MediaWorks Becomes Sony’s One and Only

Amid speculation that MediaWorks’ output deals with Fox and Universal were under threat because of the company’s receivership, the broadcaster this afternoon announced a new output deal with Sony Pictures Television.

It includes not only House of Cards but also one of the hottest 2013/14 contenders, The Blacklist, which stars James Spader as a criminal-turned-lawman who mysteriously turns himself in and offers to give up some of his most notorious accomplices on the sole condition that he only speaks to a young FBI profiler fresh out of Quantico.

The Blacklist created some of the biggest buzz at this year’s LA Screenings, and will be a fantastic addition to TV3’s primetime lineup,” MediaWorks TV director of programming Mark Caulton said in a statement.

Previously, Sony product was on the open market and for years the distributor has been one of the lesser lights in TV production compared to Warner Bros and Fox.

Indeed, two of its most high profile series, Damages and Justified, were flops for TV One, Charlie’s Angels nosedived for TV2 and Breaking Bad bombed for TV3 before being quietly dropped from Four’s schedule.

The distributor also is renowned for wanting premium prices for product that, in this territory, often is of niche appeal at best, such as Hatfields & McCoys, which finally was picked up in a package deal for SoHo.

A spokesperson for MediaWorks says the Sony pact doesn’t have implications for its other output deals with Fox and Universal.

MediaWorks also had a volume deal with CBS Television Studios but let that slip away to Prime, which scored 60 Minutes, Elementary, Beauty and the Beast and Vegas as a result.

Other shows heading for TV3 or Four under the deal include:

The Michael J Fox Show: The star returns to television comedy as a news anchor with Parkinson’s who decides to go back to work and finds himself facing unique challenges as he juggles family and professional life.

Rake: Re-make of the Aussie sensation that screened on Rialto Channel, starring Greg Kinnear as a brilliant and frustratingly charming criminal defense attorney whose chaotic and self-destructive personal life often gets in the way of his professional one.

Us & Them: Re-make of British romantic-comedy Gavin and Stacey (which is about to be re-run on TV One), starring Jason Ritter and Alexis Bledel.

MediaWorks also announced today TV3 would be replacing HD soap Home & Away, which switches to 5.30 weeknights on TV2 from August 19, with stripped episodes of Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals.

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5 Responses to “MediaWorks Becomes Sony’s One and Only”

  1. Do we have a date for The Blacklist yet?

  2. It goes to air in the US on September 23. MediaWorks told me yesterday none of the Sony shows had been scheduled yet but this morning’s NZ Herald speculates Blacklist will hit our screens soon after the US. I’m picking TV3 will double-bill it with season three of Homeland, which starts around the same time, to create a powerhouse Monday night duo on the back of The Block NZ.

  3. Brilliant. Really enjoying Homeland as well 🙂

  4. Finally some good news for MediaWorks, looking forward to these shows and I do hope they are considering turning Four HD!

  5. MediaWorks don’t sound very broke to me if they can afford a new output deal!!

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