#FIRSTLOOK: BRITBOX ANNOUNCE UPCOMING PROGRAMMING SLATE AT TCA WEEK 2022
Britbox announced their upcoming programming slate during TCA Week! Here’s an overview what to expect on the streaming service including original programs and favourites like Sherwood.
Hailed by critics as one of TV’s greatest dramas of recent years, this drama centers on the tense and heart-wrenching investigation of two shocking killings that took place in award-winning playwright and dramatist James Graham’s own hometown of a Nottinghamshire mining village. The story first debuted to over six million viewers on BBC One and is recommissioned as six 60 minute installments to tell new stories from the communities of the ‘red wall’ towns, the controversial deployment of so-called ‘spycops’ and how seismic ripples from the past can come back to haunt the present. Premiering on October 4, 2022.
This crime drama series is based on Val McDermid’s first Karen Pirie novel, “The Distant Echo” which finds DS Karen Pirie ( Lauren Lyle, Outlander ) reopening an unsolved murder of teenager Rosie Duff (Anna Russell-Martin, Casualty) in 1996 and the three drunken college students — Sigmund ‘Ziggy’ Malkiewicz (Jhon Lumsden, Pancake) Tom ‘Weird’ Mackie (Jack Hesketh, Besa) and Alex Gilbey (Buom Tihngang, Death In Paradise) — who claimed to have found her body at the scene of the crime. Due to a lack of forensic evidence, no charges were brought and the investigation floundered. Can DS Karen Pirie finally uncover the truth and bring peace to Rosie’s family after all these years? Karen Pirie is commissioned in the UK by ITV and produced by World Productions, part of ITV Studios.
Premiering in October 2022.
A three-part True Con Drama covering the extraordinary story of disgraced Labour Minister John Stonehouse (BAFTA-Winner and Emmy-nominated Matthew Macfadyen, Succession,Quiz) — a charismatic, high-flying politician who vanished from a Florida beach in 1974, leaving behind a neatly folded pile of clothes as well as his wife (Keeley Hawes, The Midwich Cuckoos, It’s A Sin) and their three children.
A shocked public and media presumed he had drowned or been eaten by sharks but in reality he had faked his own death to cover up the secret life he had been living, which included an affair with his secretary (Emer Heatley, Show Trial). Also starring Kevin McNally (Pirates of The Caribbean) as prime minister Harold Wilson. Written by acclaimed author John Preston (The Dig, A Very English Scandal), directed by BAFTA-nominated Jon S. Baird (Stan & Ollie,Vinyl) and produced by Ruth Kenley-Letts (The Midwich Cuckoos, CB Strike) and Ellie Wood (The Dig, Decline & Fall). Stonehouse is commissioned in the UK by ITV and co-produced by BritBox International.
Premiere to be announced.
BritBox Originals Coming in 2022
The Thief, His Wife, and the Canoe
This true-con story ofprison officer John Darwin (Eddie Marsan), whose crushing debts led to a scheme where he pretended to drown in a canoe accident so his wife Anne Darwin (Monica Dolan) could make fraudulent claims on their insurance. While the police investigate his disappearance and their own sons grieve the loss of their father, Darwin lives right next door to his wife, regularly visiting her through an interconnecting passage. Eventually he assumes a fake identity and leaves the country to invest in money making schemes. But when that grows tired he returns to England and fakes amnesia at the police station. The secret is revealed, however, when a photo of the couple taken at a real estate office is unearthed, a trial follows and Anne pleads not guilty.
Was she to blame for her part in her husband’s absurd scheme? The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe is commissioned by ITV in the UK. Premiere: August 23, 2022
When veteran detective Danny Naylor (James Nesbitt) turns up at a hospital mortuary for a routine ID check, he’s devastated to discover the corpse of his estranged daughter Christina. Danny refuses to accept the coroner’s report that points to suicide, and sets out on a dangerous, agonizing mission to uncover the events that led to her death. Each episode sees Danny conduct a separate cross-examination with a different suspect or witness, keeping viewers in suspense as they engage with the investigation in real-time.Through each of these vigorous exchanges between Danny and those closest to Christina – her partner, her best friend, her business partner, her godfather, her mentor and her mother, Danny pieces together Christina’s relentless descent into criminality. At the same time, he’s forced to come to terms with his own failings as a father and the part he himself may have played in her downfall. Produced by Eagle Eye and premiered on Channel 4 in the UK.
Premiere: September 27, 2022
This almost-true crime caper inspired by the Brink’s-Mat robbery at the Heathrow International Trading Estate in 1983, is a hilariously, bumbling string of stupidity and bad judgment that somehow rewarded 6 small-time crooks with millions of dollars worth of gold. Unfortunately, the untimely deaths of many allegedly involved in laundering the gold have led to rumors that there is a curse attached. Produced by Shiny Button Productions for Channel 4 and acquired from Banijay Rights.
Premiere: November 22, 2022.
*More Originals to be announced.
BritBox Commissions and Co-Productions
Everyone knows Cary Grant (Jason Isaacs), but how many know his harsh start as Archibald Alexander Leach whose troubled childhood begins in Bristol, England where he lived in poverty, suffered the loss of his brother, was abandoned by his abusive father and left with his emotionally unavailable mother. This unfortunate series of events drove Archie to join a troupe of performers headed to America where his name and destiny were forever changed.
Archie is written by award winning screenwriter Jeff Pope and will be produced by ITV Studios, with BritBox International as co-production partners, and with the blessing of Cary Grant’s daughter, Jennifer Grant, and ex-wife Dyan Cannon. Archie is commissioned by ITV in the UK.
Three Little Birds
A moving, funny, heartfelt and ultimately triumphant celebration of immigration, community and the strength of Black womanhood. Inspired by the stories of Sir Lenny Henry’s mother, Winifred, the six-part drama follows fiery sisters Leah and Chantrelle and their God-fearing acquaintance, Hosanna, as they leave Jamaica for Britain to build a new life. When the reality of British life in London’s Notting Hill brings them down with a bump, they make a beeline for the Midlands. The road ahead is fraught with obstacles and shocking reveals about what they left behind in Jamaica but their resilience and unstoppable nature leads them to beautiful possibilities. The series was commissioned by ITV and is co-produced by BritBox International. Tiger Aspect Productions will produce the six-part drama in association with Sir Lenny Henry’s production company, Douglas Road Productions. Both companies are part of the Banijay UK group.
In the small Northern village of Chadder Vale, a tight community is sent spinning on its axis following a series of strange and unnatural crimes. Local girl, Katie Wells is mysteriously abducted. Her car is found abandoned and there are traces of blood on the seats. But the village barely has time to register Katie’s disappearance before she reappears the next day, safe and sound. While the villagers are relieved that all’s well that ends well, Former Met Police Detective Riya Ajunwa, an outsider and a kind of passenger on this crazy ride, knows that none of this sits right. As a series of strange happenings and increasingly horrific crimes unfold, the residents spread short-sighted theories and blame outside influences including Riya. Produced by the award-winning SISTER (This Is Going To Hurt, Chernobyl, Landscapers) for ITVX, ITV and BritBox International. Passenger is commissioned by ITV for airing on ITVX in the UK.
The Cleaner Season Two
It’s the cops’ job to clean up the city, but it’s state-certified cleaning technician, Paul ‘Wicky’ Wickstead, who cleans up the crime scenes in this truly arresting comedy written and starring BAFTA-winner Greg Davies. In each episode, Wicky encounters many big personalities, all in the wrong place at the wrong time. And as his luck will have it, there’s also a pub in desperate need of mopping up. Series 2 is written by Greg Davies and one other co-writer per episode made up of a combination of established and emerging comedy talents – Paul Allen, Ronan Blaney, Barry Castagnola, Meg Salter and Mike Wozniak. The Cleaner is a SHUK production for BBC One written by and starring Greg Davies based on ‘Der Tatortreiniger’ created by Mizzi Meyer. BBC Commissioner is Ben Caudell. The Exec Producer is Vivien Muller-Rommel and the Producer is Sam Ward.
Crime Season Two
Troubled detective Ray Lennox (Dougray Scott) returns to Edinburgh’s Serious Crimes team, after decompressing from his last investigation only to be thrown into an urgent investigation sparked by the death of a high-ranking member of the establishment. As more victims are added to the case, Lennox realizes these are anything but random and a serial killer is on the loose. The six-part drama was adapted from the best-selling novel by one of Scotland’s greatest living writers, Irvine Welsh. Scripted by the Trainspotting author alongside screenwriting partner Dean Cavanagh. Produced by Buccaneer Media and Off Grid Film and TV, and
scripted by Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh alongside long-standing screenwriting partner, Dean Cavanagh, the six-part drama will be a BritBox International and ITVX premiere. Crime season two is an ITV commission for ITVX in the UK.
Hope Street Season Two
This uplifting original crime drama, set in a small town in Northern Ireland, centers on English DC Leila Hussain (Amara Karan), the first Muslim officer in the town’s history and her partner, Inspector Finn O’Hare (Ciarán McMenamin). In each self-contained episode, the duo infuse themselves into the community’s daily life while investigating crimes with (and sometimes without) the local police. Commissioned by BritBox, along with BBC and BBC Northern Ireland.
The Responder Season Two
Written by an ex-police officer, The Responder holds a mirror up to the emotional extremes of life on the front line of British policing – sometimes darkly funny, sometimes painfully tragic, always challenging. Chris Carson (Martin Freeman), is a crisis-stricken, morally compromised, unconventional urgent response officer tackling a series of night shifts on the beat in Liverpool. Whilst trying to keep his head above water both personally and professionally, he is forced to take on a new rookie partner Rachel (Adelayo Adedayo). Both soon discover that survival in this high pressure, relentless, night-time world will depend on them either helping or destroying each other. The Responder is written by Tony Schumacher and produced by Dancing Ledge Productions, part of Fremantle, originally for BBC One.
Sister Boniface Season Two
Sister Boniface (actress and comedian Lorna Watson) is back with her Vespa and her multipurpose lab (wine or forensic testing, what’s your poison?) for a new season of this quirky, cozy mystery. Born from a character on Father Brown, the Agatha Christie-reading nun helps the police nab killers in the community of Great Slaughter, a little town with a predestined name and a huge body count. Commissioned by BritBox International and produced by BBC Studios Drama Productions.
Grace Season Three
Detective Superintendent Roy Grace (John Simm), haunted by the disappearance of his wife, is back for a third season where he races against time to solve a variety of criminal cases generally involving suspicious deaths or murders. The detective thriller series is an adaptation of the bestselling novel of the same name by international award-winning author Peter James. Episodes one and three will be written by Ben Court and Caroline Ip, with Ed Whitmore writing the second episode. The new season will roll out as three feature length films. Grace season three is commissioned by ITV and is co-produced by Tall Story Pictures, part of ITV Studios, and Vaudeville Productions.
Roy Grace isn’t a private investigator – he’s a Detective Superintendent as mentioned at the start. He also doesn’t just investigate missing persons but a variety of criminal cases generally involving suspicious deaths or murder. I’d also say the show is more of a detective thriller than mystery series.
The Bay Season Four
Now entering its fourth season, The Bay has been praised for its diversity both on screen — for its accurate and moving portrayal of the funeral of a young Muslim man — and off screen by casting Nadeem Islam, a young deaf newcomer, as Jamal Rahman. Set in Morecambe Bay in England’s Lancashire County, the series follows DS Jenn Townsend (Marsha Thomason from Cobra and White Collar) as she investigates missing persons along with her team including: D.I. Tony Manning (Daniel Ryan Innocent, Home Fires), D.S. Karen Hobson (Erin Shanagher, Peaky Blinders, Censor), D.C. Eddie Martin (Thomas Law, The World’s End, A Cinderella Story) and D.S. James Clarke (Andrew Dowbiggin, Cobra, Coronation Street). S4 promises to deliver the quick-paced twists and turns that have attracted the most discerning mystery fans. The Bay season four is commissioned by ITV and produced by Tall Story Pictures.
Shetland Season Seven
Based on the best-selling books by award-winning crime writer Ann Cleeves, Shetland follows Detective Jimmy Perez and his team as they investigate crime within the close-knit community of the Scottish Shetland Islands. Jimmy and his investigation team race against face-moving twists and turns to unravel the mysterious crimes that take place.
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