EXCLUSIVE: Channel 4’s two biggest comedy imports aren’t going anywhere. Sources tell me that C4 has picked up the exclusive first run UK broadcast rights to the ninth season of ratings juggernaut The Big Bang Theory (I’m also told they already have S10 locked down) and the fifth season of 2 Broke Girls from Warner Bros International Television Distribution for E4. The FTA broadcaster has also acquired the second season of French drama Les Revenants from Zodiak Rights, with plans to air it this Autumn. Meanwhile, sister channel E4 has secured the tenth season of Supernatural from Warner Bros, the second season of Jane The Virgin from CBS Studios International, the third season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine from NBCU, and the fifth season of New Girl from Fox. Meanwhile, More4 has secured the fifth season of Shameless USA from Warner Bros. These pick ups come after TVWise reported earlier this week that C4 – who have been the most aggressive buyer heading into the 2015-2016 season – had acquired the new seasons of Homeland, Fargo, The Good Wife and The Goldbergs.
The UK arm of streaming giant Netflix has picked up the exclusive rights to the second season of Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul, with said acquisition coming out of the life-of-series deal they agreed with Sony to pick it up in 2013. As with the first season, new episodes will be made available within 24 hours of their US broadcast on AMC. Netflix UK has also renewed their licensing deal with Warner Bros. International Television Distribution and picked up the streaming rights to the fourth season of Person Of Interest. Both acquisitions comes after the streaming service recently picked up the fifth season of ABC’s fairy tale series Once Upon A Time from international distributor Disney Media Distribution. Season 5 of Once Upon A Time premieres on Netflix UK on Wednesday September 30th.
UKTV – who have made an impressive showing in the past few months with high-profile acquisitions such as The Last Man On Earth, Code Black, Quantico and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders – has picked up the UK rights to the second season of Secrets & Lies for flagship entertainment channel Watch. While under a pre-existing deal, they have acquired the final two seasons of Parks & Recreation for Dave. As TVWise previously reported, UKTV has also acquired the fifth season of Grimm, which will air on Watch mere days after it premieres in the US on NBC; the second season of The Last Man On Earth for Dave; and the eighth season of Castle for crime-focussed channel Alibi. I can also confirm that Murdoch Mysteries – which is actually a co-production rather than an acquisition – will be returning with its ninth season on Alibi in 2016.
Sky, who remain the biggest buyer of first run U.S. content from the Hollywood Studios, has also picked up the new seasons for a wealth of their imports across the portfolio of channels. The satcaster has acquired the second season of TNT’s Sean Bean starrer Legends for Sky1; the second season of Aquarius, the fourth season of Ray Donovan, the sixth season of Blue Bloods and the second season of Showtime’s The Affair for Sky Atlantic; the third season of The Blacklist, the fifth season of Scandal, the eleventh season of Criminal Minds, the fourth season of Elementary, the second season of Madam Secretary and the eleventh season of Bones for Sky Living; and the second season of Z Nation for FTA channel Pick. Additionally, under their long-standing output deal, Sky Atlantic continue to hold the UK rights to HBO’s catalogue of titles past, present and future; including Game Of Thrones, The Brink and the eagerly anticipated Westworld. Sky previously picked up the UK rights to the new seasons of Arrow, The Flash, NCIS: Los Angeles, Hawaii Five-0, The Simpsons, Modern Family and Grey’s Anatomy.
Fresh off of securing a multi-season agreement with NBCU for USA Network’s Mr. Robot, Amazon Prime Instant Video UK has renewed licensing agreements for nearly every single one of the dramas they hold first window rights to. The streaming service has picked up the third season of Crossing Lines from Tandem Communications, the fourth season of Vikings from MGM Television, the third season of pirate drama Black Sails from Starz Worldwide Distribution and the second season of Outlander from Sony Pictures Television. As part of their output deal with eOne, Amazon UK has also secured the third season of Turn: Washington’s Spies and upcoming martial arts drama Into The Badlands.
NBCUniversal International Networks has also been busy. The UK arm of the company has extended their licensing deal with Endemol Shine International and acquired the second season of ratings hit Dark Matter for Syfy UK. Elwehere, they have also secured first window rights, in a deal with Lionsgate, to the second season of The Royals for E! UK. Both pick ups comes after NBCU previously acquired the second season of The Librarians and the final seasons of Canadian dramas Lost Girl and Continuum for Syfy UK; and the new seasons of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Sleepy Hollow, How To Get Away With Murder and Major Crimes for Universal Channel. Universal also recently acquired the short-lived CBS drama Battle Creek in a deal with international distributor Sony Pictures Television.
A+E Networks UK’s flagship entertainment brand Lifetime is sticking with both of their most recent acquisitions. I have confirmed that, thanks to their output deal with A+E Studios International, Lifetime UK has acquired the second season of the Marti Noxon created drama series UnREAL. Under the deal they struck to acquire the show from NBCUniversal International Distribution, the channel also holds the rights to the second season of Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce. Both will feature on Lifetime UK’s 2016 schedule alongside miniseries The Slap, which they acquired in a deal with NBCU (which included GG2D) earlier this year.
Over at the Viacom owned Channel 5, the broadcaster has struck deals with CBS Studios International and Warner Bros. International Television Distribution to acquire the UK rights to the second seasons of CSI: Cyber and NCIS: New Orleans (this despite the fact that the first seasons have not yet finished airing), and the fourth season of Person Of Interest. As part of their agreements with CBSSI, C5 has also picked up FTA rights to further seasons of both NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles. Meanwhile, sources tell me that sister channel Spike has acquired the sixth and final season of Justified, the seventh and final season of Sons Of Anarchy, and the second season of Transporter: The Series. Channel 5 previously acquired the second season of Gotham for the main channel; and the second seasons of The Mysteries Of Laura and the third season of Chicago P.D. for diginet 5USA.
Finally, Comedy Central UK has acquired the sixth season of Mike & Molly out of their long-running deal with Warner Bros. International Television Distribution. Season six is expected to air in 2016, with the back half of season five scheduled to air on Comedy Central UK this Autumn. This pick up comes after Comedy Central previously picked up the seventh season of The Middle, renewed their licensing deal with WB for Friends, and acquired Undateable (also from Warner Bros) and animated comedy Bob’s Burgers from Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution.