×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Viacom Wraps Purchase of U.K.’s Channel 5, Commissions Joint Projects

'SpongeBob SquarePants,' 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' to air on Channel 5

LONDON — Viacom Intl. Media Networks has wrapped its £450 million ($726 million) acquisition of U.K. free-to-air network Channel 5. Viacom also unveiled the first joint commissions between Channel 5 and Viacom’s U.K. pay TV channels.

The deal with Channel 5’s previous owners Northern & Shell Media Group, which was announced in May, was closed after receiving unconditional clearance from the European Commission.

Philippe Dauman, Viacom president and CEO, said: “Our ownership of Channel 5 will significantly increase Viacom’s investment in British creativity and content. We are committed to strengthening Channel 5’s status as one of U.K. broadcasting’s premier brands, and we will continue to grow the network’s pipeline of original programming with more quality commissions, as well as acquisitions.”

Dauman added that the addition of Channel 5 will also benefit Viacom’s U.K. pay TV channel portfolio, as demonstrated by the announcement of its first two original programming commissions.

Viacom’s Nickelodeon is joining forces with Channel 5’s pre-school strand, Milkshake, to develop a new animated series, “Nella the Knight,” intended to be their first co-production under Viacom ownership.

The series will be produced in the U.K. and co-funded by the two broadcasters, who will share broadcast rights, as they already do with a variety of other pre-school programs, including “Peppa Pig,” “Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom” and “Bubble Guppies.” Episodes of “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” will also begin airing on Channel 5.

In addition, Channel 5 and Viacom’s MTV U.K. are jointly commissioning a new entertainment series, “10,000 BC,” in which 20 volunteers will forgo the comforts and conveniences of modern life to go back to the Stone Age. A 10-episode hour-long series is being produced by The Garden and GroupM Entertainment to premiere on Channel 5 in 2015 with a five-episode hour-long spin-off show airing on MTV U.K.

Viacom has confirmed Channel 5’s advertising sales team will be retained following the closure of the deal, and will continue to sell the network’s airtime.

Channel 5’s commercial director of sales, Nick Bampton, and its chief operating officer, Paul Dunthorne, will report separately to David Lynn, exec VP, managing director of VIMN U.K., and join his U.K. senior management team, along with Channel 5’s program director, Ben Frow.

Lynn said: “Channel 5’s senior executive and sales teams continue to perform strongly, and, with an innovative approach to commercial partnerships, have delivered great results.”

More TV

  • Us Television Writers and Producers Maria

    Mad Men’s’ Andre, Maria Jacquemetton Set for Series Mania’s UGC Writers Campus

    MADRID — André and Maria Jacquemetton, the Emmy and WGA Award-winning writer-producers of AMC’s “Mad Men” and consulting producers on Amazon Studios’ “The Romanoffs,” will serve as Guests of Honor at Series Mania’s UGC Writers Campus, a workshop whose participants include Denmark’s Christina Miller-Harris and Israel’s Noy Carmel. The Jacquemettons will deliver a masterclass and [...]

  • China Plans Remake of BBC Time-Travel

    China Plans Remake of BBC Time-Travel Cop Show ‘Life on Mars’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    A Chinese “Life on Mars” is in the works after BBC Studios and Phoenix Entertainment inked a deal to create a Mandarin-language version of the time-travel cop series. BBC Studios will officially unveil the format deal at Showcase, its annual programming market for international buyers, which is now underway in Liverpool, England. “Life on Mars” [...]

  • DF-10193 – L-R: Ben Hardy (Roger Taylor),

    'Bohemian Rhapsody' Leads MPSE Golden Reel Awards for Sound Editing

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” followed up love from Cinema Audio Society sound mixers with a pair of honors at the Motion Picture Sound Editors’ 66th annual Golden Reel Awards Sunday night. The musical biopic scored wins for dialogue and ADR as well as sound editing in a musical. The film is nominated for sound editing at the Oscars [...]

  • Melissa McCarthy as "Lee Israel" and

    WGA Awards 2019: 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?,' 'Eighth Grade' Win Screenplay Awards

    In a pair of upsets, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” has won the Writers Guild of America’s adapted screenplay award for Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty and Bo Burnham has won the original screenplay award for “Eighth Grade.” The major television trophies went to “The Americans,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Homeland” and “Barry” for the [...]

  • 50 Cent Power

    NYPD Officer Under Investigation for Allegedly Telling Police to Shoot 50 Cent 'on Sight'

    A New York City precinct commander is under investigation for allegedly telling officers to shoot rapper 50 Cent on sight, a police rep confirmed to Variety on Sunday. “The matter is under internal review,” an NYPD rep said, declining to answer further questions. Deputy Inspector Emanuel Gonzalez is accused of telling officers during a June 7 roll [...]

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Among Cinema Audio Society Winners

    Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” won the Cinema Audio Society’s top prize for sound mixing at Saturday night’s 55th annual CAS Awards. The film is Oscar-nominated for sound mixing this year along with “Black Panther,” “First Man,” “Roma” and “A Star Is Born.” In a surprise over heavy-hitters “Incredibles 2” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Wes [...]

  • Marvelous Mrs Maisel Vice

    'Vice,' 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Lead Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Winners

    Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice,” starring Oscar nominees Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Sam Rockwell, won two awards at the sixth annual Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Saturday night. The film won for best period and/or character makeup as well as special makeup effects. “Mary Queen of Scots” received the prize for period [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content