Tuesday, 3 July 2012


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Sky today announced four big US acquisitions; The CW's superhero drama Arrow, CBS' modern-day Sherlock Holmes drama Elementary, Fox's serial-killer thriller The Following, and CBS' cop drama VegasArrow and Elementary will debut in the autumn on Sky 1 and Sky Living, respectively; while Vegas and The Following will both premiere early next year on Sky Atlantic.

Those are some good buys from the deep-pocketed Sky, no doubt about it. It's interesting how they split their acquisitions between their available channels, too. Elementary is clearly being targeted at the female-friendly Sky Living (which carries shows like Ghost Whisperer and Charmed), while Sky1 get the more fanboy-friendly Arrow (which feels like a smarter fit for E4, replacing Smallville). Interesting that Vegas and The Following have been picked out as "prestige shows" worth adding to the Sky-exclusive Atlantic alongside Mad Men, Game Of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire. I was hoping those would go to Channel 4, More4, Sky1, or perhaps even FX.

I won't bore you with my regular complaint that any show Sky Atlantic acquires tends to slip by unnoticed by the masses. Sky are clearly happy with top shows like Mad Men struggling to get 100,000 viewers, despite paying a fortune for them. I don't know anyone contemplating getting Sky because of Atlantic's programmes, which is surely the point. It just means most people will wait longer for a DVD box-set or, more likely, download the show days after the US broadcast (legally or otherwise). The quicker Sky allow Virgin and BT to carry Atlantic, the better.

But anyway, do any of those take your fancy? I think Arrow could be surprisingly decent, from what I've heard. Elementary will most likely be a dull but acceptable version of the BBC's Sherlock. The Following could go either way, depending on its execution, but anything with Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy involved gets my attention. Vegas still looks like the most promising show of the four.

Agree, disagree? What are your thoughts on the shows Sky have chosen to buy, and the channels they'll be shown on?