‘Mr Bates Vs The Post Office’ Has Sold To A Dozen Territories, ITV Execs Reveal

Despite its “particularly British” nature, Mr Bates vs the Post Office has now sold to a dozen territories around the world, ITV bosses revealed this morning.

The show, which is the network’s biggest hit since Downton Abbey, has sold to PBS Masterpiece in the U.S., four BritBox Nordics territories, Benelux pubcaster NPO for Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, Australia’s Seven, New Zealand’s TVNZ, PCCW in Hong Kong and Virgin Media Ireland.

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Deadline understands one more sale will be announced imminently.

ITV Studis/Little Gem’s Mr Bates only launched in January and the deals are being celebrated by ITV and its distribution arm given its highly localized nature, CEO Carolyn McCall said today. During its first week of release, Head of Drama Polly Hill told Deadline shows like Mr Bates are becoming “increasingly” hard to fund in the current climate.

McCall said today: “British dramas like this that are ‘particularly British’ don’t often travel globally and from a studios perspective you want to take things around the world. Interestingly, this had such an impact on society that the public have risen up and the government is listening.”

Commissioning boss Kevin Lygo revealed “tens of thousands more people” per night are still catching the show for the first time on streamer ITVX, while production head Julian Bellamy said the show “speaks to the creative license we have across the studio and commissioning team.”

Mr Bates generated front page headlines for weeks after premiere about the hundreds of sub-postmasters falsely accused of fraud and theft, and has instituted real change regarding compensation to help those left out of pocket.

Rather than being hard to make, some of the UK’s top drama bosses recently told Deadline they are adapting their slates in part as a response to the success of Mr Bates. ITV has already commissioned its next state-of-the-nation scandal piece, a Peter Moffat-penned show on the contaminated blood scandal.

McCall was speaking at the publication of ITV’s full-year results, which showed profits to have tumbled by 32% but green shoots from the studios division.

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