|UKTV and ITV Studios Global Entertainment have announced that they are to continue their relationship with Shaftesbury Films and co-fund a third season of the international hit drama Murdoch Mysteries.
This third season co-production deal was negotiated by UKTV's Alexandra Finlay, Content Acquisitions Manager, and secures the UK multi-channel and non-linear broadcast rights on an exclusive basis for the UK's only crime drama channel, Alibi.
Noel Hedges, Head of Drama Acquisitions and Co-productions, brokered the deal on behalf of ITV Studios Global Entertainment and sees them continuing to distribute the series worldwide.
Produced by Shaftesbury Films for Canadian network Citytv, this third instalment of the hugely popular costume drama has been ordered by Alibi's Channel Head, Steve Hornsey and UKTV'S Director of Entertainment, Christian Drobnyk, to premiere exclusively in the UK on Alibi from February 2010. Internationally, through ITV Studios Global Entertainment, Murdoch Mysteries, is now watched in more than 80 countries worldwide, including Australia, Canada, Italy and France.
UKTV's Christian Drobnyk said: "Co-producing Murdoch Mysteries has really paid off for us - series two nearly doubled Alibi's slot average ratings, outperforming every other crime drama series in peak. Innovative funding deals like this make a lot of sense for UKTV right now - they provide fresh, quality content that compliments popular BBC titles and our own home-grown commissions - so it's no surprise that we're on the lookout to do more."
Emmanuelle Namiech, Director of Co-productions and Acquisitions at ITV Studios Global Entertainment, added: "Murdoch Mysteries is a superb example of how international co-production funding can bring to life a universally popular show, with incredibly strong local appeal. We're delighted to be working with Shaftesbury and Alibi on another great instalment of a very unique and popular series."
Christina Jennings, CEO, at Shaftesbury Films, commented: "We are delighted that the audience for Murdoch continues to build around the world."
Alibi's Steve Hornsey added: "We're particularly excited that some of the latest series is being filmed in Bristol as Murdoch becomes embroiled in a complex plot spanning two continents, a British spin which is sure to appeal to Alibi viewers even more. Series two outperformed the first by nearly a third when it premiered earlier this year, increasing our 9pm slot average by +88%."
Murdoch Mysteries is the thrilling murder mystery primetime television drama set in 1890s Toronto, starring Yannick Bisson as William Murdoch and Coronation Street's Thomas Craig as Inspector Brackenreid.
The third season commission is currently in production, filming on location in Canada and the UK and features a guest appearance by Lisa Faulkner.