The Slap sells in Europe, Asia and Portugal
The rights to Matchbox Pictues' miniseries The Slap have been acquired by the Sundance Channel.
The channel, which is owned by AMC Networks in the U.S, will show the eight-part series in Eastern Europe, Spain, Portgual, Greece, Turkey and Asia.
The sale was made by international distributor DCD Rights at MIPCOM last week, with the agreement between Sundance and DCD stating that the show must be shown in the specified territories within a period of three years.
Based on the controversial novel by Christos Tsiolkas, The Slap follows the repercussions of a man slapping another parent's child at a suburban barbecue in Melbourne. It stars Melissa George, Alex Dimitriades and Sophie Okonedo.
The first episode aired last Thursday on the ABC. With 946,000 viewers, it ranked as the fifth most watched program across the free-to-air networks. The ABC has confirmed that delayed screenings and regional viewings have brought that figure up the 1.3 million.
The BBC acquired the UK rights to the series in August, and will air the show from October 27 – just three weeks after its Australian premiere.
Producer Helen Bowden met with the British broadcaster recently and told IF she was surprised at the anticipation surrounding the series.
"It became clear how excited they are, which is very," she says. "By the end of the year, the book will have sold a half a million copies in the UK. For a relatively unknown Australian writer, that's really huge."
DCD Rights also handled new Matchbox Pictures series The Straits at MIPCOM. The ten-part crime drama, which follows the fortunes of a family of smugglers in the Torres Strait Islands, wrapped shooting last month. According to Bowden, deals with buyers will be finalised within the next two to three weeks.