French paybox Canal Plus has lined up three British dramas for its 2013 roster: assassin series “Hit and Miss,” crimer “Case Sensitive” and four-part serial “Inside Men.”
Shonda Rhimes procedural “Scandal” is one of the few new U.S. drama skeins on Canal Plus’ slate.
“Hit and Miss,” commissioned by BSkyB and DirecTV, stars Chloe Sevigny as a transgender killer for hire.
“It’s an auteur-driven and subversive series which stirs strong emotions and challenges viewers,” said Aline Marrache-Tesseraud, Canal Plus’ head of foreign fiction acquisitions. “We seldom get the opportunity to acquire such daring shows.”
“Case Sensitive” centers on two police officers investigating the death of a woman and her daughter, followed by a series of other murders.
“Inside Men,” created by Tony Basgallop and starring Steven Mackintosh and Ashley Walters, follows three employees of a security depot planning an armed robbery.
“Scandal” focuses on a high-profile crisis management firm founded by a former White House media consultant, played by Kerry Washington. Canal Plus has picked up the first two seasons.
The Gallic cabler also nabbed HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” Showtime’s “Homeland” and the second season of Starz’s “The Pillars of the Earth.”
With “Desperate Housewives” gone and popular Showtime skeins “Weeds” and “Dexter” ending in one and two seasons, respectively, Canal Plus is left with slots to fill.
“U.S. and European drama shows continue to be a leading draw for subscribers, which is why Canal Plus continues to dedicate a large budget to acquisitions of foreign series and mini-skeins,” said Marrache-Tesseraud. But she added that U.S. pay TV channels have been producing fewer compelling and singular shows in recent years.
Canal Plus has also ramped up its investment in Gallic fiction — whether in French or the English language — to feed its pipeline with original programming. Its slate includes the second order of Tom Fontana’s “Borgia” and costumer “Versailles,” which Andre and Maria Jacquemetton (“Mad Men”) have in development.