WATCH ACQUIRES “BEAUTY AND THE BEAST” FROM CBS STUDIOS INTERNATIONAL
CBS Studios International and UKTV, the independent television network co-owned by BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive Inc, announced today a multi-season deal for the exclusive broadcast rights to BEAUTY AND THE BEAST on UKTV’s flagship entertainment channel, Watch. The acquisition was announced by Catherine Mackin, Director of Programme Acquisitions, UKTV and Stephen Tague, Senior Vice President Europe, CBS Studios International.
Catherine Mackin commented: “CBS’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST feels fresh and contemporary while also encompassing an out-of-the-ordinary feel to it, which is perfect for Watch’s viewers. We are delighted to be continuing our successful partnership with CBS.”
Stephen Tague said: “We’re excited that UKTV has acquired CBS’s new take on this classic love story. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST will appeal to Watch’s younger, dynamic audience, delivering them CBS’s customary high-quality storytelling and production values.”
Beauty and the Beast is set to debut in the UK on Watch in early 2013. The drama stars Kristin Kreuk (“Smallville,” “Chuck”) as Detective Catherine Chandler, a smart, no-nonsense homicide detective. Several years earlier, Catherine witnessed the murder of her mother at the hands of two gunmen. Catherine would have been killed too, but someone – or something – saved her. No one has ever believed her, but she knows it wasn’t an animal that attacked the assassins… it was human.
Years have passed, and Catherine is a strong, confident, capable police officer, working alongside her equally talented partner, Tess. While investigating a murder, Catherine discovers a clue that leads her to a handsome doctor named Vincent Keller, played by Jay Ryan (“Terra Nova”), who was reportedly killed by enemy fire while serving in Afghanistan in 2002. Catherine learns that Vincent is actually still alive and that it was he who saved her many years before. For mysterious reasons that have forced him to live outside of traditional society, Vincent has been in hiding for the past 10 years to guard his secret – when he is enraged, he becomes a terrifying beast, unable to control his super-strength and heightened senses.
Catherine agrees to protect his identity in return for any insight he may have into her mother’s murder. Thus begins a complex relationship between Catherine and Vincent, who are powerfully drawn to each other yet understand that their connection is extremely dangerous for both of them.
Steve Hornsey, General Manager of Watch, said: “The success of ‘Dynamo: Magician Impossible,’ ‘Grimm’ and ‘Alcatraz’ show Watch is a must-have channel for audiences that want to see exclusive new content with a distinctive twist. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is one of the most highly anticipated offerings of the new season, and I’m thrilled that Watch viewers will see it here first in the UK.”
Watch has helped UKTV to become the fastest growing commercial network in Britain this year with “Dynamo: Magician Impossible” giving Watch a record 4.1m viewers across all plays of episode one, and a consolidated figure of 2.1m for the premiere episode only. Stateside drama “Alcatraz,” starring Sam Neil, also attracted 1.6 million viewers to its premiere episode and regularly smashed the 1 million viewer barrier throughout the series.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Take 5 Productions/Whizbang Films and distributed around the world by CBS Studios International.
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About Watch (www.justwatch.co.uk)
Watch is an entertainment channel that promises to surprise with out of the ordinary programming. Premiering hit fantasy and science-fiction dramas such as Grimm, Alcatraz, Primeval New World and Sanctuary, it also showcases a selection of distinctive series like Dr Who, Torchwood and Paranormal Witness. Watch is the exclusive home of Dynamo Magician Impossible, an original commission from UKTV.
About UKTV (uktv.co.uk)
UKTV is a major industry player and one of the most important and successful multichannel providers in the UK. Formed in 1997, it is an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, and Scripps Networks Interactive Inc.
Attracting over 41 million viewers each month, the network consists of 10 distinctive channel brands – Watch, Gold, Dave, Alibi, Yesterday, Blighty, Eden, Home, Really and Good Food – offering a broad range of quality programming across entertainment, lifestyle and factual. UKTV currently operates 22 broadcast streams when its eight multiplexes and five HD channels are taken into account, and 11 highly successful websites. The network also runs video on demand (VOD) services on Sky and BT Vision.
UKTV’s successful programming strategy combines high profile original commissions and key acquisitions with quality content from the BBC.
All UKTV channels are distributed on Sky and Virgin Media. Dave, Really and Yesterday are also available on Freeview.
About CBS Studios International
CBS Studios International is the leading supplier of programming to the international television marketplace, licensing to more than 200 markets in more than 30 languages across multiple media platforms. The Studio participates in international channel ventures, currently comprised of 22 channels in 18 languages across 87 territories reaching more than 100 million international households. CBS Studios International also exports a diverse line up of formats for local production around the world. The division distributes content from CBS Television Studios, CBS Television Distribution, Showtime, CBS News, CBS Films and a library of more than 70,000 hours of programming. CBS Studios International is a division of CBS Corporation.