Smithsonian Channel To Launch In UK With Originals, Marking European Debut


Smithsonian Channel is set to launch in the UK – marking the European debut of the non-fiction channel.

The network will launch with a mix of U.S. series and local UK commissions. The latter includes When Tariq Ali Met Malcolm X, Mystic Britain, hosted by Clive Anderson and Hidden History author Mary-Ann Ochota, as well as a series with the American-born Julie Montague, Viscountess Hinchingbrooke.

David Royle, Chief Programming Officer, Smithsonian Networks, which is a joint venture between the Smithsonian Institute and Showtime, told Deadline that it would have a “modest but meaningful” UK commissioning strategy.

U.S. titles will include American In Colour, The Lost Tapes, The Green Book: Guide to Freedom and Aerial America.

The launch follows roll outs in markets including Canada, Singapore and Latin America.

“Smithsonian Channel has already resonated powerfully with audiences in Canada, Singapore and Latin America, so we can’t wait to bring our award-winning, credible and varied slate of programming to the UK audience,” said Tom Hayden, President of Smithsonian Networks.

“We have a long track-record of working with British production companies, and over the years our programs have been featured by leading UK broadcasters,” added Royle. “Now we’ll be bringing a lot of exciting new programs to the UK, along with commissioning new programs specific to British interests.”

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