OUTtv Acquires Exclusive Canadian Rights to New Series Cucumber and Banana from BBC Worldwide North America
Two Series Are First-Ever Standalone Programs to Feature Parallel Interlinked Stories and Characters
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA (04/10/15) – OUTtv announced today that it has acquired exclusive Canadian broadcast rights to two of Russell T Davies’ (Queer as Folk) acclaimed new series Cucumber and Banana from BBC Worldwide North America. Following his success with Doctor Who and Torchwood, the award-winning creator returns with two intertwined stories of modern LGBT life. The two dramas mark television history as the first-ever standalone series to feature parallel interlinked stories and characters. The series premiere on April 14, 2015 at 9p ET/PT.
The two interwoven drama series, Cucumber and Banana, explore the passions and pitfalls of 21st century gay life; Cucumber follows 46 year old Henry, played by Vincent Franklin (The Thick of It, Twenty Twelve) and his long-suffering boyfriend Lance, played by Cyril Nri (The Bill). Life for Henry and Lance is comfortable and settled. But after the most disastrous date night in history – involving a death, a threesome, two police cars and Boney M – Henry’s old life shatters, and his new life begins.
Banana is a series of eight witty, heartfelt and unique stand-alone stories covering different aspects of LGBT life. This series, which features exciting and emerging talent from the fields of acting, writing and directing, offers an intriguing and often unexpected peek into the individual lives, loves and losses of a range of diverse characters. Writers include Davies and Sue Perkins, creator of Heading Out. Heading Out is also exclusive to OUTtv in Canada.
“OUTtv is the perfect channel to showcase these two dynamic and innovative series. Russell T Davies once again creates complex characters and interwoven storylines that are sure to keep the Canadian audience captivated as both series unfold,” states Michael L. Smith SVP Content Sales & Co-Productions for BBC Worldwide North America.
Writer and Creator Russell T Davies added: “It’s a delight and an honor to be part of OUTtv.”
“Queer as Folk is an iconic series for our viewers, and we see Cucumber and Banana as its spiritual successor,” said OUTtv COO Brad Danks. “It’s a pleasure to be able to bring these shows to a Canadian audience.”
In its UK run earlier this year, Cucumber premiered to 1.9 million viewers and had a 6.9 percent audience share, while Banana exceeded its timeslot average by eighty percent. The series is created by Russell T Davies with RED Production Company’s Nicola Shindler as executive producer.
Both series will air back-to-back starting April 14 as part of OUTtv’s national free preview. The deal was brokered by Brad Horvath, Sales Executive for BBC Worldwide North America in Canada and Brad Danks, COO for OUTtv.
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About OUTtv Network Inc.:
OUTtv is Canada’s national LGBT television network with a compelling mix of drama, comedy, talk and award-winning movies. Original series include Sex & Violence with Olympia Dukakis, Don’t Quit Your Gay Job, and Operation: Vacation. OUTtv holds the exclusive Canadian broadcast rights to numerous programs including RuPaul’s Drag Race and Untucked, Heading Out, Judge Rinder and Alan Carr: Chatty Man.
About BBC Worldwide North America:
BBC Worldwide is the main commercial arm and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) operating in the U.S. and Canada. The company exists to maximize the value of the BBC’s assets for the benefit of the UK license payer and invests in public service programming in return for rights. The company operates channels, a production arm, consumer products and a digital business, in addition to handling sales & co-productions. Under these businesses fall two key brands in the U.S. – digital cable channel BBC AMERICA and BBC Worldwide Productions, the production arm responsible for the smash hit Dancing with the Stars.