On the heels of its Comic-Con panel and preview, new NBC crime show The Blacklist has been picked up by Britain’s Sky Living. The exclusive deal with Sony Pictures Television will make the DC-set James Spader-starrer the focus of what Sky calls a “trailblazing” fall/winter schedule. Sky Living also airs U.S. series Elementary and Hannibal and has original series Dracula, from producers Tony Krantz and Colin Callender and creator Cole Haddon, on deck. The Blacklist is set to debut in the U.S. in September with the UK airdate to quickly follow.
ITV Studios will produce one-off TV movie The Psychopath Next Door for the UK’s Sky Living. Anna Friel (The Vatican, The Look Of Love) will play the glamorous titular character who moves into a suburban community where her magnetic personality hides her true nature. Described as darkly comic, the film is written by BAFTA winner Julie Rutterford. It will air in the fall as part of Sky’s Drama Matters block. Kate Bartlett exec produces for ITV Studios in the company’s first commission from Sky Living. Myar Craig-Brown is producer, Kieron J. Walsh directs.
After launching on Oxygen in the U.S. last month, model reality show The Face will make its way to Britain. Sky Living has picked up the original series and ordered a local format to be co-produced by Princess Productions and Shine TV. Shine America produces the U.S. version that stars Naomi Campbell who will also topline and executive produce the UK version. Two other supermodels will join Campbell to mentor three teams of four girls over eight weeks as they compete in photo shoots, runway shows and commercials. The last girl standing will be crowned the face of a globally known brand. Production starts in the spring with contestant auditions being held now throughout the UK for girls 18 and older.
Sky Living HD has made an exclusive deal with Gaumont International Television for NBC midseason drama, Hannibal. The psychological drama written and executive produced by Bryan Fuller and based on the characters from Thomas Harris’ novel Red Dragon, begins airing in the U.S. on April 4 with Sky’s UK premiere soon to follow. Mads Mikkelsen makes his U.S. television debut as Dr. Hannibal Lecter opposite Hugh Dancy as FBI criminal profiler Will Graham in the series which has a 13 episode first season order. Caroline Dhavernas, Laurence Fishburne, Gillian Anderson and Eddie Izzard also appear. Martha DeLaurentiis exec produces. David Slade executive produced and directed the pilot. Deal was brokered by Sky acquisitions manager Louisa Forsyth and Gaumont International Television’s head of international distribution and co-production, Erik Pack.
As the UK’s Sky Living ramps up its NBC co-production Dracula with Jonathan Rhys Meyers, it’s also commissioned a slate of new series with talent that includes The Newsroom‘s Emily Mortimer and Emmy- and Oscar-nominated writer Simon Blackwell. Mortimer stars in and created the six-part comedy Doll & Em, an L.A.-set female buddy show that will co-star her real-life best friend Dolly Wells, and come replete with surprise high-profile celebrity cameos. Blackwell, whose credits include Veep, In The Loop and The Thick Of It, co-created new comedy Trying Again with actor Chris Addison, who starred in both In The Loop and The Thick Of It. The eight-part show, about a man whose fiancée has an affair with her boss, has yet to finalize cast, but is set for production this summer. The commissions follow last week’s announcements of the Sky/BBC America James Bond biopic Fleming along with a group of dramas involving Matt Smith, Idris Elba and Vanessa Redgrave which are all part of Sky’s drive to invest £600M in original content by 2014.
Australian actress Jessica de Gouw (The Dinner Meeting, Arrow) has landed the female lead opposite Jonathan Rhys Meyers in NBC/Sky Living‘s 10-episode series Dracula. Described as “Dangerous Liaisons meets The Tudors”, the series is set in 1890s London. It centers on Dracula (Meyers), who arrives in London posing as American entrepreneur Allen Grayson, who maintains that he wants to bring modern science to Victorian society. In reality, he hopes to wreak revenge on the people who ruined his life centuries earlier, but he falls hopelessly in love with a woman who seems to be a reincarnation of his dead wife. De Gouw will play that woman, Mina Murray, a striking medical student who is engaged to Jonathan Harker but upon meeting Grayson both are instantly mesmerized by the other’s uncanny resemblance to someone from their past.