United States-based fans of British TV now have another excuse to spend even more time staring at screens with the launch of BritBox.
The $7-a-month, ad-free service — the result of a partnership between the BBC and ITV — promises “the biggest streaming collection of British TV … ever” that includes a “rich catalog of classic, new, and exclusive” British-made content.
Just as with similar streaming services such as Netflix, subscribers to BritBox will be able to watch shows via iOS and Android mobile devices, Roku, AppleTV, and Chromecast, with more platforms on the way.
The new service will offer U.S. premieres of new United Kingdom dramas, including New Blood and In the Dark, as well as historical dramas Tutankhamun and The Moonstone. Season premieres include dramas such as Cold Feet and Silent Witness.
Comedy fans might want to kick off with the hit 1970s sitcom Fawlty Towers, written by and starring Monty Python’s John Cleese, or The Office — that’s the original version — created by Ricky Gervais. Other classic comedies include James Corden’s Gavin & Stacey, Absolutely Fabulous, Blackadder, and Red Dwarf.
Popular period dramas such as Brideshead Revisited, Pride and Prejudice, and Upstairs Downstairs also feature on the new service, while soap fans can keep up with their favorite characters’ shenanigans in London-based EastEnders, or, if you fancy a trip up north, Yorkshire-based Emmerdale. BritBox promises episodes from both shows will land on the service within 24 hours of their broadcast in the U.K.
BritBox said the service celebrates “the very best of British TV, and offer the most comprehensive video-on-demand collection of British content in the market today,” adding, “For decades, BBC and ITV have produced iconic British television series, and for the first time these shows will be combined in a single, curated service allowing fans to find the classic shows they love and discover new hit series.”
However, a number of popular BBC and ITV shows are missing from the listings, including, for example, Doctor Who, Top Gear, Sherlock, and Downton Abbey.
If you’re interested in taking BritBox for a spin, it’s currently offering a week’s free trial. Fans of British TV would do well to compare its content with streaming service Acorn TV, which, for a slightly more competitive $5 a month, also offers a range of Brit-made shows.