Japan’s U-Next, Wowow Plus & TFC acquire ITV Studios dramas

Gold Digger

U-Next, Wowow Plus and TFC are among Japanese broadcasters to have picked up scripted programming from ITV Studios (ITVS).

Beaubourg Studios’ French crime procedural Balthazar has been acquired by both U-Next and AXN Mystery, with the former acquiring its second season and the latter picking up the first season on second run.

Also included in the AXN Mystery deal are Mainstreet Pictures’ relationship thriller Gold Digger, Silverprint Pictures’ crime dramas Vera and Shetland, and a renewed package deal for content including Inspector Morse, Lewis and Sherlock Holmes.

A Confession, produced by ITV Studios Factual Drama and Urban Myth Films, is headed to Wowow Plus, along with series two of Tall Story Pictures’ thriller Bancroft and season five of Mammoth Screen’s Poldark.

Mammoth’s long-running crime drama Endeavour has been acquired by Wowow, which also secured the first five seasons for its SVOD service, while NHK Enterprises picked up season four of the show and relicensed season three, as well as relicensing the first two runs of Inspector Morse.

Channel Ginga, meanwhile, has secured rights to show Monumental Pictures’ period drama Harlots and TFC has negotiated a re-license library package for title including Stingray, Captain Scarlet and Fireball XL-5.

Augustus Dulgaro, EVP, Asia Pacific sales and distribution at ITVS, said the company’s recently revealed slate would be introduced to buyers this week at its inaugural appearance at the Tokyo Festival, which will be held as an online screening this week.

That slate, which was first announced at ITVS’ recent London Drama Festival, includes World Productions thriller Vigil, Mammoth Screen’s The Singapore Grip, adapted from J.G. Farrell’s classic novel, Little Birds, from Warp Films, inspired by the short stories created by Anaïs Nin and Cattleya and Groenlandia’s Romulus, an “ambitious drama that reconstructs the epic tale of Rome.”

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