MUMBAI: FremantleMedia International and the world’s second largest public broadcaster, ARD in Germany, have completed a ground-breaking distribution deal for the first two series of the hit comedy, Cuckoo. The deal marks the first time in more than a decade that an acquired series has made it into ARD’s access prime time schedule, which before now has entirely focused on local productions. ARD look to premiere the series this Autumn 2014.
The latest sale for Cuckoo follows on from a deal completed with HBO Central Europe that sees the series go to 16 territories within the region. The sitcom can now be seen in over 70 territories worldwide including Australia (Foxtel), New Zealand (BBC), Russia (Amedia and 2x2) and Africa (MTV).
Produced by Roughcut TV for BBC3, the first series of Cuckoo (6 x 30’) pits Hollywood stalwart Andy Samberg against British comedy giant Greg Davies. Ken (Greg Davies) and Lorna Thompson's (Helen Baxendale) daughter Rachel (Tamla Kari) has returned from her gap year with a new husband, Cuckoo – a self-appointed spiritual ninja and every parent’s worst nightmare. Ken and Lorna have no choice but to welcome him into their family home. The first series of the critically acclaimed Cuckoo was the biggest comedy launch in the UK’s BBC3’s history and was also nominated for two British Comedy Awards.
Series two begins as Cuckoo and Rachel renew their wedding vows and Cuckoo has left the family home to continue researching his book. While on walkabout in the foothills of the Himalayas, he went missing... eventually presumed dead. It has been two years since his disappearance and life in the Thompson family house is only just getting back to normal. Rachel is rebuilding her life with her new boyfriend, a nice-but-dull lawyer, Ben. Despite appearances, Cuckoo’s absence is still felt.
This fragile equilibrium is well and truly shattered when a handsome and mysterious young stranger (Taylor Lautner) appears in Lichfield as he tries to track down his father. The new cuckoo in the nest looks set to wreak as much havoc to the Thompsons family life as his dearly departed father.
Maximilian Bolenius, Vice President Sales & Distribution, German speaking Europe, Central & Eastern Europe, FremantleMedia International said: “For a broadcaster of ARD’s calibre to take Cuckoo as one of their very few foreign acquisitions in a long time, speaks volumes for the universal appeal of this stand out series. Cuckoo truly attracts viewers across all generations unlike many other new comedies from recent years. The addition of Hollywood A-lister Taylor Lautner for series two only enhances the series’ global potential.”
Cuckoo is executive produced by Ash Atalla (The IT Crowd, The Office andTrollied), series two is set to premiere on the UK’s BBC3. Visit FremantleMedia at MIPTV 2014 at Stand No. C11.A1 (Croisette 11, Aisle 1), 7 - 10 April.