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Acorn TV and RTÉ, Ireland’s national public media organization, have partnered to commission Irish period mystery Dead Still.

Dead Still
Dead Still: (L-R) Kerr Logan as Conall Molloy, Michael Smiley as Brock Blennerhasset, and Eileen O’Higgins as Nancy Vickers — Photo by Bernard Walsh, courtesy of Acorn TV

Set in 1880s Ireland, during the Victorian era heyday of “postmortem photography,” Dead Still follows a renowned memorial photographer as he investigates the murders of his recently deceased subjects.

The six-episode period drama blends mystery and drama with gallows humour, and features an ensemble of acclaimed international actors including Michael Smiley (Luther, Death and Nightingales), Kerr Logan (C.B Strike, Alias Grace), Eileen O’Higgins (Brooklyn, Mary Queen of Scots), and Aidan O’Hare (Dublin Murders, Moone Boy).

Costarring in the series are Jimmy Smallhorne (Taken Down, Clean Break), Mark Rendall (Departure, Versailles), Peter Campion (Derry Girls, Kat and Alfie: Redwater), and Martin Donovan (Big Little Lies, Fahrenheit 451).

Dublin, 1880. As Brock Blennerhasset (Smiley) expands his memorial photography business with the help of his would-be actress niece Nancy Vickers (O’Higgins) and assistant Conall Molloy (Logan), someone with more sinister designs is getting in on the death photography game. A serial killer is cashing in on the sordid, developing taste for “snuff” imagery — pictures of people in their death throes.

The murders escalate, and Detective Frederick Regan (O’Hare) of the Dublin Metropolitan Police suspects that Ireland may have its first serial murderer at large. As Blennerhasset becomes a possible suspect and his family is put in harm’s way, they must track down the serial killer before he strikes again.

Dead Still is filming on location in and around Dublin through June 2019, and will premiere in 2020 on RTÉ in Ireland and on Acorn TV in the United States as an Acorn TV Original.

The drama is written by John Morton and directed by Imogen Murphy (Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope, Red Rock) and Craig David Wallace (Slasher, Murdoch Mysteries). It is executive produced by Paul Donovan, Ailish McElmeel, Christina Jennings, and Scott Garvie, and produced by Suzanne McAuley.

The series is a co-production of Dublin-based Deadpan Pictures and Toronto-based Shaftesbury, in association with RTÉ, Acorn TV with Acorn Media Enterprises, ZDF Enterprises, and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, and with the participation of the Irish Tax Credit, Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, and the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit. Dead Still was developed with the support of Screen Ireland and Creative Europe.

Acorn Media Enterprises has secured all rights in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and United Kingdom; co-premiere rights in Canada; and secondary rights in Ireland. ZDF Enterprises will distribute the series in the rest of the world.

Stay tuned for updates.


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Dead Still: Acorn TV & RTÉ Commission New Irish Period Mystery Series
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