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UK’s Channel Five Clinches Exclusive TV Series and Feature Film Acquisition Deal with Warner Bros. International Television Distribution


UK’s Channel Five has secured an exclusive deal with Warner Bros. International Television Distribution to acquire a raft of new and continuing television series and blockbuster films, it was announced today by Channel Five’s Managing Director of Digital Channels and Acquisitions, Jeff Ford, and Jeffrey R. Schlesinger, President, Warner Bros. International Television.

Channel Five has acquired exclusive terrestrial and digital rights to the third season of the critically acclaimed hit drama The Mentalist, starring Emmy® and Golden Globe Award nominee Simon Baker as Patrick Jane, an independent consultant with the California Bureau of Investigation who has a remarkable track record for using his razor sharp skills of observation and psychological manipulation to solve serious crimes. The series, created by Bruno Heller (Rome), averaged more than 2.5 million viewers on Five last season, ranking as the #1 US series on UK television since its debut in February. Source: BARB/CAD-ITVR, Season 2, February 1–July 16, 2010, U.S. scripted series (time-based rank)

Five USA will exclusively air the gritty, undercover police drama Dark Blue, from Jerry Bruckheimer Television. The 20x60min series, which debuts later this year, stars Golden Globe winner and Emmy® nominee Dylan McDermott as Carter Shaw, part of a crack undercover team of police officers so covert, many of their own colleagues don’t even know of their actions.

This autumn, sister channel Fiver will air the thrilling, action-packed drama series Human Target. The 25x60min series stars Mark Valley (Boston Legal, Fringe) as Christopher Chance, a mysterious security agent for hire who assumes different identities, at times literally becoming a human target on behalf of his clients. Resourceful, driven and compelled by a force known only to him, this take-charge antihero will barter his services for an aged bottle of scotch, much to the chagrin of his shadowy associates, Winston (Chi McBride – Pushing Daisies, Boston Public) and Guerrero (Jackie Earle Haley – A Nightmare on Elm Street, Watchmen). If someone is threatened or a life is in danger, leave it to Chance.

Jeff Ford said: “I am thrilled to have secured this wide-ranging deal for Channel Five. I am delighted to welcome back the critical and ratings smash The Mentalist for another season. The addition of Dark Blue and Human Target strengthens our burgeoning slate of quality offerings on the digital channels. Plus, the movie lineup is an exciting mix of terrestrial premieres and blockbuster films for all the family.”

Jeffrey Schlesinger said: “We are always looking to place our programming on the right networks where they can thrive and connect with viewers. You don’t have to be a mind reader to know the best continuing home for The Mentalist is Channel Five, where they have contributed to this show becoming one of the most popular US series being telecast in the UK today. The commercial appeal of shows like Dark Blue, Human Target , Blade and these selected top feature films also make this programming perfectly suited to be telecast and succeed on Five’s family of channels.”

Also for autumn, Channel Five has acquired Blade: The Series, to air on Five USA. It is based on the blockbuster movie trilogy of the same name and focuses on the eponymous immortal warrior as he fights a relentless sea of vampires. Kirk “Sticky” Jones (The Shield, Over There) stars in the title role.

The network has also secured a bumper film package which includes terrestrial premieres of 300, Beowulf, 10,000 BC and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Additionally, Channel Five has licensed the rights to show a huge range of other blockbuster films, including The Matrix trilogy, The Last Samurai, The Perfect Storm and Miss Congeniality.

The Mentalist stars Simon Baker, Robin Tunney (Prison Break), Tim Kang (Rambo), Owain Yeoman (Generation Kill) and Amanda Righetti (Friday the 13th). Aunjanue Ellis (True Blood) is a recurring guest star. The series was created by Bruno Heller (Rome), who executive produces along with Chris Long (Gilmore Girls), Tom Szentgyorgyi (Lie to Me), Ashley Gable (Crossing Jordan) and Daniel Cerone (Dexter). Produced by Warner Bros. Television, The Mentalist is distributed around the world by Warner Bros. International Television Distribution.

Human Target stars Mark Valley, Chi McBride, Indira Varma (Rome) and Jackie Earle Haley. Matthew Miller (Chuck, The Shield), McG (Terminator Salvation, Supernatural, The O.C., Charlie’s Angels), Peter Johnson (Supernatural) and Brad Kern (Charmed, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman) are the executive producers. The series was developed for television by Jonathan E. Steinberg (Jericho) and based upon characters from DC Comics. Human Target is produced by Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Wonderland Sound and Vision, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Television and is distributed around the world by Warner Bros. International Television Distribution.

Dark Blue stars Dylan McDermott, Omari Hardwick (The Guardian), Logan Marshall-Green (The O.C.), Nicki Aycox (Supernatural) and Tricia Helfer (Battestar Galactica). Created by Danny Cannon (Nikita, the CSI series) & Doug Jung (Big Love), the series is executive produced by Jerry Bruckheimer (The Whole Truth, the CSI series), Jonathan Littman (The Whole Truth, the CSI series), Danny Cannon, Doug Jung and Rick Eid (Law & Order). Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer Television in association with Warner Horizon Television, Dark Blue is distributed around the world by Warner Bros. International Television Distribution.

Blade: The Series stars Kirk “Sticky” Jones, Jill Wagner (Wipeout), Nelson Lee (Traffic), Neil Jackson (Alexander) and Jessica Gower (The Secret Life of Us). David Goyer (Blade films, FlashForward, Batman Begins), David Simkins (Warehouse 13, The Dresden Files), Jim Rosenthal (Kitchen Confidential), Jon Kroll (Big Brother), Avi Arad (Iron Man) and Ari Arad (Iron Man) are the executive producers: Geoff Johns (Smallville) is consulting producer.

About Warner Bros. International Television Distribution
Warner Bros. International Television Distribution is one of the world’s largest distributors of feature films, television programs and animation to the international television marketplace (broadcast, pay cable, basic cable, satellite, pay-per-view, video-on-demand, digital platforms, etc.). It licenses some 50,000 hours of programming (including more than 6,000 features and 70+ current series), dubbed or subtitled in more than 40 languages, to telecasters and cablecasters in more than 175 countries. For more information, please log on to


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