MIPCOM 2012: ABC Studios Sells 'Scandal' To U.K. Broadcaster Channel Four's More 4
CANNES -- Channel Four's niche service More 4 has picked up British broadcast rights to two primetime U.S. dramas: Scandal from ABC Studios and, as THR first reported Wednesday, Nashville from Lionsgate.
The purchases come as several other key American dramas get closer to deals with British broadcasters.
Warners' Revolution, which surprised some pundits by having improved its performance Stateside week to week, is likely the next big one to secure a deal in the U.K.
And per scuttlebutt on the Croisette on the last day of the Mipcom market, Britain's C5 has inked for at least one (CBS's Beauty and the Beast) and perhaps another U.S show and will unveil its purchases next week in London.
The C4 announcement was made today by Channel 4 chief creative officer Jay Hunt in conjunction with Dayna Donaldson, Disney's exec director for the U.K. & Ireland, and Roberta Ibba-Hartog of Lionsgate Television.
Other new commissions announced for the channel in 2013 include Simon Hopkinson Cooks, 16 Kids and Counting and Fanny and Friends.
From creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes, the political thriller Scandal is set against the backdrop of Washington DC and focuses on the behind-the-scenes machinations of ex-White House communications director and now crisis management firm owner Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington). Scandal will debut on Thursday Oct. 25 at 9pm.
The music-inflected sudster Nashville focuses on country music icon Rayna Jaymes' (Connie Britton) struggle to maintain her place in the spotlight while a rising pop vixen Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) nips at her heels.
"With two more critically acclaimed US series and a raft of new popular factual shows, More 4 is growing its reputation as a destination for entertaining, intelligent TV," Hunt said.
Meanwhile in Cannes C4's head of acquisitions Gill Hay spoke on a panel Wednesday at Mipcom, emphasizing the goal of C4 (and its niche offshoots) to rely on "a select and edgy assortment" of imports from abroad -- Homeland being the series she singled out as being right now the best performer on her station.