EXCLUSIVE: Channel 4 is sticking with the U.S. scripted dramas that air on the main channel. I’ve confirmed that the PSB has picked up the exclusive UK rights to both the seventh season of Showtime’s CIA drama Homeland and the second season of NBC’s critically acclaimed drama This Is Us. Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution handles international sales for both shows. Sources tell me that Channel 4’s third U.S. scripted acquisition, The Handmaid’s Tale, will also be returning later this year as the initial licensing agreement with MGM Television covered multiple seasons of the Hulu show.
Sticking with the C4 portfolio of channels, E4 has picked up the UK rights to the thirteenth season of Supernatural from Warner Bros. International Distribution and the second season of Timeless from Sony Pictures Television. Under their prior agreement with Disney Media Distribution, E4 has secured the UK rights to the fifth season of Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. As TVWise previously reported, More4 holds the rights to the second season of The Good Wife spin-off The Good Fight (the initial deal with CBS Studios International covered multiple seasons of the show).
Channel 5 has been busy. Fresh off of picking up the first run rights to Training Day and the FTA right to Taken for 5USA, and the FTA rights to Riverdale for 5Star, the Viacom owned broadcaster has picked up the UK rights to the third season of the Tim Allen comedy Last Man Standing. This marks the first time the third season has been sold into the UK; the previous UK broadcasters Sky One and E4 dropped the show before getting that far. As for the main channel, as part of the deal to acquire it in the first place, C5 hold the UK rights to the tenth season of Will & Grace; and 5USA continued to hold first run rights to Chicago PD, with plans to air the fifth season later this year.
This is an interesting one. Sources tell TVWise that ITV has secured the exclusive UK rights to the sixth and final season of FX’s cold war drama The Americans. The show famously began its life on the main channel, where the first two seasons aired, and was then dropped due to low ratings. Shortly after that decision, execs reversed course and picked up later seasons for pay channel ITV Encore. ITV recently opted to close that channel, however, and merely retain Encore as a box-set brand. That being the case, it’s not immediately clear where ITV will air the final season – either as an on-demand box set or on ITV4. The pick up comes months after ITV2 opted not to renew their licensing agreements for Mom and Scorpion, and sealed new deals for Ghosted and Superstore.
Elsewhere: Amazon Prime Video UK has extended their deal with A+E Networks and secured the UK rights to the third season of Lifetime’s UnREAL; Netflix UK has acquired the third season of MTV thriller Scream, with plans to air it later this year close behind the U.S. broadcast; FOX UK, as part of a global life-of-series deal on the part of Fox Networks Group, holds the exclusive first run UK broadcast rights to FX’s Marvel series Legion; and Virgin Media has acquired the UK rights to the third season of Starz’s horror comedy series Ash Vs. Evil Dead, and will make episodes available close behind their U.S. broadcast.