Syfy UK has secured the exclusive UK rights to Fox’s The Exorcist series after striking a deal with international distributor Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution, TVWise has learned. The series, which has an order for 10 episodes, is set to be a key plank of the channel’s Autumn schedule.
The Exorcist is set 40 years after the film and is described as propulsive psychological thriller that follows two very different priests, Father Tomas Ortega (Alfonso Herrera) and Father Marcus Keane (Ben Daniels), tackling one family’s case of horrifying demonic possession. Geena Davis (Commander In Chief), Alan Ruck (Spin City), Brianne Howey (Scream Queens), Hannah Kasulka (The Fosters) and Kurt Egyiawan (Skyfall) also star.
Based on the 1971 novel by William Peter Blatty and the Academy Award winning feature film of the same name, the series was developed for television by Jeremy Slater and is being produced by Morgan Creek Productions in association with 20th Century Fox Television. The executive producers are Jeremy Slater, Rolin Jones, Rupert Wyatt, Roy Lee, James Robinson, David Robinson and Barbara Wall. Wyatt also directed the pilot.
This is a major acquisition for Syfy UK, who faced some strong competition to land the series which was well received by UK buyers at the LA Screenings back in May. Notably, this also a rare instance of Syfy UK picking up a series that is being produced for a major US broadcast network, in this case Fox, rather than merely relying on output from the U.S. Syfy network and lower cost Canadian shows, such as Dark Matter and Killjoys.
“Securing the UK premiere of The Exorcist is a major coup for Syfy and an ideal fit for the channel brand where viewers are encouraged to imagine greater”, said Colin McLeod, NBCUniversal International Networks’ Managing Director for the UK & Emerging Markets. “With its exceptional production values and stellar all-star cast, this exciting acquisition underlines our commitment to delivering our viewers bold, daring and must-see content.”
The only other major broadcast series’ to have initially aired on Syfy UK are V back in 2010 and The Vampire Diaries spin-off The Originals – the latter of which has since moved to Netflix UK after Syfy UK chose not to extend their licensing deal with Warner Bros. International Television Distribution at the end of season two. The Exorcist will be a key component of Syfy UK’s Autumn schedule alongside the new season of TNT series The Librarians.
“We are proud to partner with NBCUniversal International Networks in bringing The Exorcist to the UK, and are delighted to have it premiere on Syfy as it’s the perfect home for this thrilling new series”, added David Smyth, Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution ‘s Senior Vice President of Sales & Development. “It is a brilliant next chapter of one of the world’s most iconic horror stories that will satiate the original fans, and inspire new ones to discover what makes The Exorcist narrative so captivating.”