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U.K.’s Channel 4 takes ‘90210’

Broadcaster outbids ITV, Five, Living

British web Channel 4 has broken its fast on buying U.S. shows by picking up exclusive U.K. rights to teen saga “90210.”

Shows with tried-and-tested teen appeal — the edgy skein got off to a strong start for the CW — are few and far between, and C4 is believed to have outbid rivals ITV, Five and Living for the program. “90210” will air on C4 and its youth-skewed digital web E4 beginning early next year.

Since “The OC” ended its run, the station has been keen to find a show capable of attracting a loyal following among the hard-to-reach 16-to-34 demographic. Deal for “90210” was brokered by the C4 director of acquisitions, Jeff Ford, and CBS Paramount Intl. Television senior VP of European sales, Stephen Tague.

With depleted coffers — C4 announced last year that it was cutting its acquisitions budget to spend more in the U.K. — and a dearth of U.S. fare due to the writers strike, the network’s fall schedule launched without a single new import for the first time in recent history.