Killing Eve is a highly successful British TV drama — one based on a bestselling book series — that saw its Season 2 premiere in the U.S. on April 7. The highly anticipated show, however, has no release date set for premiere in the United Kingdom, despite being produced by the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). Fans on social media are not taking this news lying down, and are making their anger felt.
Killing Eve is a show based on the bestselling book series Codename Villanelle, by author Luke Jennings. The story sees a pencil-pushing MI-5 officer (Sandra Oh) tracking down a charming and prolific psychopathic assassin (Jodie Comer). The cat-and-mouse game eventually ends up making both women obsessed with one another. The show did very well with critics, and was nominated for multiple awards, including the prestigious BAFTAs, per the BBC.
With Season 1 being a critical and commercial success, Season 2 of Killing Eve was a foregone conclusion. The new season recently premiered in the U.S., with many praising the beginning of the second season, according to IGN. However, despite its American premiere, the show currently has no premiere date set for the U.K., despite being a show produced by the BBC. Fans on social media are absolutely not having it.
Season 2 of Killing Eve premieres in the US tonight but there’s still no release date for it to be shown in the UK. Madness. People are going to torrent this like crazy. https://t.co/tkag5BH5X2
— Kieron Donoghue (@kierondonoghue) April 7, 2019
The reason behind Killing Eve Season 2 not premiering in the U.K. yet has to do with the show’s licensing and production, as is outlined in a comprehensive overview by The Guardian. Despite being a BBC show, the series is actually produced by BBC America, the BBC’s for-profit production arm — and is created in collaboration with AMC Networks, known for their hit shows like The Walking Dead. Due to this joint venture, BBC America holds the rights to premiere the show in the U.S. It’s reported in the same overview from The Guardian that the U.K. premiere will feature all of the Season 2 episodes at once — to be released on their streaming platform, iPlayer. So U.K. audiences may have to wait until the entire Season 2 run has completed in the U.S. before getting their chance to watch.
A BBC spokesperson further clarified the reason behind this decision, per The Guardian.
“BBC America is playing it out in weekly episodes. This means we have to wait until BBC America have premiered all of the weekly episodes – which as commissioning broadcaster they are entitled to do – before we can begin our transmission, otherwise, we would be premiering episodes before them. The decision to make it a box set was based around how we thought audiences would enjoy the programme. We are still experimenting with different release models and we know last time audiences really loved the fact we did this as a box set so they could binge.”
As already seen via multiple social media reactions, this approach to Killing Eve‘s second season may cause many fans in the U.K. to resort to piracy. This may hurt not only Killing Eve, but the industry at large.
Even though "Killing Eve" is a BBC series (not to mention, originally developed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge for Sky) UK viewers have to wait until May for access to the series. The reason why really sums up the new television landscape & challenges to public broadcasters: pic.twitter.com/0OlJlSH3A3
— Karis Hustad (@karishustad) April 8, 2019
Killing Eve Season 2 has premiered in the U.S. on April 7, with no release date yet for distribution in the U.K.