The Handmaid’s Tale finds UK TV home on Channel 4
VOD News | On 16, May 2017
The Handmaid’s Tale will air on Channel 4 in the UK.
The broadcaster announced today that it has acquired the acclaimed series from MGM Television. Starring Elisabeth Moss and Joseph Fiennes and based on Margaret Atwood’s award-winning, best-selling novel, the show premiered as a Hulu original in the US, but has taken weeks to find a UK broadcaster, despite strong hype, high demand and much outrage from British fans eager to see the show. Now, Channel 4 has finally swooped in to snap up the programme.
The Handmaid’s Tale is the story of life in the dystopian Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was formerly part of the United States. Facing environmental disasters and a plunging birth rate, Gilead is ruled by a twisted fundamentalist regime that treats women as property of the state. As one of the few remaining fertile women, Offred (Moss) is a Handmaid in the Commander’s (Fiennes) household, one of the caste of women forced into sexual servitude as a last desperate attempt to repopulate a devastated world. In this terrifying society where one wrong word could end her life, Offred navigates between Commanders, their cruel Wives, domestic Marthas and her fellow Handmaids – where anyone could be a spy for Gilead – with one goal: to survive and find the daughter that was taken from her.
Jay Hunt, Channel 4’s Chief Creative Officer says: “The Handmaid’s Tale is a chilling and frighteningly topical exploration of a world where women are subjugated. I’m delighted that Channel 4 viewers will get to see this critically-acclaimed take on a classic novel.”
The 10-part series will air on Channel 4 at 9pm on Sunday nights, starting on 28th May.
The Handmaid’s Tale moves closer to UK TV as Hulu orders Season 2
7th May 2017
Hulu’s adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale is moving closer to UK TV, according to producers, as the show is renewed for a second season.
Based on the award-winning novel by Margaret Atwood, the series is one of the most anticipated shows of the year, with its dystopian take on the United States, a cast including Elisabeth Moss and hugely pertinent themes about women and control all catching audiences’ attentions. The fact that the show is not available in the UK yet has only added to its allure, joining The Leftovers Season 3 (arriving in July) in the list of high-profile programmes viewers want to catch without having to wait – and without fear of stumbling upon spoilers.
The Handmaid’s Tale follows the story of life in the dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was formerly part of the United States. The series is created, executive produced and written for television by Bruce Miller (The 100), with Atwood working as a consulting producer. The Handmaid’s Tale is produced by MGM Television and marks the first collaboration for an original series between Hulu and MGM.
In an online age where day-and-date broadcasts are becoming the norm to cater for global conversations – Twin Peaks later this month will follow Game of Thrones, American Gods and The Walking Dead in airing on UK TV within 24 hours of its US debut – the delay in The Handmaid’s Tale arrival on British shores is baffling to many, especially as a number of UK publications are watching and reviewing the series, despite it not being legally available in this country.
Hulu, meanwhile, has already ordered a second season, after a strong response in the US. The news was announced hot on the heels of Season 1’s premiere, which was watched by more Hulu viewers than any other series premiere – original or acquired – on the service.
“The response we’ve seen to The Handmaid’s Tale in just one week since its premiere has been absolutely incredible. It has been an honour to work with this talented team of cast and creators to develop a series that has struck such a chord with audiences across the country,” said Hulu’s SVP and Head of Content, Craig Erwich, at an event this week. “As we continue to expand our strong slate of original programming, The Handmaid’s Tale is exactly the type of gripping and thought-provoking storytelling we want to bring to viewers. We can’t wait to explore the world of Gilead and continue Margaret’s vision with another season on Hulu.”
When will The Handmaid’s Tale be shown on UK TV? We, and many other publications, have reached out to streaming services and broadcasters for any hint of an acquisition, but MGM has confirmed to RadioTimes that the series will be available for Brits in the near future. In the past, Hulu originals The Path and Casual have aired on Amazon Prime Video in the UK, while 11.22.63 was snapped up by FOX UK. With Amazon and Sky both claiming they will not be showing the series, the picture is not yet any clearer.
“We hope to make an announcement soon” about which UK broadcaster has secured the rights, the company told the RadioTimes. Atwood has also added on Twitter that she has been “told the date will be clarified soon”.
Stay tuned: we’ll bring you more news as soon as we can confirm it.
Trailer: Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale promises to be timely
9th January 2017
One of the most talked-about shows of spring 2017 is Hulu’s adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale.
Margaret Atwood’s novel was published several decades ago, but remains a familiar, timely and provocative text.
The series will tell the story of life in the dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was formerly the United States. Facing environmental disasters and a plunging birthrate, Gilead is ruled by a twisted fundamentalism in its militarized ‘return to traditional values’.
As one of the few remaining fertile women, Offred (Elisabeth Moss) is a Handmaid in the Commander’s household, one of the caste of women forced into sexual servitude as a last desperate attempt to repopulate the world. In this society, Offred must navigate between Commanders, their cruel Wives, domestic Marthas, and her fellow Handmaids – where anyone could be a spy for Gilead – all with one goal: to survive and find the daughter that was taken from her.
There is no UK broadcaster confirmed yet for the show, although as with 11.22.63 and The Path, it is only a matter of time until someone on British shores bites – partly because of how topical the material is, and partly because of how impressive the just-released first trailer for the programme looks.
“Every time someone reads it, it’s timely,” showrunner Bruce Miller told the press at the Television Critics Association press tour over the weekend.
Miller penned the adaptation during the primaries for the presidential election.
“I think none of us could ignore what was happening,” he commented.
“It’s like a Shakespeare play in that it remains timeless in its context,” agreed Joseph Fiennes, who plays the Commander who owns Offred, using her to produce the offspring that his wife cannot have.
Co-star Samira Wiley, who plays Offred’s friend, Moira, chimed in: “It’s our responsibility as artists to reflect the time we’re living in. This show is showing us the climate we’re living in. For me, personal issues are, specifically, women and their bodies and who has control of our bodies. Do we have control of that, or does someone else?”
The Handmaid’s Tale will debut 26th April on Hulu. Watch this space for more on its UK air date.