UK pay TV operator BSkyB will foot the full bill for upcoming drama series Fortitude after US cable network Starz pulled out of the project.
The series is in pre-production with shooting scheduled to start in the UK and Iceland in January. It follows a close-knit Arctic community that is ripped apart by a gruesome murder of a British researcher. It is written by Simon Donald (Low Winter Sun).
The 13-part show was announced by Sophie Turner Laing at MIP TV in April and marked the first time Sky and Starz had worked together on such a high-profile project.
US trade paper The Hollywood Reporter broke the news yesterday that Starz was pulling out of the series.
“Due to changes in the Sky Atlantic production of Fortitude, Starz will not be licensing the series in the U.S.,” Starz told The Reporter in a statement. It added: “Starz will fast-track several projects that have been in development for its 2014 programing slate.”
Sky confirmed the news to TBI this morning and issued the following statement: “Fortitude is going to be drama of a world-class scale, and is the next huge step in Sky’s original drama plans. The drama will now be a fully funded Sky project for Sky Atlantic. Starz and Sky continue to discuss other projects and look forward to collaborating in the future.”
Sky Vision will sell the series internationally. It is being produced by Fifty Fathoms and Tiger Aspect, which is part of Endemol.