Scorsese series launches 'upmarket' pay TV channel

Wednesday 05 January 2011 14:08

A new television channel aimed at "older and more upmarket" viewers will kick off with a 12-part series directed by Oscar winner Martin Scorsese.

Boardwalk Empire, set in prohibition-era America and starring Steve Buscemi and Scottish actress Kelly MacDonald, will debut in February on Sky Atlantic HD.

Director of programmes Stuart Murphy said he hoped the channel would appeal to people who had "never considered pay TV".

He said: "It was really clear to the strategists at Sky that we needed a channel that would appeal to older and more upmarket age groups."

The channel will be dominated by shows made in the United States including Blue Bloods, a cop show starring Tom Selleck, Treme, which is set in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, and Mad Men.

Sky poached the critically acclaimed show, set in the world of a New York advertising firm, from the BBC which showed the first four series.

Other big names including Kate Winslet in an adaptation of the film noir Mildred Pierce and Al Pacino in You Don't Know Jack - a biopic of assisted suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian.

Mr Murphy said: "Sky Atlantic HD will be such an incredible channel: seminal, world-class, epic TV all in one place. Unlike other broadcasters, Sky won't hide these series in the twilight hours - we feel incredibly proud of this content and feel privileged to air it in peak time, in high definition, exclusively for Sky customers."

The channel will also allow viewers access to complete series of hit American shows including Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Sopranos, The Wire and Six Feet Under.

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