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DirecTV Orders Original Programming

14 May, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Satellite TV operator follows programming footsteps of Netflix and Hulu Plus

Taking a page out of a playbook used by pay-TV channels and subscription video-on-demand services to lure and retain subscribers, DirecTV has ordered 10 episodes of original drama “Rogue,” starring Thandie Newton (Mission Impossible 2, Crash).

“Rogue” marks DirecTV’s first foray into original drama series production for its subscribers. Production is slated to begin in August, and the series will premiere during the summer of 2013 on the El Segundo, Calif.-based satellite TV operator’s partnership with Audience Network.

The series — produced by independent studio Entertainment One Television (eOne) and Greenroom Entertainment — revolves around a morally and emotionally conflicted cop, Grace (Newton), who is tormented by the possibility that her own actions contributed to her son's death.

“Rogue” will air on Astral's The Movie Network (Eastern Canada) and Corus Entertainment’s Movie Central (Western Canada). eOne will handle worldwide rights to the series in all media, including physical.

Netflix this year launched its first original series, “Lilyhammer,” a dark comedy starring Steven Van Zandt. The SVOD leader also commissioned female comedy “Orange Is the New Black,” from Lionsgate, and British political serial “House of Cards,” starring Kevin Spacey and directed by David Fincher. It also is rebooting former Fox series “Arrested Development,” featuring the original cast.

Hulu Plus in February bowed original series “Battleground,” about fictional political campaigns waged in the battleground state of Wisconsin. This summer it launches docu-series “Up to Speed,” director Richard Linklater’s (Dazed and Confused, School of Rock, Waking Life and Oscar-nominated Before Sunset) first go at episodic programming.

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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