March 13, 2014

Ovation Acquires U.S. Premiere Broadcast Rights to Slate of Series and Films from BBC Worldwide North America

The Aristocrats, Unfinished Masterpieces, Sex and Sensibility: The Allure of Art Noveau,

A Very British Murder and Treasures of Ancient Egypt are Among the Titles Licensed for Ovation’s “Morning Canvas” Block

Santa Monica, CA – Ovation, America’s only arts network, has acquired U.S. premiere broadcast rights to several arts-focused series from BBC Worldwide North America Sales and Co-productions. The various series will air in Ovation’s new, daily programming block, “Morning Canvas.”  The announcement was made by Michelle Zajic, VP, Acquisitions and Co-Productions, Ovation.

The deal was brokered by Melissa Green for BBC Worldwide North America and Michelle Zajic for Ovation. Among the series and films Ovation has licensed for “Morning Canvas” are:

  • Sex and Sensibility: The Allure of Art Nouveau (3 X 50’) – In the 1890s, Art Nouveau was an explosion of sexual, scandalous and revolutionary ways of depicting the world that swept rapidly from country to country, influencing the fine arts, interior design, jewelry, furniture and lighting.  The Art Nouveau movement embraced both new materials and technological innovations while expounding on lines and curves based on real-life figures. Filmed in London, Glasgow, Paris, Brussels and Vienna, this series documents this hugely influential movement that rose rapidly to prominence and fell just as quickly due to the start of WWI.
  • A Very British Murder (3 X 50’) – Literature’s fascination with the grisly details of the dark and despicable crime of murder is at the heart of this fascinating documentary series. Historian Lucy Worsley explores how British murders from the early 19th century became a staple of an astonishing range of entertainments. She explains how killings inspired authors such as Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie, whose novels are still read the world over.
  • The Aristocrats (4 X 50’) – This fascinating four-part series follows some of the most famous society families in Britain and Europe – the Rothschilds, the Shaftesburys, the Marlboroughs of Blenheim and the March family of Goodwood – as they try to preserve their traditions and estates in the modern age.
  • Treasures of Ancient Egypt (3 X 50’) – In this epic, visually stunning adventure through Ancient Egypt, journalist and art critic Alastair Sooke tracks down the treasures of the longest-lasting civilization in history, and uncovers the true story of their rise and fall through the ages.
  • Unfinished Masterpieces (1 X 50’) – Alastair Sooke explores the mysterious appeal of unfinished works of art. From Dickens’ unfinished The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Jane Austen’s Sanditon to Coleridge’s Kubla Khan, he talks to those who have attempted to finish these literary enigmas and those who believe that any such task is impossible.

“For ‘Morning Canvas’ we wanted to build a destination for first-class arts and culture documentaries and films. With this slate, we are off to a great start,” said Zajic.  “We can always rely on our friends at BBC Worldwide to deliver high-quality content that Ovation viewers love.”

“Our vast programming catalogue allowed us to curate an eclectic programming package of factual series tailored to the Ovation audience,” commented Matt Forde, EVP Sales and Co-Productions, BBC Worldwide North America.

For more information, please visit