EXCLUSIVE: Breakout new BBC One drama Bodyguard is headed to Netflix. The streaming network will carry the terror thriller starring Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden and Line of Duty’s Keeley Hawes outside of the UK and Ireland (and China where Netflix is not available). The series’ Netflix premiere is set for October 24.
The deal for Bodyguard, produced by World Productions, an ITV Studios company, was made through Netflix’s co-licensing team. The digital platform has been a partner since the show’s early production stages.
Under its co-licensing model, Netflix is collaborating with U.S. studios and international production companies on series that air on other linear or digital networks. Netflix takes first-run global distribution in as many territories as available, coming in as a partner on projects that are going to series at a finished script or pilot stage and as early as script development.
The template was previously applied to Carnival Films’ BBC Two epic period drama The Last Kingdom.
Created, written and executive produced by Jed Mercurio, Bodyguard premiered on BBC One a couple of weeks ago to 10.4 million consolidated viewers, with a 40.9% share on BBC One. This is the highest launch figure for any new drama across all UK channels in a decade. Its most recent episode, the fifth ep, which aired on Sunday evening, averaged an overnight rating of 8M viewers and a 38.2% share. This was an increase of over 1M on last week’s average overnight figure and the highest overnight rating of the series so far.
Set in and around the corridors of power, Bodyguard tells the fictional story of David Budd (Madden), a heroic but volatile war veteran now working as a Specialist Protection Officer for the Royalty and Specialist Branch (RasP) of London’s Metropolitan Police Service. When he is assigned to protect the ambitious and powerful Home Secretary Julia Montague (Hawes), Budd finds himself torn between his duty and his beliefs. Responsible for her safety, could he become her biggest threat?
Gina McKee, Sophie Rundle, Vincent Franklin, Pippa Haywood, Stuart Bowman and Paul Ready co-star. Executive producing the series are Jed Mercurio, Simon Heath for World Productions and Elizabeth Kilgarriff for BBC.
Bodyguard extends Netflix’s partnerships with UK production companies and broadcasters which includes the following series, done through different models, including co-production: The Great British Baking Show (Channel 4), The End of the F*cking World (Channel 4), Black Earth Rising (BBC Two), Collateral (BBC Two), Troy: Fall of a City (BBC One), Wanderlust (BBC One) and Giri/Haji (BBC One).
Maria Kyriacou, President, International, ITV Studios said: “Bodyguard has gripped the [UK] with its twists and turns. It’s a perfect example of a show produced locally which has huge global appeal. Through our partnership with Netflix, we can’t wait for audiences around the world to enjoy the show as much as audiences here in the UK.”