BBC Worldwide America announces landmark Spooks syndication deal with PBS
"MI-5 Spooks" Launched Upfront in 64% of U.S. Markets, Rolling out Throughout Q1 2009
BBC Worldwide Americas recently secured a landmark syndication deal with U.S. public broadcasters. Sold upfront into 64 percent of U.S. markets, public television stations are currently premiering Kudos Film & Television�s popular UK drama Spooks, titled as MI-5 in America, throughout the United States during the months of January and February.
The deal, brokered by Julius Cain, Vice President, PBS Sales, BBC Worldwide Americas, represents the largest upfront syndication deal to date for BBCWA. The first three seasons, totalling 26 episodes, each 60 minutes in length, will appear for the first time on U.S. television in their original, uncut form. The drama shows the thrilling world of MI-5, known to insiders simply as 'Five', the clandestine security service, and the people who make up the elite team. They tackle organized crime, terrorist activities, embassy sieges, weapons proliferation and anarchists, not to mention the conflicts and power struggles back in the office. MI-5 (Spooks) is a topical and edgy drama about passion, jeopardy and the intrigue of people who have to lie for a living, and deceive their loved ones about what they do. The programme's first three series stars Matthew Macfadyen (The Way We Live Now, Perfect Strangers, Warriors), Keeley Hawes (Wives and Daughters, Our Mutual Friend, Blonde Bombshell), Jenny Agutter (The Railway Children, A Respectable Trade, Bramwell) and Peter Firth (Pearl Harbor, The Hunt For Red October, Holding On, Northanger Abbey).
"MI-5 (Spooks) has been a huge success in the UK, winning multiple BAFTA Awards, including Best Drama Series," commented Susanna Pollack, Senior Vice President, Sales and Distribution, BBC Worldwide Americas. "We are thrilled to have secured this milestone syndication deal with PBS, and bring the programme to over 70 million households nationwide."
"MI-5 (Spooks) is nothing short of brilliant. It has all the makings to be the lynch-pin of the primetime schedule for 2009. The series will definitely go a long way not only to attract new audiences to public television, but will continue to provide a series with the writing and production value that long-time viewers have always demanded and enjoyed on KERA and public television," said Bill Young, Vice President Television Broadcasting, KERA-Dallas TX.
Daniel Isaacs, Joint Managing Director, Kudos Film and TV said: "This is a significant deal for Kudos and for MI-5 (Spooks). Spooks is very close to our heart and our belief in its universal appeal has been borne out by the breadth of stations now committed to the first three series. We're delighted to partner with BBC Worldwide in bringing this series to the U.S. and particularly proud that it will be seen as it was intended, in its original uncut version. We hope US audiences will enjoy it as much as UK audiences have."
MI-5 (Spooks) will begin rollout in 85 markets in the month of January including:
� WLIW in New York
� KCET in Los Angeles
� WTTW in Chicago
� WHYY in Philadelphia
� WGBH in Boston
� KERA in Dallas
� KCTS in Seattle
� WPBA in Atlanta
� KUHT in Houston
� WTVS in Detroit
MI-5 (Spooks) is a Kudos production for the BBC and A&E.
NOTES TO EDITORS
About BBC Worldwide Americas
BBC Worldwide is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). BBC Worldwide Americas, with headquarters in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto and Miami, brings together all of BBC Worldwide's businesses in North and South America. The company exists to maximize the value of the BBC's assets for the benefit of the license payer and invest in public service programming in return for rights. The company has seven core businesses: Channels, Content & Production, Digital Media, Sales & Distribution, Magazines, Global Brands and Home Entertainment.
Since its inception in 1992, Kudos has amassed an impressive catalogue of television and film. Under the leadership of Stephen Garrett and Jane Featherstone, the company creates original, popular, award-winning work with flair, intelligence and with a keen sense for emerging talent.
Whether tackling edgy subject matter or crafting mainstream entertainment, Kudos has become an international force as a production entity of quality and distinction winning multiple BAFTAs, International Emmys and RTS awards. Its output is personified by hit series Spooks (MI5), Hustle, and Life on Mars and its impressive and diverse programming also includes drama series Ashes to Ashes, Law & Order:UK, and The Fixer; kids� drama MI-High; comedies Plus One and Moving Wallpaper; and international miniseries Occupation, Burn Up and Tsunami:the Aftermath.