BBC, Hallmark accept 'Damages'

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LONDON -- The BBC and Hallmark Channel have acquired U.K. free and pay TV rights, respectively, to the Glenn Close-Ted Danson legal thriller "Damages," Sony Pictures Television International said Wednesday.

The series will air on BBC1 beginning in early 2008 and will then be shown on the Sparrowhawk Media-owned Hallmark Channel in the U.K., said Danny Goldman, SPTV's London-based senior vp sales.

Directed by Alan Coulter, the hourlong murder mystery is currently airing in the U.S. on the FX network.

Sue Deeks, the BBC's head of series acquisitions, said the drama was a cross between "The Firm" and "Murder One," describing the show as "a taut and intelligent series" that was "perfect for BBC1."

Added SPTI's Goldman: "We believe this show will really appeal to the U.K. television audience looking for fresh, invigorating drama. It's a testament to the strength and quality of 'Damages' that BBC has acquired the show and that it has also been acquired by the Hallmark Channel."
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