Created by Jed Mercurio and produced by World Productions for BBC One and Netflix, the Golden Globe® and BAFTA® award-winning Bodyguard is making its way around the world for a second time following a flurry of deals with international broadcasters brokered by ITV Studios.
Applauded by critics the world over, second window rights to the six-part event TV series have been acquired by Seven Network in Australia, Vision TV in English-speaking Canada, Telequebec in French-speaking Canada, TVB in Hong Kong, Tohokushinsha Japan, Cineplex Thailand, CJ&M South Korea, TVNZ in New Zealand, France 2, ZDF and Edel Germany, RAI Italy, Paramount Network Spain, Friday! TV Channel Russia, RTS for French-speaking Switzerland, Virgin Media Ireland, HRT Croatia, RTV Slovenia, Latvian TV, and Lithuanian Radio and Television. Sitting outside of Netflix’s global footprint, China’s Huanxi acquired the show in May last year.
Ruth Berry, Managing Director, Global Distribution at ITV Studios, said, “Bodyguard is a drama which needs little introduction, we’re honoured to represent one of the UK’s most phenomenal hits thanks to the brilliance of Jed Mercurio and World Productions and are delighted that it is being enjoyed by an even wider audience as a result of these additional sales.”
ITV Studios has sold a range of its new, returning, and classic scripted titles to international broadcasters in recent months. Sony Liv in India has acquired the BBC One dramas World on Fire, Noughts + Crosses (Mammoth Screen), The War of the Worlds (Mammoth Screen and Creasun), Oscar-nominated Jeff Pope’s A Confession (ITV Studios Factual Drama for ITV), as well as all seasons of Agatha Christie’s Poirot (a co-production of ITV Studios and WGBH Boston in association with Agatha Christie Ltd.) and Miss Marple (ITV Studios for ITV).
Seasons 1 – 5 of Mammoth Screen’s Poldark have been picked up in China (AMC Encore), Russia (Yandex), and Greece (ERT); and seasons 1 – 6 of Endeavour in Korea (KTH) and South East Asia (BBC Player). Calamity Films’ hit comedy for Sky, Brassic has been acquired in Russia (Yandex), Spain (Filmin), South East Asia (BBC Player), Korea (KTH), and Australia (ABC Comedy). Seasons 1-6 of the multi-award-winning comedy from Eugene Levy and Daniel Levy Schitt’s Creek (Not A Real Company Productions Inc. for CBC and Pop) have been sold to Scandinavia in a pan-regional deal with CMORE/TV4. Isolation Stories, a collection of four stories produced by Jeff Pope Drama during the lockdown, has been acquired in Israel (DBS), Belgium (VRT) and Korea (KT Corp.)
The recipient of more than 15 prestigious awards globally and the BBC’s biggest drama launch in more than a decade, the finale of Bodyguard consolidated to 15.2m (including non-TV viewing) making it the most-watched drama since current records began.
Bodyguard tells the fictional story of David Budd (Richard Madden), a heroic but volatile war veteran now working as a Specialist Protection Officer for the Royalty and Specialist Protection Branch of London’s Metropolitan Police Service. When he is assigned to protect the ambitious and powerful Home Secretary Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes), whose politics stand for everything he despises, Budd finds himself torn between his duty and his beliefs. Responsible for her safety, is he actually her biggest threat?
Bodyguard was created and written by Jed Mercurio (Line of Duty) who also serves as executive producer alongside Simon Heath (Line of Duty, Save Me). It is directed by Thomas Vincent (The Tunnel) and John Strickland (Line of Duty, Bodies) and produced by Priscilla Parish (Line of Duty) and Eric Coulter (Shetland, Our Girl).