Buyer Profile: Channel 5


LONDON: Katie Keenan, the head of acquisitions for Channel 5 in the U.K., buys a good amount of product from the U.S. for the terrestrial Channel 5 and the digital channels 5*, 5USA and Demand 5. She recently attended the L.A. Screenings, where she found a variety of drama series on offer.


“There was a range of drama offerings from across the studios,” commented Keenan. “ABC is really targeting the female audience with soapy dramas Mistresses (Disney Media Distribution) and Nashville (Lionsgate). High concept was back with three serialized dramas Zero Hour (Disney Media Distribution), Revolution and Following (both from Warner Bros. International Television Distribution) and Last Resort (Sony Pictures Television), which all had some cinematic moments.
Keenan also remarked that, “the studios managed to attract some high caliber stars to this year’s crop of pilots, Kevin Bacon and James Purfroy seen together on The Following (Warner Bros. International Television Distribution), were outstanding and Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis were equally well cast in Vegas (CBS Studios International).
As impressed as Keenan was with the dramas, she found “the comedies were a bit hit and miss this year. The Mindy Project (NBCUniversal Television Distribution) was fun and you can see why it’s paired [on the FOX schedule] with New Girl. The goofy Ben and Kate (Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution) was sweet. It’s so hard to judge comedies based on the pilots, as the cast settle into their roles as the season progresses as well as the writing.”
At this year’s L.A. Screenings, Keenan was not looking to fill any specific time slots. “I never want to be too prescriptive about the shows I’m looking for as that show might not exist and we are such a broad ship with a real range of U.S. output from procedurals like CSI, The Mentalist to zombie drama in The Walking Dead to the fairy tales of Once Upon a Time. But we have lost CSI: Miami this year we could be on the lookout for a procedural.”

Last year Channel 5 acquired the two big drama hits of the 2011-2012 television season, Once Upon A Time and Person of Interest, explains Keenan. “Once Upon A Time has been a great success bringing new viewers to Channel 5 on Sunday evenings and we are very excited about launching Person of Interest later this year.”