ITV Studios Global Entertainment has signed an agreement with Huanxi Media Group Limited for the exclusive broadcasting rights in mainland China for the biggest drama of 2018, the critically acclaimed thriller Bodyguard.
Huanxi Media has secured the exclusive rights for the mainland China market for its streaming service platform, huanxi.com, which provides its viewers with both films and scripted television drama produced domestically and from abroad.
Bodyguard was created and written by Jed Mercurio (Line of Duty), produced by World Productions, an ITV Studios company, and stars Richard Madden (Game of Thrones; Cinderella) and Keeley Hawes (Line of Duty; The Durrells; The Missing).
Ruth Berry, Managing Director, ITV Studios Global Entertainment, said: “We are delighted that viewers in China will be able to enjoy Bodyguard. It is a show that epitomises the strength and international appeal of our world class, award-winning scripted content, and this deal means it will now be available across the world in 2019.”
The final episode of Bodyguard was watched by an audience of over 17 million people on BBC One in the UK, making it the most watched episode of any drama series since records began in the territory in 2002, and the largest audience recorded for a TV programme outside of sporting and national events since 2010, while Madden also won the Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series (Drama) at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards.
It tells the fictional story of David Budd (Madden), a heroic but volatile war veteran now working as a Specialist Protection Officer for the Royalty and Specialist Branch (RasP) of London’s Metropolitan Police Service. When he is assigned to protect the ambitious and powerful Home Secretary Julia Montague (Hawes), Budd finds himself torn between his duty and his beliefs. The series was executive produced by Jed Mercurio (Line of Duty, Bodies), Simon Heath (Line of Duty, Save Me, The Great Train Robbery) for World Productions and Elizabeth Kilgarriff for BBC, directed by Thomas Vincent (Block one) and John Strickland (Block two), and produced by Priscilla Parish.
Through a deal with ITV Studios Global Entertainment, Netflix holds the international rights to the series outside of China.
The deal with Huanxi Media was brokered on behalf of ITV Studios Global Entertainment by Hyeonza Hong, Senior Vice President Sales, Asia.