Workplace Comedy to Debut on E4 in 2024
Deal Joins Series’ Recent English-Speaking Territory Sales in Canada to CBC, Australia’s Foxtel and New Zealand to TVNZ
OCTOBER 23, 2023 (London/Los Angeles) - The U.K.’s Channel 4 has acquired the television rights to the hit single-camera comedy Animal Control from FOX Entertainment Global (FEG) for its linear entertainment platform E4, it was announced today by Channel 4 Head of Acquisitions Nick Lee and Tony Vassiliadis, Chief Operating Officer of FEG.
Produced by FOX Entertainment Studios and starring and executive produced by Emmy Award nominee Joel McHale, the series follows a group of local Animal Control workers whose lives are complicated by the fact that animals are simple, but humans are not. McHale stars as Frank, an opinionated, eccentric Animal Control officer and ex-cop who, after a failed attempt at exposing corruption in his police department, found himself incarcerating animals and becoming all the more cynical and curmudgeonly.
Animal Control’s cast also includes Vella Lovell (Mr. Mayor), Ravi Patel (Master of None), Grace Palmer (Shortland Street), Alvina August (The Boys), Kelli Ogmundson (Cavendish), Gerry Dee (Mr. D) and newcomer Michael Rowland.
“Animal Control’s fresh and unique take on the workplace comedy propelled it to become an instant hit for FOX in the U.S.,” said Vassiliadis. “Joel McHale’s brilliant portrayal of Frank, together with the entire cast’s unmistakable chemistry, have not gone unnoticed by buyers who appreciate cleverly written comedies with bold characters and relatable stories to a global audience. We are thrilled to have E4 serve as the U.K. home for Animal Control as we continue to close English-language territory sales for this strong show and look forward to introducing it to viewers in other markets throughout the world.”
The Channel 4 acquisition, the first scripted series licensing deal between Channel 4 and FEG, marks FEG’s most recent licensing deal for Animal Control in a major English-speaking territory. In Australia, the series premiered in May on Foxtel’s FOX8 and across its streaming service Binge. Animal Control is currently airing on CBC in Canada and streaming on CBC Gem. Additionally, Animal Control was recently acquired by TVNZ in New Zealand for linear and streaming.
Lee said, “We’re so pleased to have signed this deal, our first for a scripted title with FEG to make E4 the exclusive U.K. home for this fresh and clever comedy with a stellar cast. We’re confident our viewers will love it just as much as we do when it comes to E4 next year.”
FOX Entertainment’s first wholly owned live-action comedy and renewed for a second season, Animal Control’s premiere this year was FOX’s most-streamed series debut and most-streamed comedy telecast ever. Season One averaged 5.1 million multi-platform viewers, nearly tripling its Live + Same Day audience (up +297%).
Animal Control is produced by FOX Entertainment Studios and distributed by FOX Entertainment Global. It is executive produced by Bob Fisher (Wedding Crashers, Sirens, The Moodys), Rob Greenberg (Frasier, How I Met Your Mother, The Moodys), Dan Sterling (Long Shot, The Interview, Girls, The Office, King of the Hill), Tad Quill (Scrubs, The Moodys) and McHale.
About Channel 4
Channel 4 exists to create change through entertainment. Publicly owned yet commercially funded, Channel 4 generates significant and sustainable cultural, economic and social impact across the UK – at no cost to the taxpayer.
The broadcaster’s distinctive remit is set by Parliament, and it has a role to represent unheard voices, challenge with purpose and reinvent entertainment. For over 40 years, it has been a British success story, engaging generation after generation of young people.
Through a unique publisher-broadcaster model, Channel 4 commissions its content from the UK independent production sector. Working with around 300 creative companies every year, Channel 4 makes a major contribution to the local, regional and national economy, creating and supporting thousands of jobs and businesses across the country.
In 2020, Channel 4 launched its Future4 strategy to become a digital-first public service media company and to continue to deliver significant impact for UK audiences and investment into the UK creative economy.
Across its bases in London, Leeds, Manchester, Bristol and Glasgow, Channel 4 is turbocharging its efforts to find, nurture and develop talent across the UK. Through its training and development initiative 4Skills, Channel 4 is opening up opportunities in broadcasting, with a particular focus on disadvantaged young people, and addressing skills gaps across the Nations and Regions.
Channel 4 has the UK’s biggest free streaming service plus 11 television channels including: Channel 4, E4, E4 Extra, More4, Film4, 4Seven and The Box Plus Network. Through Film4 Productions, Channel 4 also invests in British filmmakers to huge critical acclaim, producing 37 Oscar wins and 88 BAFTA wins in its history.
About FOX Entertainment Global
FOX Entertainment Global is FOX Entertainment's centralized content sales division, providing the worldwide multi-platform marketplace with exclusive access to its diverse, rapidly expanding portfolio of owned original programming and co-production partnerships. A central component of FOX Entertainment’s long-term growth strategy is to fortify its world-class brand and owned distribution platforms spanning broadcast and streaming with this newly formed business unit responsible for distributing the company’s full portfolio of owned intellectual property, including the single-camera comedy Animal Control and animated comedies Krapopolis and Grimsburg, the unscripted series Next Level Chef and Snake Oil, documentaries from TMZ, an array of original movies, a slate of content from FOX’s ad-supported service Tubi and premium content acquired from outside producers.
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