Sky has scooped the U.K. rights to CBS series “SEAL Team” and “Instinct.” The pay-TV giant is upping its spend on original content and has just unveiled a new slate of homegrown drama, but also has a tradition of playing big-ticket U.S. series on its channels.
“SEAL Team” is on CBS in the U.S. and the network recently gave it a full-season order. Focused on an elite Navy SEALs unit in training and in the field, it stars David Boreanaz and is faring well in the U.S., averaging 10.3 million viewers in its Wednesday slot. At the May screenings this year some international buyers questioned whether the military-themed shows on offer would perform well internationally. Sky is betting that “SEAL Team” will, scheduling it to go out on its flagship Sky One channel in the U.K. It has sold into 23 other territories, CBS said.
Sky’s head of acquisitions, Lucy Criddle, said: “Sky is delighted to welcome two terrific new U.S. series to our portfolio, building on our long, successful relationship with CBS. ‘SEAL Team’ starring David Boreanaz starts on Sky One and is already a hit in the US. The show brings David back to the Sky family [after his] having starred in previous Sky series ‘Bones,’ ‘Buffy’ and ‘Angel.’”
“Instinct” will play on the Sky Living net. Based on the James Patterson and Howard Roughan book “Murder Games,” it stars Alan Cumming as Dr. Dylan Reinhart, a former CIA operative who is lured back to his old life when the NYPD needs his help to stop a serial killer. Patterson and Cumming are among the executive producers of the CBS Television Studios-produced midseason show.
CBS Studios International distributes “SEAL Team” and “Instinct” and struck the Sky deal, which gives the pay-TV company first-window rights to the shows.
“U.K. audiences will be thrilled to see two of television’s top talents, David Boreanaz and Alan Cumming, back on their screens,” said Stephen Tague, executive vice president, Europe, CBS Studios International. “’SEAL Team’ and ‘Instinct’ are classic CBS programming. They have broad, mass appeal and will deliver powerful performances and intelligent storylines to the viewers of Sky One and Sky Living.”
Sky already has CBS-distributed series “Hawaii Five-0,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Elementary,” and “Blue Bloods.” It also had a deal with CBSSI for Showtime programming, which it runs on the Sky Atlantic channel alongside the content it has from HBO under the terms of a similar deal with the premium cabler.