Thursday, 18 March 2010

WDYTYA USA to be shown on Watch & BBC

Crikey, you think you get the news then along comes someone to rain on your parade...!

Following a conversation with a Wall to Wall spokesperson a fortnight ago I announced that Who Do You Think You Are USA would be shown on the BBC prior to the next British run of the series - in fact, it looks like UKTV has in fact secured the rights for its Watch channel. A press release from the channel includes the following:

Paul Moreton, the Watch channel head, said: "I’m incredibly delighted that we’ve secured the U.S. version of Who Do You Think You Are? Getting such an invaluable insight into the lives of some of Hollywood’s biggest stars means this is real must-see family telly, perfect for Watch."

So there...! The full release is on Dick Eastman's site at

Going off now to shoot myself*...

(*No, not really...)

PS: I should add that I have now seen the first episode - it is very funny stylistically, it has that OTT style we come to know and love from American adaptations of British shows. When I suggested the Gordon Ramsay USA style I hate to admit it, but I was not a million miles off the mark...! Not a comment on the factual content, just the style e.g. lines such as "Seven of the world's best loved celebrities", when I've personally only heard of three of them. Can you imagine the Bill Oddie programme - "The world's most famous ornithologist..." etc!! Love it!

UPDATE - I was RIGHT first time! The press release from UKTV talked about acquisition of "exclusive U.K. multichannel and non-linear broadcast rights for the show", but my ex-TV radar kicked in as there was no mention of "UK terrestrial rights". I have therefore contacted UKTV and have been told the following by its press office: "It will run on the BBC first and then Watch. Hope that helps."

So it is official - the BBC is showing it first, and then the multichannel re-runs will be exclusive to Watch.

I need a drink! :)

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Richy said...

I know what you mean about the over-the-top presentation, but the list of celebrities is fairly high-profile, assuming a working knowledge of US TV and Hollywood movies of the last 10-15 years.

With the exception of Emmitt Smith, although you might be surprised how many will have heard of him, given he's an NFL great and Dancing with the Stars contestant.

How many UK-based NFL fans are likely to tune into this show is open to debate I guess though... (I will be!)

Anonymous said...

I think that the series will be shown on BBC as you mentioned earlier. I did a google on UKTV and found a news realease which states that it is a joint deal between the BBC and UKTV.

Anonymous said...

I was confused when I read this announcement on EOGN, having thought that the BBC were going to be showing the US series.
It makes me wonder whether they are talking about two different versions, the unedited US version and the anglicised version?

Chris Paton said...

You may be right about two deals - the UKTV release does say "UKTV now holds the exclusive U.K. multichannel and non-linear broadcast rights for the show, which will premiere on Watch later this year" - i.e. multichannel and non-linear broadcast rights. Does hat include terrestrial rights? But it does also say "premiere"... hmmm!

Sadly, there's no point asking the BBC - they are fairly useless and ten not to confirm anything until two weeks prior to tx.


Chris Paton said...

OK folks - check out the update! I have it straight from the horse's mouth (from UKTV) - the BBC WILL be showing it first, prior to digital repeats on Watch.


KathyJN said...

I think I'll wait for it to air on BBC, once it's been cleaned of its typical US over-the-top style and has no advertisements. I am in the US and got used to the UK version (thanks to a proxy server). Watching our US version makes me cringe.

Catherine said...

Are we able to see the UK version of WDYTWA in the US?
Thank you.