Co-Production Agreement Announced Between AMC and BBC Brings Hit U.K. Series Hustle to the States
New York, New York – October 17, 2005 – After three consecutive years of record ratings, AMC announced today that it was promoting Rob Sorcher to Executive Vice President for Programming, Packaging and Production. Previously serving as Senior Vice President, Sorcher has resided over the most successful period in the network’s twenty-one year history, by adding successful original programming and strengthening its vast movie library. Sorcher will continue to report to Ed Carroll, President, Rainbow Entertainment Services.
Under Sorcher, AMC has increased +23% in HH ratings (.75 – 2002 vs. .92 – 2005); 26% in HH audience (633,000 – 2002 vs. 795,000 – 2005); 31% in A25-54 audience (358,000 – 2002 vs. 470,000 – 2005); and 42% in A18-49 audience (289,000 – 2002 vs. 410,000 – 2005), improving its primetime rank from 20th to 16th in HH audience.
Prior to joining AMC in June 2002, Sorcher served as head of programming for Fox Family Channel; and both general manager and executive vice president at Cartoon Network.
In conjunction with today’s announcement, AMC unveiled a licensing and co-production agreement with BBC Worldwide Americas, which will bring the award winning hit U.K. television series, Hustle, to the United States for the first time. Hustle joins, Sorcher’s successful slate of original programs, which includes Sunday Morning Shootout, Movies That Shook the World, Movies 101, Celebrity Charades and AMC’s first original mini-series event, staring Robert Duval, which will premiere in Summer of 2006.
“Hustle” is an hour-long dramatic series that follows the exploits of a group of London-based con artists who pull off daringly intricate stings to swindle money from “respectable” but despicably greedy marks. With plenty of suspense, style, and humor, an occasional touch of romance, and always a series of unforeseen twists, each episode takes the viewer deeper into the hidden world of scammers and grifters to reveal the personalities and perverse artistry of the high-end confidence game.
The deal grants AMC exclusive rights for the first and second seasons, as well as a co-production partnership for a third season in addition to a option for a forth. The internationally acclaimed series will premiere on AMC in January 2006 in letterbox format.
“Hustle is the epitome of cinematic cool, a tribute to the great heist and caper films of the past, which will fit perfectly within our slate of original programs,” stated Sorcher. “Like recent films such as Oceans 11 and The Italian Job, film fans will love this series. It is sophisticated, timeless, stylish and fun and it will be a great addition to AMC’s schedule.”
“Securing the right platform is essential for a series to succeed in the competitive US market,” said Candace Carlisle, Chief Operating Officer, BBC Sales Company. “We believe that AMC’s commitment to quality will make it the perfect home for Hustle in the US. The originality of the series has resulted in international acclaim and I’m confident that American audiences will be as intrigued and entertained by the hustlers as fans have been around the world!”
Hailed as one of “the most surprising and purely enjoyable new British drama series in years”, by the London Times, Hustle proved to be a major hit with British audiences, regularly beating the competition with a peak audience share of more than 30%.
Starring Robert Vaughn (The Magnificent Seven, Bullitt), Adrian Lester (Primary Colors, Maybe Baby), Robert Glenister (Murder, My Fragile Heart), Marc Warren (State of Play) and newcomer Jaime Murray, Hustle is an action-packed blend of humor and intrigue which follows the fortunes of a group of expert con artists let loose on the streets of London. Playing tricks with trust, the hustlers are likeable, loveable rogues evoking the wit and warmth of Ocean’s Eleven.
Created by Tony Jordan and executive produced by Jane Featherstone (Touching Evil) and Simon Crawford Collins – replicating the successful team that brought M15 to the BBC.
AMC, a division of Rainbow Media’s Entertainment Services, which also includes WE: Women’s Entertainment and IFC Companies, is a 24-hour, movie-based network, dedicated to the American movie fan. The network, which reaches over 86,000,000 homes, offers a comprehensive library of popular movies and a critically-acclaimed slate of original programming that is a diverse, movie-based mix of original series, documentaries and specials. Over the past three years, AMC has garnered many of the industry’s highest honors, including 14 Emmy awards. AMC is “TV for movie people.”
About BBC Worldwide Americas:
BBC Worldwide Americas (BBCWA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of BBC Worldwide, the commercial consumer arm of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The company exists to maximize the value of the BBC’s assets and invest in public service programming in return for rights. In 2004/05 BBC Worldwide returned ?145 million to the BBC from its six business operations: TV Channels, TV Sales, BBC Magazines, Home Entertainment, Children’s and New Media.