By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com August 12 2003 12:00 AM ET
Television networks in the United Kingdom and Scandinavia have picked up rights to cable channel Bravo's smash hit Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. The separate deals, announced Friday, cover the first-season order of 20 episodes as well as format rights to produce European versions of the makeover series. Bravo's NBC corporate sibling ran an abridged episode of the series in prime time and plans to screen a full hour Thursday.
U.K. programmer Flextech will air Queer Eye on its Living TV network, followed by a second run on another of its channels, FTN. Scandinavian programmer ViaSat will air Queer Eye on TV3 in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. Both programmers plan to air their own versions of the show as well.
Starting with a homegrown version of the series might better acclimate Scandinavian viewers to the Queer concept, which would be a more natural draw for Brits accustomed to gay-themed programming. "The U.K. audience is more familiar with that type of programming than any other market in the world," said Leslie Jones, director of international sales at NBC Enterprises, which arranged the deals.
NBC is continuing to shop Queer Eye around the globe, with Australia likely to be the next country to snap up both U.S. and local versions; other smaller territories have bought only the American version of the "make-better" show. More conservative regions such as certain markets in Asia are likely to steer clear of the concept.