What BBC America’s Sarah Barnett Wants You To Know About ‘Orphan Black’

BBC America’s award winning sci-fi/drama Orphan Black launches its third season on Saturday (April 18) with the hopes of cloning the ratings and critical success the popular show generated during its sophomore campaign.

The series, starring TV Critics Choice Awards winner Tatiana Maslany who plays multiple roles as a human clone, is headed into its third season with ratings momentum. Season two of the series more than doubled its viewership among adults 25 to 54 and adults 18-49 compared to season one, according to Nielsen. Overall with Live +3 ratings, the series’ season two campaign averaged more than 1 million viewers for BBC America, which was purchased by AMC Networks earlier this year.

I chatted with BBC America president Sarah Barnett about the new season of Orphan Black, and here are a few things that Barnett wants you to know about the popular series’ new season.

It’s a great show with a strong message:  “Orphan Black has been a tremendous example of the kind of storytelling the audience at BBC America can really embrace. It’s incredibly fresh both in the underlying themes of the story and exploring a young woman asking questions about how to be in control in what feels like a hostile world and how to maintain control of her body. At the same time it’s about an impulsive, entertaining ride for audiences, so the show is a really nice example of the kind of storytelling I think fits so beautifully on the network.”

The show has found an audience on social media: [Fan-created] 'The Clone Club' was a movement that our social team spotted and nurtured as fans clubbed together and developed communities around the show and named their own communities. The job of our marketing and social teams was to respect and feed that appetite with behind the scenes content in the social space. It’s really impressive to have seen the way our social team has embraced the fans and followed as the fans lead the way in terms of their engagement with the show.

Saturday’s season three premiere will air on multiple networks:  “We’re super excited that all five AMC Networks (AMC, BBC America, IFC, SundanceTV and WE tv) will roadlock [the season three episode] of   Orphan Black. We could not ask for a better embrace from the parent company; It shows the affection and respect the company has for BBC America and Orphan Black.”

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.