Sky Atlantic celebrates first birthday

Sky Atlantic, the British and American drama channel, celebrated its first birthday this week, revealing that HBO's 'Game of Thrones' was the highest-rated show over the year.

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Sky Atlantic was conceived as an exclusive showcase for HBO dramas such as 'Boardwalk Empire', mixed with original UK content commissioned by Sky.

It launched in February last year with a multi-million pound marketing campaign, with Blackberry as its channel sponsor in a two-year deal and an exclusive launch promo shot with Oscar winner and Hollywood icon, Dustin Hoffman.

Sky declined to reveal the size of the channel's audience over the year.

The top five rating shows on Sky Atlantic since its launch are:

  1. Game of Thrones
  2. The Borgias
  3. Boardwalk Empire (series one)
  4. Blue Bloods (series two)
  5. Mildred Pierce

'Game of Thrones' and 'Boardwark Empire' are both Emmy Award winners, with the latter's first episode directed by Martin Scorsese.

The channel's first UK comedy, 'This is Jinsy', was nominated for a British Comedy Award.

Upcoming shows include the much trailed series 'Luck', starring Dustin Hoffman, along with the return of US hit 'Mad Men' for its fifth season on 27 March.

The latter is supported by a Sky-commissioned 60-minute documentary 'Ad Men' made by Ridley Scott Associates, looking at the British ad men who changed their industry in the 1960s.

Last June, Sky committed to increase its investment in original British content by £220m during the following three years.

By 2014, Sky expects to invest £600m a year in British programmes across its channels.