TV News: Slap, Downton, CW, Bag

The Slap
“The Slap”, ABC1 Australia’s provocative and layered new eight-part adult drama series based on the Christos Tsiolkas’ novel, has been a critical and ratings success with the first episode drawing 1.3 million viewers in Australia.

At the MIPCOM market last week, international deals were locked down with the series sold to Sundance for broadcast in Europe. BBC4 acquired the UK rights back in August and will commence transmission on October 27th.

Melissa George, Jonathan LaPaglia, Sophie Okonedo and Alex Dimitriades all star in this story which traces the shattering repercussions when a man slaps a child who is not his son at a Melbourne suburban barbeque. The boy’s parents are so affronted by the assault that they call the police and legal action results, lives soon fracturing. [Source: Inside Film]

Downton Abbey
Though originally planned out for three seasons by writer Julian Fellowes, ITV1’s period drama hit “Downton Abbey” looks set to go beyond that.

The first season garnered an average of eleven million viewers in the UK, critical acclaim and multiple award wins. The second season is currently airing to similar numbers, though reviews have been slightly more mixed (though still strong).

Combined with its international success, NBC Universal International TV’s Gareth Neame says “our expectations have obviously changed and there is no reason why the show won’t run and run, as long as there is still an audience for it.” [Source: The Hollywood Reporter]

The CW & Netflix
CBS, Warner Bros. Television Group and Netflix have announced a licensing agreement which will allow U.S. members of Netflix to instantly watch previous seasons of scripted series that air on The CW from its current schedule through the 2014-15 season.

Netflix will stream more than 700 hours of previous-season episodes of The CW’s young-skewing dramas as well as future programs, rights that extend for four years after each series, current or future, ends its broadcast run on the network.

New shows “Ringer,” “Hart of Dixie,” “The Secret Circle” along with returning hits “The Vampire Diaries,” “Gossip Girl,” “90210,” “Supernatural,” “Nikita” and “One Tree Hill” all fall under that deal.

The rollout begins this weekend with previous seasons of “The Vampire Diaries,” “Gossip Girl,” “One Tree Hill” and “Nikita” available to watch instantly on October 15th. Previous seasons of “Supernatural” and “90210” will begin January 2012. Episodes of all scripted series airing on The CW this current broadcast season will premiere Fall 2012.

Bag of Bones
The teaser trailer is out for A&E’s mini-series adaptation of Stephen King’s “Bag of Bones” starring Pierce Brosnan. Said teaser will debut during the second season premiere of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” on Sunday and can be watched at Deadline.