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U.K.'s Universal Channel Acquires Dramas 'Sleepy Hollow,' 'Graceland'

Graceland Premiere Episodic Aaron Tveit Daniel Sunjata - H 2013
USA Network
"Graceland"

The recently revamped NBCUniversal network says the shows will fit its new character-centric positioning.

LONDON – NBCUniversal's Universal Channel in Britain has acquired adventure mystery Sleepy Hollow and crime drama Graceland.

The network said it will feature the U.K. premieres of the two shows, one of which is already airing in the U.S., while the other will premiere in the U.S. soon.

Financial terms of the deal with Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution weren't disclosed.

The network recently launched an updated logo, on-air look and tagline -- "100 percent characters." It also acquired Bates Motel as a key new show to underline that positioning.

"These newest acquisitions join the highly acclaimed Bates Motel as part of the rollout of new programming complementing the channel’s refreshed on-air look and the unique, new character-centric positioning of the channel’s content," Universal Channel said.

Sleepy Hollow is a modern-day retelling of the classic story and is set to premiere on Fox in the U.S. this month. It stars Tom Mison (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) as Ichabod Crane and Nicole Beharie (Shame) as Detective Abbie Mills.

Graceland is about a rookie FBI agent who is assigned to join a team of agents from various agencies who live together undercover in a California beach house known as "Graceland." 

Currently airing on USA Network, Graceland stars Daniel Sunjata (Rescue Me) and Aaron Tveit (Gossip Girl).

Nicky Douglas, managing director of Universal Networks International, U.K., said: "With Bates Motel set to make its U.K. premier on Universal Channel, we’ve been looking for further distinctive, new content to bring our character-focused positioning to life. With truly magnetic and intriguing central characters, both Sleepy Hollow and Graceland deliver that and also tap into the universal and relatable themes of belief and trust, which will resonate and appeal to our  core viewers and new audiences alike."

Said Steve Cornish, senior vp and managing director of Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution, said: "We are thrilled that Sleepy Hollow, from the creators of the Transformers and Star Trek movies, and Jeff Eastin’s Graceland will premiere on Universal Channel. Both shows are wildly entertaining and are packed with intriguing, complex and distinctive characters. They will definitely consolidate the channel’s new positioning perfectly, and we really look forward to working with them on successful launches."

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai