Five’s new US acquisitions channel is facing an autumn launch without a number of its biggest hit shows, including House, Grey’s Anatomy and Law and Order.
Living TV owns the exclusive rights to Grey’s Anatomy, which it licenses to Five but does not want to share with Five US. Hallmark, meanwhile, is not prepared to give up multichannel rights to popular Five series House, Law and Order, Special Victims Unit and Criminal Intent.
Five is also locked in a bidding war with Living over the multichannel rights to its highest rated series CSI with US producer Alliance Atlantis. Living is believed to hold the rights to the most recent series of the show but older episodes coming out of licence are up for grabs.
So what can we expect to see instead?
Five US is expected to launch its limited hours primetime line-up with recently purchased series it owns exclusively, male-skewing Hollywood movies, music shows, US documentaries and US sport.
Aargh! That’s not a TV channel just for me! That’s a TV channel expressly designed to ensure I never watch so much as a second of it! I have visions of Five US turning into ESPN 8, aka “the Ocho”, from Dodgeball: “And now, live from Arizona, midget-tossing!”
Oh well. Maybe something better will come along.