For all the UK fans who missed out on seeing Stephen Moyer’s series, The Bastard Executioner last year when it aired in the US, we have wonderful news for you. The series has found a UK home. History has acquired the exclusive UK broadcast rights to Kurt Sutter’s short-lived FX series after striking a deal with Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution, TVWise has learned.
From Sons Of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter, The Bastard Executioner tells the story of a warrior knight in King Edward I’s charge who is broken by the ravages of war and vows to lay down his sword. But when that violence finds him again he is forced to pick up the bloodiest sword of all.
The drama series, which was cancelled by Sutter himself after one season, hails from FX Productions, Fox 21 Television Studios and Imagine Television and stars Lee Jones, Stephen Moyer, Katey Sagal, Flora Spencer-Longhurst, Kurt Sutter, Sam Spruell, Darren Evans, Danny Sapani, Timothy V. Murphy, Sarah White, Sarah Sweeney, Elen Rhys, and Ethan Griffiths. Ed Sheeran also appears in a guest starring role. The executive producers are Kurt Sutter, Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo and Paris Barclay.
At History UK, The Bastard Executioner joins a growing line up of scripted drama. The A+E Networks UK owned channel has been steadily increasing their footprint in this area after initially testing the waters in 2012, when they secured linear rights to Vikings, following Amazon’s 12 month exclusive window. In the past four years, they have gone on to pick up such shows as Sons Of Liberty, Texas Rising, Gangland Undercover, Barbarians Rising and Black Sails. They also get a first-look on anything produced by A&E Studios.
A+E Networks UK content boss Heather Jones previously told TVWise that she had no reservations when it comes to buying first window rights to miniseries or similarly short-lived drama series, such as The Bastard Executioner. “One of the things that came back in our [market] research was that if you have event programming that is six, or eight or ten hours and you know it’s never going to be more than that, be really clear with the viewer about that.”, she said. “They may be more inclined to commit to it because it doesn’t threaten their long term commitment to the other dramas they already have on the PVR like Game Of Thrones or Madam Secretary”.