Exclusive: BBC Worldwide sells Sky1’s Sinbad to Australia’s Nine

Australian free-to-air network Nine has acquired big-budget UK drama Sinbad. The show, which is produced by Impossible Pictures and will air on BSkyB’s flagship entertainment channel Sky1, is distributed by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the UK public broadcaster.

The 13x45mins contemporary retelling of the classic adventure story is the latest drama deal between Nine and Worldwide. The Australian free-to-air nets typically rely on local and US scripted fare, but  Nine enjoyed success with Worldwide-distributed Sherlock and is increasingly open to UK-originated drama.

Sherlock was a big brand and the audience knew what it was getting – there is the same familiarity with Sinbad,” Geraldine Easter, Nine’s director of programming and acquisitions, UK and Europe told TBIvision. “We’re always looking for something that will create a spike in the ratings and stand out and we can make a noise about.”

Sinbad will air in Australia in 2012. The show is written by Ashes to Ashes’ Jack Lothian and Skins‘ Neil Biswas and produced by Impossible Pictures.

Worldwide has sold a raft of content to Nine in recent times. Its flagship motoring magazine series Top Gear transferred from SBS to the free-to-air broadcaster, which has also pre-bought the US version of the series and also has the local Australian version.