Lovefilm has secured the rights to stream the hit historical drama Vikings in the UK.
The series created by Michael Hirst (Elizabeth, The Tudors) follows the legendary Viking hero Ragnar Lodbrok on his various romps around ancient Britain and France.
Starring Gabriel Byrne (The Usual Suspects, In Treatment), Katheryn Winnick (Bones) and Travis Fimmel (The Beast), the historical drama has appeared on the History Channel in the US and Canada. Vikings has been compared to Game of Thrones and Spartacus and it’s recently been renewed for a second season.
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The entire first season will premiere in the UK exclusively on Lovefilm Instant on May 24.
Chris Bird, director of film strategy at Lovefilm, says: “As the first time a TV series has arrived on Lovefilm Instant before airing on traditional broadcasting platforms, this is an incredibly exciting landmark in our history. We are serious about securing the best film and TV entertainment for our members and this demonstrates how content creators view Lovefilm as an effective broadcasting medium for their high-quality and premium entertainment.”
Chris Ottinger president international TV distribution and acquisitions, added: “MGM Television is thrilled to bring the epic No. 1 new cable series in the US, Vikings, to Amazon’s Lovefilm members for their first-ever, exclusive streaming experience in the United Kingdom.”
The idea of an American company importing a drama about Viking invasions of the British Isles will no doubt amuse students of history. Exploits of the real-life Ragnar Lodbrok are the subject of some debate, so there’s plenty of creative licence to be had with the script direction. According to legends, Ragnar was married to Lagertha (portrayed by Winnick), laid seige to Paris and caused the Great Heathen Army, a coalition of Viking clans, to invade England.
While Netflix has been busy scoring exclusive wins with the likes of House of Cards, Hemlock Grove and Arrested Development, this marks the first exclusive show for Lovefilm in the UK.
Lovefilm Instant is available on PC, Mac, iOS, Android (Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD only), Wii and Wii U, PS3 and Xbox 360.