Tunnel Sees the Light But The Bridge and Fox Fare Up in the Air

SoHo will screen a UK re-make of Scandanavian crime hit The Bridge in February but it’s not clear where or when the US version will air following MediaWorks’ confirmation of its Fox renewals.

The Tunnel follows the investigation of a politician’s murder after his corpse is discovered on the border between Britain and France, with the focus on two odd-couple cops: one British (Stephen Dillane), the other French (Clemence Poesy).

It was commissioned by Sky Atlantic, the Sky UK’s version of SoHo, and aired there around the same time as 20th Century Fox’s US-Mexican border variation, The Bridge, screened on its US cable channel, FX.

Like another acclaimed US crime drama, a re-make of Low Winter Sun, The Bridge has yet to be picked up for broadcast here.

It’s understood Fox, as its distributor, was shopping it for a free-to-air deal – as happened with Fox’s re-make of another Scandanavian hit, The Killing, which aired both on SoHo and TV3.

But the chances of SoHo picking up The Bridge post-The Tunnel seem remote and The Bridge would be too dark and slow for peak-hour on TV3 or TVNZ.

It certainly wasn’t among the handful of Fox shows MediaWorks announced on Friday for TV3 and Four – a press release that was notable more for what it didn’t say.

The good news is Sons of Anarchy and The Simpsons will be back in HD on TV3, along with the final season of How I Met Your Mother, a premier movies package that includes Ice Age: Continental DriftThe Descendants and Prometheus, and probably the Robin Williams sitcom The Crazy Ones and two mid-season drama series: Gang Related (with Kiwi Cliff Curtis) and Crisis.

Expect most of the other confirmations to wind up in SD on Four, including Family Guy, American Dad, Bob’s Burgers, Glee, New Girl, Raising Hope and Burn Notice.

No word on TV3’s other Fox staples — Homeland, Bones, Modern Family – Four’s American Horror Story or new Fox series Sleepy Hollow, Dads and Brooklyn Nine Nine.

That can only mean they’re bound for TVNZ, as the properties are too valuable for Fox to write off on Sky’s cheap-and-cheerful entertainment channels but aren’t exclusive enough for a premium channel like SoHo.

So don’t be surprised if Homeland (whose appeal has been severely dented by its broadcast in other territories, complete with rampant spoilers coverage) and possibly The Bridge (which TVNZ may buy as part of a package) air on TV One while Modern Family, Sleepy Hollow and, to a lesser extent, Bones and Brooklyn Nine Nine would be at home on TV2 (although the ageing Bones could be a better fit for TV One as a Castle stablemate).

At the same time, it’s possible Sky could do a deal that saw Homeland, Modern Family, Bones and Sleepy Hollow air first on its free-to-air channel, Prime, and then recycled on Sky 1 and Vibe — but I doubt if Sky would be as aggressive as TVNZ in acquiring these titles.

In the meantime, The Tunnel will air 8.30 Sundays on SoHo from February 16, with advance screenings of the premiere online or on-demand from February 9.

From February 17, SoHo will start 10.30 weeknight screenings of Breaking Bad from season one and the same month will offer box set re-runs of Boardwalk Empire’s fourth season, True Blood’s eighth, and the first seasons of Masters of Sex and Ray Donovan.

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5 Responses to “Tunnel Sees the Light But The Bridge and Fox Fare Up in the Air”

  1. Warning: preg_replace(): Unknown modifier '/' in /home/customer/www/screenscribe.net/public_html/wp-content/themes/headlines/includes/theme-comments.php on line 66
    December 22, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    TV3 have said they well be screening The Crazy Ones so that’s not a probably 🙂

  2. No problem Philip…be good to see Robin Williams back on TV again 🙂

  3. Thanks, Philip, very interesting analysis of this new deal and the possibilities of where the other Fox content would end up. I wonder if TVNZ will issue out a statement that they have acquired the surplus programming in the coming days. I forgot all about American Horror Story and hope that show returns to Four or another free-to-air network. MediaWorks still hasn’t confirmed if it will screen Bates Motel after their new NBC deal, so I shall wait with bated breath if that show materialises or has it gone the way of Chicago Fire. On the positive side Four has been thrown a lifeline and will hopefully rebuild it’s audience and at some point make the transition to HD. I just wish MediaWorks would give the viewing public more details about its new programming deals.

  4. I wouldn’t hold your breath much longer for Bates Motel, Leo. It’s one of the shows MediaWorks would have cut free from its deal with NBC Universal. I don’t see another FTA channel picking up it or American Horror Story and imagine they will end up on one of Sky’s entertainment channels (they belong on SoHo in HD but that would be a long shot). Four has been thrown a lifeline but it would need to rate through the stratosphere before MediaWorks made the extra HD investment.

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