To borrow from former U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden: “this is a big f***ing deal”. In what is undoubtedly the BBC’s biggest move in U.S. scripted acquisitions in years, they have inked a content partnership (effectively an output deal) with FX Networks that will make the Beeb the UK home to all future FX original comedy and drama series.
The BBC had shown a keen interest in FX content over the past couple of years. They struck separate deals for first window rights to American Crime Story, Feud, Trust and Snowfall, and picked up repeat rights to Donald Glover’s Atlanta (all for BBC Two). TVWise noted at the time that it was an interesting move as the BBC had shyed away from first run U.S. acquisitions over much of the past decade, under the belief that they added little value for licence fee payers.
Under this new deal, the BBC retains rights to those shows and has announced they will be airing the following FX originals: Sons Of Anarchy spin-off Mayans M.C., Ryan Murphy’s LGBT themed Pose, comedy series Devs, Pamela Adlon’s Better Things, vampire drama What We Do In The Shadows, the just-announced limited series Mrs. America, and Untitled Fosse-Verdon Project. FX will also announce a number of new prestige projects in the coming months that will be included in this deal.
FX Networks is now the third U.S. cable network with a defined brand that has a UK broadcast partner. Sky Atlantic previously struck similar output deals for HBO and Showtime content. This deal was struck between the BBC and Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution, who were operating on behalf of FX Networks. “The BBC has been an incredible partner for us at FX Networks and TCFTVD and this new deal only strengthens our longstanding relationship as we look to bring quality programming to audiences in the UK”, said Gina Brogi, President of Global Distribution for Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution.
“The BBC has a proud tradition of bringing audiences the very best shows from around the world, and this exciting new partnership with FX builds on our strong existing relationship”, commented the BBC’s Director of Content Charlotte Moore. “Their incredible range of first class drama and comedy series will be great for our channels and I’m delighted to be forging closer ties with FX and to formalize our relationship in this bold and exciting move.”
While Eric Schrier, President of Original Series for FX Networks and FX Productions, added: “We are thrilled to enter this partnership with BBC and their great team with whom we have had such a wonderful relationship. At FX, as with the BBC, we are dedicated to curating a portfolio of the best programs television has to offer and working with producers who tell stories that not only entertain, but illuminate the human condition. We are grateful to the BBC for their recognition of the quality of FX programs and to our colleagues at TCFTVD for their support.”