Channel 4 Acquires MGM’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ for the U.K.

Channel 4 has acquired U.K. rights to “The Handmaid’s Tale” from MGM Television, the British broadcaster said Tuesday. The acclaimed U.S. drama, starring Elisabeth Moss and Joseph Fiennes, will air on the channel later this month.

The 10-part drama, which Variety called “an upsetting, immersive, and horrifyingly beautiful vision of a too-close dystopian world,” is based on the novel by Margaret Atwood. It tells the story of life in a dystopian, totalitarian society in a former part of the U.S. where the fundamentalist regime treats women as property of the state.

“‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is a chilling and frighteningly topical exploration of a world where women are subjugated,” said Jay Hunt, chief creative officer for Channel 4. “I’m delighted that Channel 4 viewers will get to see this critically acclaimed take on a classic novel.”

“Mad Men” star Moss plays a “Handmaid,” one of the few remaining fertile women who are forced into sexual servitude in a last-ditch attempt to repopulate a devastated world. She must navigate among the ruling “Commanders,” their wives, the domestic servants and her fellow Handmaids in her quest to find the daughter who was taken from her.

Samira Wiley, Max Minghella, Yvonne Strahovski, O-T Fagbenle, Alexis Bledel, Madeline Brewer and Ann Dowd also star in the show, which was created by showrunner Bruce Miller for MGM Television.

The show launched in the U.S. on SVOD platform Hulu on April 26. According to Hulu, which has not released numbers, debut episodes drew more viewers than any other series premiere, original of acquired, on the platform. The show was renewed for a second season, scheduled for 2018, earlier this month.

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