European pay-TV broadcaster Sky is to spend ten of millions of dollars more on high-profile U.S. procedurals after rebranding its Living channel in the UK.
The 21st Century Fox-backed broadcaster is rebranding the channel to Sky Witness to fix a “disconnect” with the brand. The channel, which has a female-skew was widely considered a lifestyle brand by many of Sky’s subscribers but actually airs the best of U.S. procedurals such as The Good Doctor, Station 19 and Criminal Minds.
Sky entertainment chief Zai Bennett told Deadline, “Viewers were expecting lifestyle, factual programming the majority of the primetime schedule is premium, procedural TV so we’re catching the brand up to the content.”
The broadcaster has acquired a number of new titles including Fox’s Ryan Murphy-produced 9-1-1, Shonda Rhimes’ legal drama For The People, Alan Cummings’ Instinct and MGM’s ten-part, Patrick Dempsey-fronted The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair.
Bennett, fresh from a trip to the LA Screenings, said that he and his team, which includes acquisition chief Sarah Wright, now have their eye on a number of titles set to launch later this year on the broadcast networks. Procedurals that would undoubtedly fit the newly rebranded channel include Dick Wolf’s forthcoming CBS drama FBI and Nathan Fillion’s ABC police series The Rookie.
Sku Living will be rebranded as Sky Witness on August 6 and will be accompanied by a major marketing spend. CBS drama Instinct, which stars Alan Cumming as a university professor and former CIA paramilitary officer lured back to find a serial killer, will headline the channel’s rebrand.