BBC Worldwide America has 'MI-5' success

Largest upfront syndication deal for PBS stations

NEW YORK -- BBC Worldwide America has had its biggest success ever among PBS stations with an upfront syndication deal for the U.K. spy drama "MI-5."

BBC Worldwide America has sold "MI-5" in 64% of the U.S. market. It said it is the largest upfront syndication deal that it has ever struck among the PBS stations, who bought the program individually instead of through PBS.

The deals were brokered by BBC Worldwide America vp of PBS sales Julius Cain. It involves the first three seasons (26 episodes) of the series, which has run on A&E and BBC America. The BAFTA-winning series, starring Matthew Macfayden and Jenny Agutter, is in its seventh season in the U.K.

"This is the first time we've approached this kind of upfront market and sold this level of percentage in U.S. markets," said Susanna Pollack, senior vp of TV sales, co-productions and children's at BBC Worldwide America.

The series will run on PBS stations beginning in January and February.