StarzPlay Nets Hulu Drama ‘The Act’ for Europe (EXCLUSIVE)

StarzPlay is adding some toxic motherly love to its lineup in the shape of Hulu drama “The Act,” which it has picked up for its services in Germany, Spain, and the U.K.

The show is based on Michelle Dean’s widely read 2016 BuzzFeed article about a toxic mother-daughter relationship. Academy Award-winner Patricia Arquette plays overbearing mother Dee Dee Blanchard, and Joey King her daughter, Gypsy. The series follows Dee Dee as she manipulates Gypsy and the outside world into believing her daughter is sick. Gypsy, in turn, harbors murderous intentions towards her mother. Chloë Sevigny and AnnaSophia Robb also star.

StarzPlay has already launched the show on its service in Canada, where it is its top-ranked program. In Canada it plays day-and-date with the U.S., but in Europe StarzPlay will drop all of the episodes at once. Starz pre-bought the series for its streaming service early in the production process, the first time it has acquired a show so early on.

“When the producers came and told us this was the most widely read BuzzFeed article ever and this could resonate globally, we took some time to do some analytics to see how much the story resonated elsewhere in the world,” Superna Kalle, EVP of international digital networks at Starz, told Variety. “It was on Hulu so we knew it would be premium and major, and it was just a fascinating story, so we took a risk, and it turned out really well.”

Starz has scooped exclusive rights to the series in the European territories for its streaming service. In the U.K., StarzPlay service is available on Prime Video Channels and Virgin Media, in Germany via Prime Video Channels, and in Spain via Vodafone and Orange TV.

Kalle said that the top shows on StarzPlay include “Power,” and there is a crossover audience for that series and “The Act.” StarzPlay is acquiring select shows to complement the U.S. pipeline of Starz programming, which now feeds directly onto the StarzPlay service in international markets.

“Within the territories we have announced, which are U.K. Germany, Spain, France, and Italy, the goal is to have more distributors – beyond that we’re going to be announcing [new territories] shortly,” Kalle said of how the StarzPlay service will develop internationally.

Universal Content Productions produced “The Act,” which Nick Antosca (“Channel Zero”) and Michelle Dean co-created and executive produced. Greg Shephard and Britton Rizzio are also exec producers.

More TV

  • AMERICAN HORROR STORY: 1984 -- Pictured:

    'American Horror Story' Recap: 'Episode 100' Pushes '1984' Forward in Time

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Episode 100,” the sixth episode of “American Horror Story: 1984.” One hundred episodes is a big milestone in television these days, so kudos to “American Horror Story” for getting there. Also kudos for pulling out all the stops for this big episode — it definitely [...]

  • Seth Meyers TV Take Podcast

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Announces Seth Meyers's Standup Special

    In today’s TV news roundup, Netflix announced the premiere date for “Seth Meyers: Lobby Baby” and Epix released a trailer for “Belgravia.” CASTING AMC announced that “Succession” actor Sarah Snook, David Costabile (“Breaking Bad”) and Sonya Cassidy (“Lodge 49”) have been cast in its upcoming anthology series from Will Bridges and Brett Goldstein. The still-to-be-titled series is set 15 years into the [...]

  • Rachel Maddow

    Four Female Journalists Will Moderate Next Democratic Debate

    Four women will moderate the next Democratic debate, slated for broadcast on MSNBC. Rachel Maddow, the primetime host; Andrea Mitchell, the veteran foreign correspondent; Kristen Welker, the NBC News White House correspondent; and Ashley Parker, a Washington Post White House reporter, will moderate the event, MSNBC said Wednesday. The broadcast is slated for November 20. [...]

  • Neilsons Measurment Problems TV Digital

    Megan Clarken, Key Nielsen Executive, Will Depart Company (EXCLUSIVE)

    Megan Clarken, a Nielsen executive who has been instrumental in the company’s quest to keep tabs on consumers in the many new ways they have to watch TV, is leaving the measurement giant. “After 15 years at Nielsen, Megan Clarken will be leaving at the end of the month to take on a new position [...]

  • James Murdoch

    James Murdoch on 'Succession,' Pete Buttigieg and Climate Change

    James Murdoch doesn’t watch Fox News and he doesn’t watch “Succession.” “There are some shows that you just know you’re never going to watch,” the youngest son of media mogul and Fox Corp. founder Rupert Murdoch told Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Radhika Jones on Wednesday, alluding to to the HBO series centered on a family-run media [...]

  • Freddie Prinze Jr First Impressions

    Freddie Prinze Jr. Joins ‘Punky Brewster’ Sequel Pilot at NBCU’s Peacock Streamer

    Freddie Prinze Jr. is joining another pilot, this time at NBCUniversal’s forthcoming Peacock streaming service. He will play a recurring role in the “Punky Brewster” sequel pilot which was ordered when the Peacock unfurled its slate of feathers back in September. Prinze Jr. was a part of the pilot for the CW’s “Nancy Drew” earlier [...]

  • Traci Blackwell

    BET Names Traci Lynn Blackwell Head of Scripted

    Traci Lynn Blackwell has joined BET has head of scripted programming. Blackwell joins BET from the CW, where she was senior VP, current programming. As executive VP, scripted programming, Blackwell will lead all originals efforts for BET Networks’ linear channels and streaming service BET Plus. She will report to BET Networks president Scott Mills. “Traci [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content