Ten picks up Merlin, 90210

Australian broadcaster Ten Network has acquired two hot international series – 90210 and Merlin – as it looks to close the ratings gap against its rival commercial broadcasters.

It inked a deal with US Hollywood studio CBS Paramount International Television for Beverly Hills 90210 spin-off 90210 and has closed a pact with distributor FremantleMedia for fantasy drama Merlin.

Ten is Australia’s youngest skewing commercial broadcaster, primarily targeting the country’s 16-34 demographic. In recent years it has increased its audience share and even more importantly is increasing its total share of ad revenues.

Both deals mark the importance of international acquisitions in the Australian market, where output deals are commonplace.

90210 is produced by CBS Paramount for youth skewing US network The CW. It will air in the States at the beginning of September and Ten will air the series days after its US launch, starting with a two hour premiere.

Meanwhile, Merlin is the Shine-produced 13x1hour wizard drama for British public broadcaster the BBC. The show has also been sold to US network NBC, marking the first UK finished programme to be picked up by a US broadcaster for over twenty years.