If you're a Sky TV customer there's probably only one channel you'll want to watch next month: Sky Atlantic. The recently announced digital channel, which will home most of the HBO shows recently bought by BSkyB, has finally revealed its schedule--and it's going to make all other channels jealous.
As expected, Boardwalk Empire will be Sky Atlantic's main pull when it launches on February 1. The prohibition drama, written by Martin Scorsese and starring Steve Buscemi, attracted a record number of viewers during its HBO debut and has since been nominated for a Golden Globe. Its broadcast on Sky will be the show’s first in the UK.
The series will be joined by new US dramas Treme (a post-Hurricane Katrina show from the writer of The Wire) and Blue Bloods (a CBS police procedural starring Tom Selleck) later in the month. Meanwhile, re-runs of classic HBO shows including The Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Battlestar Galactica will also be broadcast.
Game of Thrones, the adaptation of the first instalment in the highly regarded fantasy saga A Song of Ice And Fire (which you can watch a trailer for here), is set to start in April--the same month that it launches in the US--while new comedy Bored to Death, which is currently midway through its second season in America, will premiere in March.
Sky Atlantic won't just be saturated with new shows, however: the seventh season of Entourage, dropped by ITV2, will be shown in the first week of Sky Atlantic's launch and new seasons of Weeds, In Treatment and Mad Men--which Sky recently nabbed from The BBC--are also scheduled for this year.
Despite the name, Sky Atlantic will air some home-grown shows too. David Attenbourough's documentary Flying Monsters (which seems like a strange fit for the channel) will be one of the first British productions to be broadcast. Other UK commissions include new comedy This is Jinsy, and new dram Hit and Miss by Shameless' creator Paul Abbott.
While the channel will be free for all Sky TV customers, though as will off of Sky's HD offerings you'll have to pay extra to get it in HD.
Here’s a rundown of the shows scheduled so far:
Bored to Death (Season 1)
The Borgias This is Jinsy
Are you excited by this news? Would it make you switch TV provider?