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Viacom to Launch Paramount Network in U.K. in July

Viacom Intl. Media Networks U.K. announced Friday that it will launch Paramount Network, a free-to-air channel offering a mix of drama, comedy and movies, in Britain on July 4.

The channel will be scheduled and programmed by Britain’s Channel 5 editorial team under the direction of Ben Frow, director of programs for Channel 5, which is also owned by Viacom. The U.K. Paramount channel will be the third iteration of Paramount Network after those in the U.S. and Spain. The international rollout is being overseen by Jill Offman, executive vice president of Comedy Central and Paramount Network Intl.

In addition, there are 11 locally scheduled versions of Paramount Channel internationally. Paramount is one of Viacom’s flagship global brands, alongside Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon.

Paramount Network will be the British home of various free-to-air premieres, including the seventh season of “Suits,” the drama from creator/executive producer Aaron Korsh, starring Meghan Markle, who recently married Britain’s Prince Harry. Earlier seasons of “Suits” will also air on the channel. Other premieres include Kiefer Sutherland drama “Designated Survivor” and comedy series “The Mick,” starring Kaitlin Olsen (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”), which will both join the lineup later in the year.

“Launching on TV screens in the U.K. is another critical milestone for the Paramount Network brand, which we’re convinced will resonate strongly with British viewers, given Paramount’s distinguished and successful history of epic, cinematic storytelling for global audiences,” Offman said. “Delivering free-to-air content to millions of U.K. households underlines our belief that, despite the growing popularity of on-demand, viewers continue to value highly TV channels that offer an intelligently scheduled linear lineup of quality entertainment.”

Among the movies on Paramount Network will be blockbusters like “War of the Worlds,” “Catch Me If You Can” and “Dances With Wolves,” as well as critically acclaimed and cult classics such as “The Shining,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and “Jackie Brown,” and evergreen titles including “Prince of Tides,” “Groundhog Day” and “Roxanne.”

The channel also plays host to “Lip Sync Battle,” action drama “Six,” fantasy drama “Heroes Reborn,” and comedy “Will & Grace.”

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