Tin Star Shines Bright for Three

Fears that Three had abandoned primetime to reality TV after wall-to-wall scheduling of the genre earlier this year have been put to rest by news that it’s licensed the rights to Tin Star.

The 10-part thriller from the producers of Broadchurch and Humans is set in the Canadian Rockies and stars Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) as a mysterious representative of an oil company against which small-town police chief Tim Roth (Lie to Me) takes a “blood-soaked” stand.

It will screen here the same week as the UK, where Sky commissioned it, along with Guerrilla, which played on SoHo, and Riviera as part of a multi-million pound investment in premium drama.

The series is reported to have cost 25 million pounds to produce and is part of Sky Atlantic’s bid to “keep its foot on the drama gas”, Broadcast magazine reported.

“We have set the bar quite high for ourselves in terms of budget,” distributor Jane Millichip, of Sky Vision, told Broadcast.

“If you spend the budget well, it will look brilliant and as if it has incredible scale. A lot of the Sky Atlantic dramas we handle are like that.

“There’s an expectation that all that money will be on screen. These are enormous worlds we are creating.”

Tin Star is normally the kind of series you’d expect Sky NZ to pick up for SoHo.

But its distribution was split between Sky Vision (Europe, Middle East, Africa) and Endemol Shine International (the rest of the world) — hence MediaWorks being able to acquire it

Tin Star will mark a refreshing change from the procedural dramas (NCIS, Hawaii Five-O, Blue Bloods, SVU) that dominate Three’s schedule after getting burned years ago with edgy fare like Breaking Bad and Homeland.

But the success of channels like Sky Atlantic and SoHo, and the rise of premium drama-driven streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Lightbox, may make free-to-air viewers more receptive to a series like Tin Star.

“It’s really important to continue to bring premium drama series to New Zealanders on free-to-air television,” Ben Quinn, MediaWorks Head of Programming and Acquisitions, said in a statement.

“We know that this style of content resonates really well with our audience and we are thrilled to be launching it the same week it premieres in the UK.”

Sky Atlantic has yet to announce a premiere date but it’s expected to be in September.

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2 Responses to “Tin Star Shines Bright for Three”

  1. Tin Star looks excellent, there is also another new show on Lightbox called Midnight Sun, it’s well worth checking out 🙂

  2. Thanks for the reminder, Trevor. I’ll post a Critical Condition about it.

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