Banijay Rights, the leading distribution arm of Banijay Group, has licensed a package of more than 65 hours of programming to Ovation, America’s only arts network.
The high-volume deal sees two seasons of Story Vault Films’ Portrait Artist of the Year and two seasons of Landscape Artist of the Year, both originally produced for Sky Arts in the UK, making their US debut. The long-running competitions, which whittle down the nation’s most gifted painters to find the country’s most talented portrait and landscape artists, have rated highly in the UK, with Portrait Artist of the Year becoming the most-watched programme ever for Sky Arts, delivering five times the slot average, and Landscape Artist of the Year attracting 60% above the channel’s slot average.
Ovation has also secured the rights to IWC Media and Group M Entertainment’s Fake: The Great Masterpiece Challenge (8 x 1 hour, Sky Arts).
From Banijay Rights’ scripted portfolio, Ovation has acquired the original action-adventure procedural crime drama, The Pinkertons (22 x 45’), produced by Rosetta Media and Buffalo Gal Pictures. Long before the FBI, the Pinkertons were the most feared law enforcement organisation in the US, and the show follows founder Allan Pinkerton, his son, William, and America’s first female detective, Kate Warne, as they solve crimes throughout the ‘Wild West’ of the 1860s. The show has also aired on UKTV and CHCHTV Canada where it tripled and doubled its slot average respectively.
Scott Woodward, EVP of Programming at Ovation, said “Ovation has enjoyed a wonderful relationship with Banijay Rights over the years, which has brought such great programming as Versailles and Rachel Hunter’s Tour of Beauty to the US for the first time. Both Portrait Artist of the Year and Landscape Artist of the Year premiered on Ovation as well and were hits with our viewers. Additional seasons of these series, along with Fake and The Pinkertons provides us with a well-rounded package that fits squarely within our arts-focused programming remit.”
Andreas Lemos, VP Sales & Acquisitions for North America at Banjay Rights, added, “We’re delighted to deliver a large volume of premium content to Ovation, which is a driving force for cultural programming in the U.S.”