Patrick Munn / TV Wise
The LA Screenings are now behind us and the acquisitions teams at the various UK broadcasters are currently in the process of evaluating the new crop of shows and entering the deal-making process with the Hollywood studios (and a few independent distributors). While all eyes are inevitably on the new shows headed to the UK, TVWise will be taking a look at the current roster of U.S. scripted series, confirming which shows will in fact be returning to their UK broadcasters.
Following our extensive coverage of UKTV (from the returning series on Alibi, Dave & Watch; to an in-depthinterview with Director of Programme Acquisitions Catherine Mackin and Head of Acquisitions & Co-Productions Alexandra Finlay; and follow up pieces on more international drama co-productions & UKTV’s journey from ‘bit player’ to becoming a major force with the studios), we turn our attention to Syfy UK.
The genre channel, which is owned and operated by NBCU’s global channels division Universal Networks International, has been a fairly steady buyer of premium US content from the Hollywood Studios in recent years, snapping up series such as The Vampire Diaries spin-off The Originals, a range of Syfy original series (Haven, Defiance, Dominion) and a couple of international dramas (Lost Girl, Continuum).
By and large, the vast majority of their series originate from basic cable in the US and as such Syfy UK more or less avoided any cancellations this past Upfronts season (cable shows are generally given more of a chance to build an audience than their broadcast counterparts). That being the case, most of the channel’s line-up of first run series will be returning. I’ve confirmed that Syfy has picked up the UK rights to the second season of 12 Monkeys, the fourth and final season of Continuum, and the second season of The Librarians Full details follow below…
Created by Simon Barry, Continuum follows Kiera Cameron, a cop from the future who finds herself trapped in the present day after a group of fanatical terrorists escapes their planned execution by vaulting back in time to 2012, inadvertently sweeping Kiera along the way. The drama series is produced by Reunion Pictures in association with Shaw Media and stars Rachel Nichols, Erick Knudsen, Victor Webster, Tony Amendola, Stephen Lobo, Lexa Doig, William B. Davis, Roger Cross, Luvia Peterson, Terry Chen and Omari Newton.
Continuum has had something of an interesting history here in the UK. The sci-fi series was initially acquired by Syfy UK in 2012, when the then international distributor gk-TV was racking up deals thanks to strong reviews coming out of Canada. That deal gave Syfy UK rights to the first two season, which the channel aired – to decent ratings – in 2012 and 2013, however, when the time came to renew their licensing deal and pick up season three, there was an issue in reaching an agreement and it appeared as though the show would not return to the channel.
It was only after Endemol assumed control of the distribution rights, that those hurdles were cleared and Syfy UKagreed a deal with Endemol Worldwide Distribution (now Endemol Shine International) to pick up the show’s third season. The 13 episode third run debuted on the channel earlier this year, averaging a tick above 100K viewers, down somewhat from the averages for the first and second seasons, but still up on the channel’s 12 month slot average. Syfy UK also holds the rights to the six episode fourth and final season, with plans to air it in early 2016.