A+E Networks’ History Captures ‘Black Sails’ in U.K., Africa

LONDON — A+E Networks UK has acquired the exclusive linear TV rights in the U.K. and Africa for Starz’s adventure series “Black Sails,” which will play on History.

The acquisition marks the first A+E Networks U.K. deal with Starz Worldwide Distribution.

The series, which has a strong cast of U.K. actors featuring Toby Stephens (“Die Another Day”) in the lead role as Captain Flint, will premiere on History in the summer.

Other British acting talent in the series includes Hannah New (“El Tiempo Entre Costuras”), Tom Hopper (“Merlin”), and Clara Paget (“One Day”), as well as Australians Luke Arnold (“Never Tear Us Apart: The Untold Story of INXS”) and Toby Schmitz (“Griff the Invisible”), U.S. star Zach McGowan (“Shameless”), and Canadian Jessica Parker Kennedy (“90210”). The third season began filming in November 2014 in South Africa.

This latest acquisition follows the success of the epic drama “Vikings” on History in the U.K. In 2014 the first series of “Vikings” was the channel’s highest-ever rating series, drawing an audience of 2.1 million viewers.

Rachel Job, director of programming for History at A+E Networks U.K., said: “’Black Sails’ is a thrilling drama with a treasure trove of colorful characters that really brings to life a remarkable and provocative period of history. Following the huge success of ‘Vikings,’ we are really pleased to bring viewers another premium drama to History.”

Gene George, executive VP for Starz Worldwide Distribution, added: “Starz Worldwide Distribution is delighted to establish a new relationship with A+E Networks U.K. through ‘Black Sails.’ History will be an excellent broadcaster partner for us in the U.K. and Africa with this amazing series.”

“Black Sails” is created by Jonathan E. Steinberg and Robert Levine, and executive produced by Michael Bay and his Platinum Dunes partners Brad Fuller and Andrew Form. Chris Symes and Dan Shotz also serve as executive producers.

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