Timewatch, the BBC's flagship history strand, is the subject of a new output agreement with Discovery Channel. The agreement gives Discovery first look access to 12 new episodes over the next two years, which will be delivered in mini-series of three.
Abby Greensfelder and Sean Gallagher of Discovery Channel brokered the deal, which originated from a proposal by John Farren, Editor, Timewatch and Laurence Rees, Creative Director, BBC Specialist Factual.
The first of the new mini-series, entitled The Plot to Kill…, premieres on Discovery Channel in January 2005. The first episode investigates The Plot to Kill Rasputin.
"Timewatch is all about story-telling," says John Farren. "Discovery is phenomenally successful at working out what their audiences expect from a story, or from a series. Working with them has influenced the way in which we are approaching history programming and we look forward to working on new projects with them."
Timewatch is a world-renowned brand, with a 20-year pedigree of excellence. The agreement with Discovery reflects a continued shift in the strand’s emphasis towards more adventure and quest-related topics, and narrative driven by historical detective stories.
Timewatch has recently increased its share of the UK domestic audience, attracting some of its highest ratings and major critical acclaim.
Overseas licensing agreements for Timewatch have also gone from strength to strength, with titles such as The Mystery of the Missing Ace, Britain's X-Files and Britain's Greatest Hoax.