UKTV to launch its new masterbrand, U, on July 16

The masterbrand will unite UKTV's family of free-to-air channels becoming U&Dave, U&DRAMA, U&YESTERDAY and U&W.

7 JUN 2024

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UKTV has announced that U, its new masterbrand, will launch on July 16, including a line-up of content of nearly 8,500 hours on its free streaming service, an uplift of almost 1,500 hours from the start of the year. The masterbrand will unite UKTV's family of free-to-air channels becoming U&Dave, U&DRAMA, U&YESTERDAY and U&W. Its free streaming service will transition from UKTV Play to U.

Penny Brough, Chief Marketing Officer, UKTV said: “The launch of U on 16th July is an important step for UKTV, defining our age of transformation. U will present our viewers with an extraordinary range of free quality content, allowing them to connect the dots between the streaming service and our family of TV channels.”

Andrea Amey, Chief Digital Officer, UKTV added: “U will be home to almost 8,500 hours of free content, comprising new programming, exclusive shows, award-winning originals and premiere acquisitions. We can't wait to give our viewers even more choice and a service that is easy to navigate, so they can enjoy our free and varied offering.”

In recent months, UKTV has also announced a host of new original titles that will launch from the end of this year and throughout early 2025 including a second series of Robert Thorogood's “The Marlow Murder Club” (6x60'), whcih will launch early next year on U and U&DRAMA; a re-imagining of “Bergerac” (6x60') which will air in 2025 on U and U&DRAMA; “Outrageous” (6x60'), which will premiere in 2025 in U and U&DRAMA; a third series of “World's Most Dangerous Roads” (6x60'); and a fourth series of “Emma Willis: Delivering Babies” (6x60') plus new true crime shows including “Back From The Dead: Who Kidnapped Me?” (3x60') and “Lies, Deceit & Betrayal” (6x60').

“Back from the Dead: Who Kidnapped Me?” follows the kidnapping of Delimar Vera, an extraordinary true story that shocked America two decades ago. For the first time, Delimar sits down to exclusively tell the world her truth. At just 10 days old, Delimar was originally reported dead in a tragic house fire, even though her body was not found. Six years later, her mother Luz Cuevas spotted a young girl at a birthday party who looked exactly like she had as a child - incredibly this was Delimar, six years old and perfectly healthy. Across three episodes, “Back from the Dead: Who Kidnapped Me?” will explore all the twists and turns that saw Delimar reunited with her mother and how the unanswered questions around her kidnapping, who helped her kidnapper, and her miraculous return have affected her family, her life and her future -in Delimar's own words. The series is produced by Wag Entertainment, part of Asacha Media Group, a Fremantle company. Fremantle is handling international distribution for the series.

“Lies, Deceit And Betrayal” tells the stories of the most audacious scams in recent history, scams that anyone could fall for. In each episode, viewers are introduced to a different devious criminal who went to great lengths to con their victims and ruin lives in the process. From romance fraudsters to health scammers, the stories are told through first-person testimony.

“Back from the Dead: Who Kidnapped Me?” and “Lies, Deceit And Betrayal” have been commissioned for UKTV by Kirsty Hanson, commissioning editor and Helen Nightingale, head of factual. They are ordered for U&W by Adam Collings, channel director and Hilary Rosen, director of commissioning. The series director of “Back from the Dead: Who Kidnapped Me?” is Susanna Herbert. The series producer of “Lies, Deceit And Betrayal” is Jared Wright. Eliya Arman and Steven Green are executive producers for Wag Entertainment.

Kirsty Hanson mentioned: “These true crime series are both fascinating and heartbreaking at every turn. With ‘Back from the Dead: Who Kidnapped Me?’ and ‘Lies, Deceit & Betrayal’, we will tell the victims' story from their perspective for the first time. We feel very grateful to them for trusting UKTV with their stories and to Wag Entertainment for telling them with such empathy.”

Adam Collings added: “We are incredibly honored to have ‘Back from the Dead: Who Kidnapped Me?’ and ‘Lies, Deceit And Betrayal’ join our growing slate of true crime. These are two very different series, both deeply compelling and which we think the U&W audience will be utterly intrigued by.”

Wag Entertainment's Steven Green stated: ”We're delighted to be working with U&W on these two exciting series, both of which feature shocks and surprises and real on-screen emotion.”

Last year, UKTV announced the launch of four FAST channels on Samsung TV Plus, Amazon Freevee and Pluto TV, which marked the broadcaster's debut in the FAST market. These channels also launched on Virgin earlier this year. As part of the new masterbrand, UKTV's FAST channels will be rebranded, with UKTV Play Heroes becoming U&Real Heroes; UKTV Play Laughs will move to U&Laughs; UKTV Play Full Throttle will transition to U&Transport; and UKTV Play Uncovered will be known as U&The Past.