FOX UK has acquired the UK rights to the Mark-Paul Gosselaar fronted drama series The Passage after striking a deal with international distributor Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution. The show’s first season, consisting of thirteen episodes, will premiere on the channel on Tuesday January 15th at 9pm.
The Passage focuses on Project Noah, a secret medical facility where scientists are experimenting with a dangerous virus that could lead to the cure for all disease, but also carries the potential to wipe out the human race. When a young girl is chosen to be a test subject, a federal agent is tasked with bringing her in, but ultimately, becomes her surrogate father, determined to protect her at any cost – even as Project Noah’s work threatens to unleash an unimaginable apocalypse.
The drama series, which was originally developed for the 2017-2018 season before being pushed off-cycle, is based on Justin Cronin’s trilogy of novels and was developed for television by Liz Heldens. It is being produced by 20th Century Fox Television and stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Saniyya Sidney, Jamie McShane, Caroline Chikezie, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Brianne Howey, McKinley Belcher III, Henry Ian Cusick and Vincent Piazza. Liz Heldens, Matt Reeves, Ridley Scott, David W. Zucker, Adam Kassan and Jason Ensler serves as executive producers.
“The Passage perfectly balances thrilling jeopardy and heartfelt drama” said Shoshana Wilson, Director of Programming, Scheduling and Acquisitions for Fox Networks Group UK. “On the one side you have a vicious and infectious virus that threatens to destroy all of humanity, and on the other, an incredibly pure and powerful relationship that’s the real core of the show. The Passage offers something for everyone and we’re extremely excited to welcome FOX fans into this exhilarating world inspired by the mind of best-selling author Justin Cronin.”
Once viewed as an also-ran, FOX UK has stepped up their spend on U.S. acquisitions in the last few years to become a major buyer. The increased spend allowed to land pricey broadcast dramas – such as 24: Legacy, Prison Break, The Gifted, and The Orville – that were being chased by more established channels. Their deal for The Passage also comes on the back of picking up short-lived sci-fi comedy People of Earth and poaching first run rights to NCIS: New Orleans.
Distributor Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution, meanwhile, has had a good month here in the UK, after they also secured a substantial licensing deal with the BBC for FX Networks’ original programming. “We’re thrilled that FOX will be the home of The Passage. They are the perfect fit for this series, and we’re certain viewers will be captivated by its unique mix of human drama, incredible performances and apocalyptic suspense that will keep fans at the edge of their seats!” added David Smyth, Senior Vice President of Sales and UK Managing Director for Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution.
Check out the trailer for The Passage below: