EXCLUSIVE: Netflix is finalising an early deal with international distributor Paramount Television for exclusive SVOD rights to the upcoming TNT drama series The Alienist, TVWise has learned exclusively. The show is expected to premiere on TNT and Netflix UK later this year.
Multiple sources with direct knowledge of the deal tell TVWise that this licensing agreement, which has been in the works for months, is worth “big bucks” and is expected to close shortly. Furthermore, I’m told that this deal not only gives Netflix first window rights here in the UK, but also in more than 170 countries around the globe. Representatives of Netflix UK and Paramount Television did not immediately respond to TVWise’s requests for comment.
This would the latest global acquisition for Netflix, who, much to the chagrin of several UK buyers, have become a fierce competitor for exclusive content out of the LA Screenings. The streamer also has global deals for such shows as Designated Survivor (eOne) and Star Trek: Discovery (CBSSI) – two shows that were prime targets for traditional UK broadcasters, who ultimately found themselves unable to compete against Netflix in a bidding war, given both the “scale” and cost of the deal they were offering.
Set in the Gilded Age of New York City in 1896, The Alienist pick up when a series of haunting, gruesome murders of boy prostitutes grips the city. Newly appointed police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt calls upon criminal psychologist (aka alienist) Dr. Laszlo Kreizler and newspaper illustrator John Moore to conduct the investigation in secret. They are aided by a makeshift crew of singular characters, among them the intrepid Sara Howard a young secretary on Roosevelt’s staff who is determined to become the first female police detective in New York City. Using the emerging disciplines of psychology and early forensic investigation techniques, this band of social outsiders tracks down one of New York City’s first serial killers.
The drama series, which has a ten episode series order, is based on the international best-selling novel by Caleb Carr and is set up as a co-production between Paramount Television and TNT parent Turner’s in-house production division Studio T. Daniel Brühl (Inglorious Bastards) and Luke Evans (The Hobbit) lead the cast as Kreizler and Moore, respectively. Dakota Fanning (American Pastoral), Robert Wisdom (The Wire) and Q’orianka Kilcher (The New World) also star. The Fall helmer Jakob Verbruggen is directing and serves as an executive producer alongside Eric Roth (Forrest Gump), Hossein Amini (Drive) and Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin and Rosalie Swedlin. Cary Fukunaga wrote all the episodes and executive produces. Production begins in early 2017 in Budapest.