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Channel 5 and Acorn TV announced today the commission of a new six-part thriller, The Reluctant Madame Blanc (working title), created by and starring Sally Lindsay.

Sally Lindsay
Sally Lindsay — Photo by Sally Mais, courtesy of Acorn TV

The Reluctant Madame Blanc (wt) follows Jean White, a renowned and respected antiques dealer who runs a successful business in Cheshire with her husband, Rory. We meet Jean on a rainy morning in Manchester, when she is overcome with grief after learning that Rory has tragically died on his way home from their vintage treasure-trove stomping grounds in the South of France.

Then things take a darker turn for Jean. Not only is she grieving her dead husband, she discovers that all of their money has disappeared, their shop has been re-mortgaged to the hilt, and their assets have been pawned off. With the final thousands in their joint account ironically spent on Rory’s funeral, Jean’s life is set adrift — until her solicitor informs her of one thing her beloved Rory did not sell: their cottage in the French antiques hub of Saint Victoire.

So when Jean finds out that the lavish ring Rory was bringing back to her is nowhere to be found (on top of everything else), she realizes something is quite amiss and does the first thing she can think of: she goes to Saint Victoire to look for answers. But will she get them?

Sally Lindsay (Cold Call, Mount Pleasant), the creator and star of The Reluctant Madame Blanc (wt), co-wrote the six-episode series with Sue Vincent (Mount Pleasant, Shameless), who will also have an on-screen role. Full casting will be announced later this year.

A co-production of Clapperboard (Cold Call) and Saffron Cherry Productions, the series will be directed by Dermot Boyd (Mount Pleasant) and produced by Andy Morgan (Tin Star). The executive producers are Catherine Mackin for Acorn TV, Mike Benson for Clapperboard, and Caroline Roberts-Cherry for Saffron Cherry.

Said Sally Lindsay, series creator and lead writer and Creative Director of Saffron Cherry:

“I’ve always been fascinated by the worlds of antiques and Agatha Christie, so putting the two together and creating the world of St. Victoire with Sue has been an absolute joy. We are so excited to show the audience the stunning sunny locations and beautiful antiques cloaked in a veil of mystery and can’t wait for you to see what Jean unravels as she embarks on her new life in the sun.”

Added Mike Benson, Executive Producer for Clapperboard TV:

“When Sally told me about her idea for an antique-centric crime series on the Mediterranean I was sold instantly! Along with Sue, Sally has created a world packed with hilarious characters, intricate mysteries and a quaint, sun-kissed town in St. Victoire which I think viewers will want to escape to again and again.”

The Reluctant Madame Blanc (wt) will have its world premiere exclusively on SVOD streaming service Acorn TV in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain, and will be broadcast on Channel 5 in the United Kingdom, where Acorn TV UK will have the second window.

Today’s announcement follows the recent Channel 5-Acorn TV commission of Dalgliesh, starring Bertie Carvel, and is a continuation of both companies’ commitment to expand their scripted programming slates.

Stay tuned for updates.


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The Reluctant Madame Blanc (wt): Channel 5 & Acorn TV Commission New Sally Lindsay Drama