the right fit”, UKTV’s Head of Acquisitions and Co-Productions Alexandra Finlay recently told TVWise.