Ricky Gervais’s series Derek will be bypassing broadcasters in the States – to go straight to video-on-demand service Netflix.
The series will air on Channel 4 in the UK from early next year, after the broadcaster picked up a series on the strength of a pilot.
But in the United States, Canada, Latin America and Scandinavia it will be available exclusively to Neflix subscribers.
Gervais said: ‘Netflix is the future. TV habits have already changed drastically over the last ten years and this is the next phase. People want their favourite shows on demand whether they are home-grown or not.
‘As an artist you want the fruits of your labour to be seen by the largest number of people possible without having to compromise the product.
‘This deal gave me the freedom and the huge potential viewers of the internet but the production values of film and TV. They also made me an offer I couldn't refuse. Come on, an artist gotta eat man.’
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos added: ‘We are thrilled to be working again with Ricky. We were the first online subscription service to licence The Office several years ago and this brings us full circle.’
The pilot episode of Derek ran into some criticism for apparently mocking the mentally challenged, although Gervais always denied his character had any such affliction. It also stars Karl Pilkington in his first acting role, plus comics David Earl and Kerry Godliman.
Movie and TV-on-demand service Netflix has 27million members across the world signed up for its streaming content.