After protracted negotiations with international distributor MGM Television, Channel 4 has secured the exclusive UK rights to The Handmaid’s Tale, TVWise has learned. The series will premiere on the main channel later this month
“The Handmaid’s Tale is a chilling and frighteningly topical exploration of a world where women are subjugated”, said Channel 4’s Chief Creative Officer Jay Hunt. “I’m delighted that Channel 4 viewers will get to see this critically-acclaimed take on a classic novel.”
Based on the novel by Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale tells the story of life in the dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was formerly the United States. Facing environmental disasters and a plunging birthrate, Gilead is ruled by a twisted fundamentalism in its militarized “return to traditional values.” Hulu has already renewed the series for a second season.
The ten episode drama series was developed for television for Bruce Miller, who also serves as the showrunner. The Handmaid’s Tale is produced by MGM Television and stars Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski, Samira Wiley, Alexis Bledel, Max Minghella, Madeline Brewer, Ann Dowd, and O-T Fagbenle. The executive producers are Bruce Miller, Warren Littlefield, Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears and Ilene Chaiken.
This was a hot title on the international market, especially after recent political changes on both sides of the Atlantic. As a result of that there was wild press speculation about which UK broadcaster had landed the show and at one point it looked as though Amazon Prime Video had acquired it. I understand that while they, alongside Channel 5, did express some early interest, they were ultimately outbid by C4. The Handmaid’s Tale is the latest Hulu original to land a UK deal, following in the footsteps of Casual (Amazon Prime Video UK), Chance (Universal Channel) and The Path (Amazon Prime Video UK).