Television Business International

Beauty and the Beast

British digital broadcaster Watch has acquired Beauty and the Beast, marking another step in UKTV’s plans to acquire big-budget, first run US drama.

UKTV, which is a joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, has acquired the CW series from CBS Studios International.

The series will air on Watch in early 2013.

It is the latest international sale for the series, which is a remake of the 1980s Linda Hamilton-fronted series that stars Kristin Kreuk (Smallville) as a homicide detective, who witnesses the murder of her mother and is subsequently saved from the killer by a handsome doctor turned super soldier played by Jay Ryan (Terra Nova).

Beauty and The Beast is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Take 5 Productions/Whizbang Films. It is written by Jennifer Levin (Without A Trace) and Sherri Cooper (Everwood).

Levin told TBI that the pair hooked up after writing together on Brothers & Sisters.

Levin says they decided to turn Linda Hamilton’s character from a lawyer to a cop. “In the original, she was a lawyer, but it didn’t feel as emotional as cop stories and both of us like cop stories and feel much more comfortable about cop stories. So we made her a cop,” she says.

“It is a cop procedural so there is going to be a case every week. It was always clear that the network was looking for a procedural but we also talked at length about the beast. It’s action packed, there’s chases and he has this military background,” adds Levin.

The show: Beauty and The Beast
The producer: CBS Studios, Take 5 Productions, Whizbang Films
The distributor: CBS Studios International
Airing: The CW (US), Watch (UK)
Concept: Remake of the 1980s Linda Hamilton series