In April 2018, FOX Network Group Europe and Africa (FNG E&A) launched a new big budget drama, DEEP STATE. This was no ordinary premiere, however. As DEEP STATE was FNG E&A’s first regional commissioned drama and notably, the first time the company had created its own premium drama series outside of the US.
FOX had a lot riding on the original newcomer, both in terms of investment (£1.5-£3m per episode to produce) and because the series success would act as a benchmark for future projects. Not only this, but being a screen-original meant the advantage of previous shows adapted from existing material (The Walking Dead, Legion, Wayward Pines) did not exist. Common advantages like pre-existing US awareness, or a prominent fan base waiting to be tapped into, did not lend itself to the series. Without this, DEEP STATE did not boast an audience predisposition to liking the show premise and faced a brand awareness of nil.
The challenge heightened because the target audience was largely unfamiliar with the political term “deep state”. This was potentially a major obstacle as it was the very name of the programme the team were trying to promote and central to its narrative.