Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Sky's HIT & MISS sparks US "bidding war"

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Writer Paul Abbott (State Of Play, Shameless) is producing a new drama called Hit & Miss, about a pre-op transsexual contract killer, written by newcomer Sean Conway. Now Deadline are reporting that three US networks are in a bidding war for the rights to air it.

Sophie Turner-Laing, BSkyB Managing Director of News & Entertainment:

"We have a bidding war on Hit and Miss at the moment with three big US entities. They've seen that we've worked on raising our game here. If we have the American market as a buyer for our shows, that gives me much more strength going to [Sky CEO] Jeremy Darroch [and] asking for another £300 million."
Interestingly, American actress Chloë Sevigny (Boys Don't Cry, Big Love) is playing the lead in this British drama. It's not known if this means the transsexual character is American, or if Sevigny will be using an English accent.

It's also encouraging that the bidding war isn't for the rights to remake the show for US audiences, as you'd expect, but to actually show the original version. This does happens occasionally, outside of BBC America imports, but usually only with properties that benefit from having strong British identities—like, for example, NBC/Syfy airing Merlin or PBS showing Sherlock. It's more unusual for a US broadcaster to buy a "straightforward" British drama that isn't historical in nature.

I'd love to know which US networks are bidding for this, too! The three US bidders apparently include just one cable network, so I'm astonished if the other two are mainstream entities like Fox or NBC. Any guesses? Would a network like ABC really broadcast a six-part British show in primetime?

Hit & Miss is currently filming in Manchester and will air in the UK on Sky Atlantic.