Acorn TV announced today its commission of Ellis, a gritty new British detective drama, as well as its slate of returning international series.
Commissioned by Acorn TV and Channel 5, Ellis is a new British detective drama starring Olivier Award winner Sharon D. Clarke (Showtrial, Lost Boys & Faries, Rocketman) and Andrew Gower (The Winter King, Carnival Row, Outlander). Consisting of three episodes, the series follows DCI Ellis (Clarke), a tenacious cop who is parachuted into failing investigations. Each two-hour episode sees Ellis, accompanied by her right-hand man, DS Harper (Gower), arrive at a different police station, where she will have to win over the local detectives and immerse herself in the cases she has come to solve. As a Black female cop, Ellis is used to being dismissed and overlooked, but she is a first-class murder detective, with a determination for justice and a deep well of compassion for those who need it.
A production of Company Pictures, in association with Northern Ireland Screen, Ellis was commissioned for Acorn TV by Catherine Mackin, Managing Director of Acorn Media Enterprises (AME), who executive produces alongside Bea Tammer, AME’s Director of Development. The series was ordered for Channel 5 by Sebastian Cardwell, Deputy Chief Content Officer, Paramount UK, and Paul Testar, Commissioning Editor, Drama, Channel 5 and Paramount+. Executive producers for Company Pictures are Michele Buck and Lucy Raffety, with producer Chris Martin and writers Paul Logue (Midsomer Murders) and Sian Ejiwunmi-Le Berre (Murder Is Easy). International distribution will be handled by All3 Media International.
Ellis is set to begin filming this spring in Northern Ireland and will air on Acorn TV and Channel 5 later this year. Stay tuned for updates.
In addition to Ellis, Acorn TV announced new seasons of the following international series, which will debut exclusively on Acorn TV in 2024.
Harry Wild: Season 3 (Ireland)
Previously announced, this hit mystery series, starring and executive produced by Jane Seymour (The Kominsky Method, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman), is returning for a third season. She reprises her roles as Harriet “Harry” Wild, a retired university literature professor who has found a new calling as a mystery-solving sleuth. Also returning are Rohan Nedd (Whitstable Pearl, Safe) as Harry’s protégé-turned-partner, Fergus; Kevin Ryan (The South Westerlies, Copper) as Harry’s son, Charlie, a senior police detective in the Dublin Garda; and Amy Huberman (Finding Joy, Striking Out) as Harry’s daughter-in-law, Orla; as well as Samantha Mumba (The Time Machine, Evolution) as Fergus’s mother, Paula Kenny, Paul Tylak (Obituary, Kin) as Glenn Talbot, and Rose O’Neill as Harry’s granddaughter, Lola.
Season 3 pick ups where Season 2 left off, with Fergus, guided by Harry, planning to contest Paula’s custody claim to Liberty (Rosa Willow Lee). But it is not plain sailing, and there are some surprises in store along the way. The agency, busy as ever, means Harry and Fergus have to find a way to balance work and life. This time out they’re hired to prove the lead singer of Ireland’s hottest boy band didn’t kill himself; find out who decapitated a woman in a busy restaurant and served her head on a platter; discover who murdered a despotic director on the set of Ireland’s leading daytime soap opera; and work out how a mystery writer managed to shoot himself in a locked panic room without a gun.
Created and written by David Logan (Hotel Babylon), along with writer Jo Spain (Sanditon), Season 3 is executive produced by Jane Seymour, Daniel March, Klaus Zimmermann, James Gibb, Morgan O’Sullivan, James Flynn, Catherine Mackin, and Bea Tammer. Robert Quinn and Emer Conroy serve as directors.
My Life Is Murder: Season 4 (Australia-New Zealand)
This popular mystery-crime drama series, which stars Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess, Spartacus) as private investigator Alexa Crowe, returns for a fourth season with eight new mysteries, eight new worlds, and eight diabolical killers that only Alexa can catch. Joining Alexa for the ride are her friends and family, including: tech guru Madison (Ebony Vagulans, The Heart Guy); cafe owner Reuben (Joe Naufahu, Game of Thrones); her brother, Will (Martin Henderson, Virgin River); and Detective Harry (Rawiri Jobe, The Brokenwood Mysteries).
Emboldened by the changes in her life, ready to revisit demons of the past, and excited to embrace her future, this year Alexa is even more of a force, determined to reveal the most carefully hidden secrets that crack the most bewildering cases.
The executive producers are Rachel Antony, Claire Tonkin, Lucy Lawless, Harriet Crampton, Nicky Davies Williams, and Pilar Perez for DCD Rights and Don Klees for Acorn TV.
Recipes for Love and Murder: Season 2 (South Africa-UK)
Award-winning actress Maria Doyle Kennedy (Outlander, Orphan Black) returns for another season of this mystery-crime drama series, playing recipe columnist-turned-advice columnist Tannie Maria, who gets sucked into a murder investigation with local rookie journalist Jessie September (Kylie Fisher, Fraksie) in Season 1. The second season will pick up where the first left off, with filming set to take place again in South Africa. The series is produced by Both Worlds Pictures’ founder Thierry Cassuto, in collaboration with Paris-based Paradoxa.
Under The Vines: Season 3 (New Zealand)
Rebecca Gibney (Wanted, Packed to the Rafters) and Charles Edwards (The Crown, The Terror) will be back for another season of this comedy series, playing city slickers Daisy Monroe and Louis Oakley, who, in Season 1, inherited a failing vineyard. Opening six months after the tumultuous events in Season 2, Season 3 finds Daisy and Louis desperate to regain their former standing as the “sole” mutual heirs of Oakley, forcing them to work together to try and oust William (Mark Mitchinson, The Gulf) in any way they can.
The executive producers are Rebecca Gibney, Richard Fletcher for Libertine Pictures, and Brendan Dahill for Perpetual Entertainment.
Whitstable Pearl: Season 3 (UK)
Also previously announced, this mystery-crime drama series will return for its third season, with Kerry Godliman (After Life, Derek, Save Me, Trigger Point) reprising her role as restaurant owner and private detective Pearl Nolan, and Howard Charles (The Musketeers, Top Boy, Shadow and Bone, Alex Rider) reprising his as DCI Mike McGuire.
Based on the much-loved “Whitstable Pearl Mysteries” book series by Julie Wassmer, the series explores the dark undercurrents of murder and debauchery swirling beneath the surface of Whitstable, the picturesque 16th-century English seaside town, famous for its native oysters and buffeted by the prevailing winds and spray of the North Sea.
Season 3 sees Pearl continuing to handle the responsibilities of her restaurant while concurrently building her private detective business, for which she gets involved in more diverse investigations, including reopening an infamous local cold case and the death of a famous food critic. While Pearl is aided and abetted by her feisty and outspoken mum, Dolly (Frances Barber, The Chelsea Detective), and is still going strong with her boyfriend, Tom (Robert Webb, Back), it’s navigating her complex relationship with Mike that still proves to be her most challenging case, as he and his partner, DS Nikki Martel (Sophia del Pizzo, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), support Pearl with each of her investigations.
The series’ producer is Debbie Pisani. The executive producers are Tony Wood and Richard Tulk-Hart for Buccaneer, Catherine Mackin and Bea Tammer for Acorn Media Enterprises (Acorn TV), Øystein Karlsen, Mike Walden, and Julie Wassmer.
Stay tuned for the premiere dates of all of the above titles.
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