Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Inc. (Nasdaq: CSSE), one of the largest operators of streaming advertising-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) networks, today announced an agreement with BBC Studios to license the exclusive rights to the mystery crime series Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange, The Power of the Dog) and Martin Freeman (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Office). The series will be available exclusively on the Crackle Plus streaming services starting April 1.
Sherlock is one of the most highly regarded series of all time. Produced by Hartswood Films and co-creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss for the BBC and Masterpiece, the show is a modernized adaption of the classic Sir Conan Doyle characters, who are now consulting detectives in 21st century London, solving various crimes and mysteries. Since its debut in 2010, the show has won several Primetime Emmys, BAFTAs, and a Peabody Award, and has been nominated for numerous other Emmys and a Golden Globe. At the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards, Cumberbatch won Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie, Freeman won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie, and Moffat won Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie, or a Dramatic Special.
In addition to Cumberbatch starring as Sherlock Holmes and Freeman as Doctor John Watson, the four-season, three-part show – which includes a one-off special episode – also stars Rupert Graves, Andrew Scott, Una Stubbs, Louise Brealey and Amanda Abbington.
“We continue to be committed to bringing the best possible content to our networks, and with our new technology and our increasing touchpoints there is no better time to offer Sherlock,” said William J. Rouhana Jr, chief executive officer of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment. “Our originals and exclusives continue to perform, with ad impressions on originals and exclusives reaching all-time highs.”
“Our audiences have come to expect top-shelf original and exclusive programming from Crackle, which attracts new viewers while also keeping loyal fans entertained. Given Benedict Cumberbatch’s ongoing success, the interest in Sherlock remains very high,” said Philippe Guelton, president of Crackle Plus. “We are happy that our streaming services are the only destination for viewers to have access to such an in-demand series for years to come.”
“We are absolutely thrilled that the inhabitants of 221b Baker Street have found a new U.S. home with our friends at the fabulous Crackle Plus,” said Dan Cheesbrough, Managing Director of Hartswood Films. “We can’t wait to watch the Crackle Plus team take the show back out to old and new fans alike, as it starts another exciting journey.”
“Sherlock is a quintessential British story beloved by fans, so it’s great news that Crackle Plus will be its new home in the U.S. BBC Studios is proud to have completed this deal so fans can relive the spellbinding adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson,” said Dina Vangelisti, EVP of Content Sales for BBC Studios.
The Sherlock series was acquired by Screen Media, the exclusive supplier of original content to the Crackle Plus streaming services, which include Crackle, Popcornflix, and Chicken Soup for the Soul. Recent titles from Screen Media that have premiered on Crackle include the Crackle Originals Vince Carter: Legacy, Playing with Power and Insomnia, as well as the exclusives The Mercy starring Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz, Tom Hardy-led Taboo, international thriller series The Platform and disaster film Skyfire, starring Jason Isaacs.
ABOUT CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL ENTERTAINMENT
Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Inc. (Nasdaq: CSSE) (the “Company”) operates streaming video-on-demand networks (VOD). The Company owns Crackle Plus, which owns and operates a variety of ad-supported and subscription-based VOD networks including Crackle, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Popcornflix, Popcornflix Kids, Truli, Pivotshare, Españolflix and FrightPix. The Company also acquires and distributes video content through its Screen Media subsidiary and produces original video content through the Chicken Soup for the Soul Television Group. Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment is a subsidiary of Chicken Soup for the Soul, LLC, which publishes the famous book series and produces super-premium pet food under the Chicken Soup for the Soul brand name.