BBC America to Air 'Graham Norton Show' the Day After U.K. Broadcasts (Exclusive)

TV Acquisitions
BBC America

Acquisition activity in Europe focused on TV businesses in 2012. U.K. TV giant ITV agreed to acquire Graham Norton's So Television, Norwegian firm Mediacircus and Finland's Tarinatalo before agreeing to buy a majority stake in U.S. producer Gurney just before Christmas. German TV networks group ProSiebenSat.1 acquired majority stakes in British indie Nerd and Israeli producer July August Productions, among others. And U.S. cable channel powerhouse Discovery Communications late in the year won the auction for the Scandinavian assets of ProSieben in a $1.7 billion deal, while finalizing a $240 million investment in France's TF1 in return for a 20 percent stake in the Eurosport and other networks.

BBC America is serious about doubling down on Graham Norton.

A week after the Dec. 3 premiere his new series, Would You Rather...? with Graham Norton, a network rep confirms to THR that his long-running talk show will no longer air on a week delay in America.

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The Graham Norton Show will screen in the U.S. within 24 hours of its British premiere, starting Dec. 10. Previously, episodes of the Irish comedian's series would air Friday nights in the U.K. and then debut eight days later on the following Saturday in the US.

BBC America had similar news earlier in 2011 when it announced Doctor Who would have same-day premieres in both markets throughout the veteran sci-fi series' sixth season.

Produced SO Television and airing on BBC One in the U.K., The Graham Norton Show entered its tenth season in October. Kate Winslet, Johnny Depp and Ricky Gervais are among the recent guests.

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BBC America negotiated the move, in part, to promote Norton's new companion series. Would You Rather...? is a comedy panel series, filmed in New York, that finds the host asking a panel of comedians and celebrities to discuss absurd predicaments and moral quandaries. It's part of the network's new slate of original series produced for American audiences.

Would You Rather...? will air Saturdays at 11:00 p.m. ET, following The Graham Norton Show at 10:00 p.m., as a part of the network's Ministry of Laughs comedy block.

Guests lined up for the Dec. 10 episode of The Graham Norton Show are Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Jimmy Carr and Coldplay.