“Doc,” the Italian medical procedural that’s a local hit and and major export, is getting a theatrical outing in Italy prior to TV play thanks to a deal between production company Lux Vide and UCI Cinemas.
In what is being touted as a milestone, the first two episodes of the show’s third season are set to screen in UCI Cinemas across Italy as an event release on Dec. 18 and 19, ahead of the full season release of “Doc” Jan. 11 on state broadcaster RAI’s flagship RAI 1 channel.
“‘Doc’ is a show of many firsts. Our first foray into the medical genre, which drew a record-breaking 30% average audience share for RAI; our first U.S. remake deal; and now an unprecedented [for Lux Vide] limited theatrical release,” said Luca Bernabei, CEO of the Fremantle-owned Lux Vide, in a statement. He went on to praise the show for “it’s distinctive flair and strong concept.”
It Italy it is not uncommon for the first few episodes of a hit TV series to screen in movie theaters before the full show launches on the small screen. It’s been done before with RAI/HBO’s “My Brilliant Friend” and with Sky’s “Gomorrah.”
“Doc” follows a prominent physician named Andrea Fanti who, after a head injury caused by a gunshot, suffers permanent partial memory loss and must work his way back up the medical profession totem pole, a process during which he becomes a much more empathetic doctor than before being injured. In the third season, the protagonist, played by Luca Argentero (“Eat Pray Love”), gets his job back as head of the internal medicine unit at a top Milan hospital.
The “Doc” format, as previously reported, has been sold by Lux Vide to Sony Pictures Television for global distribution and as a ready-made series to a slew of territories including France, Spain, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands. SPT Studios is also developing a U.S. adaptation of the show.