Acorn TV commissions British crime drama
WHITSTABLE PEARL from Buccaneer Media
Based on the beloved novels by Julie Wassmer;
Kerry Godliman (Ricky Gervais’ After Life) cast in lead role
London, UK; October 2, 2020 – AMC Networks’ Acorn TV is excited to announce the commissioning of new British crime drama Whitstable Pearl with Acorn Media Enterprises from Buccaneer Media (Marcella). Based on the much-loved novels – “The Whitstable Pearl Mystery” and “Disappearance at Oare” – by Julie Wassmer (EastEnders) and brought to the screen for the first time by iconic Norwegian filmmaker Øystein Karlsen (Exit, Dag, Lilyhammer), the new six-part series (6 X 45’) will feature Kerry Godliman (Ricky Gervais’ After Life) in the lead role as Pearl Nolan.
Whitstable Pearl explores the dark undercurrents of murder and debauchery swirling beneath the surface of the picturesque 16th century English seaside town of Whitstable, famous for its native oysters and buffeted by the prevailing winds and spray of the North Sea.
Distributed internationally by Cineflix Rights, the Acorn TV Original Series will begin production in Whitstable on October 26, 2020. The series will exclusively premiere on Acorn TV in North America, New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom in 2021.
The series follows local celebrity Pearl Nolan, a chef-proprietor of the eponymous Whitstable Pearl restaurant which she runs alongside her son, Charlie, waitress Ruby, and in spite of her mother Dolly. She is also the proprietor of a newly-formed detective agency, finally putting her distant police-training to good use.
When Pearl discovers the body of Vinnie, a close family friend, she takes it upon herself to investigate what she believes to be murder. Standing in the way of her detective work is DCI Mike McGuire, the new Kent police chief who has transferred from London in an attempt to escape from his past. Pearl and Mike clash at first, but then Mike becomes the only other person to share Pearl’s belief that Vinnie was murdered. When a second body shows up, Pearl finds herself pulled into the dark underbelly of this picturesque town. The British seaside holiday will never be the same again.
Set beneath huge skies and amid the lengthening shadows of a picture postcard town just miles from London, the friction between the locals and the moneyed arrivals from the city is palpable as centuries of village tradition grates against the inevitable pressure of money and gentrification.
Julie Wassmer said, “I am absolutely thrilled that the dream team of Buccaneer and Acorn is about to begin shooting the TV series based on my Whitstable Pearl Mystery crime novels and that a wealth of talent is involved in the entire production – in which Whitstable itself will have a starring role alongside the brilliant Kerry Godliman!”
Kerry Godliman said, “I’m over the moon to be portraying Pearl Nolan in ‘Whitstable Pearl’. Her character has such a big heart and I can’t wait to get stuck into bringing Julie’s vision of Pearl’s life juggling Whitstable, murder, seafood and romance to life!”
Catherine Mackin, Managing Director, Acorn Media Enterprises, noted, “Acorn Media Enterprises is excited to commission television adaptations of Julie Wassmer’s popular seaside mysteries. We’re thrilled to have Kerry Godliman in the lead role and are sure our subscribers worldwide will love this character, picturesque seaside setting and intriguing mysteries.”
Tony Wood and Richard Tulk-Hart, joint CEOs of Buccaneer Media said “Building a show with Acorn has been a terrific experience and has led to so many exciting collaborations, behind and in front of the camera. We’re delighted to be bringing Julie’s hugely-loved world to the screen for the first time”.
Alongside lead writer Øystein Karlsen, the rest of the writing team includes Mike Walden (Marcella, The Frankenstein Chronicles, Uwantme2killhim), Rachel Flowerday (Malory Towers, Father Brown, The Moonstone) and Alastair Galbraith (Strike Back, Doc Martin, River City). David Caffrey (The Alienist, Peaky Blinders, Line of Duty) is lead director and will helm the first two episodes.
The producer of the series is Guy Hescott (Agatha Raisin) and the casting director is Rob Kelly. Executive Producers are Tony Wood, Anna Burns, Richard Tulk-Hart and Nadia Jaynes for Buccaneer as well as Oystein Karlsen and Julie Wassmer.
AMC Networks’ Acorn TV is North America’s largest streaming service specializing in British and international television with well over 1 million paid subscribers in the U.S and Canada as well as subscribers worldwide in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Latin America. Acorn TV adds exclusive new programs every week to a deep library of mysteries, dramas, and comedies with no commercials. In 2020, Acorn TV has featured the Irish period mystery series Dead Still, British dramas Deadwater Fell starring David Tennant and Cush Jumbo, Gold Digger starring Julia Ormond, highly-rated BBC One drama The Nest, BBC One sitcom The Other One, and New Zealand thriller The Sounds; as well as several returning favorites including Acorn TV’s first feature film with Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears. Coming up, Acorn TV has the U.S. Premieres of award-winning Australian drama Mystery Road, Series 2 (Oct. 12) and Acorn TV co-commissioned Irish drama The South Westerlies (Nov. 9). Website: Acorn.TV
Acorn Media Enterprises is Acorn TV’s UK-based development arm which works with producers, distributors, writers and broadcasters in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and beyond to commission, co-produce and co-finance the best international, English-language scripted shows. AME has commissioned Agatha Raisin Series 2 and 3, Queens of Mystery, London Kills Series 1 and 2, as well as Keeping Faith, among several other productions.
Acorn TV, Chad Campbell, firstname.lastname@example.org
Buccaneer Media, Justin Crosby, email@example.com
About AMC Networks
Known for its ground-breaking and celebrated original content, AMC Networks (NASDAQ: AMCX) is the company behind the award-winning brands AMC, BBC AMERICA, IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv, and IFC Films. Its diverse line-up of popular and critically-acclaimed series and independent films include Killing Eve, Better Call Saul and The Walking Dead, which has been the #1 show on basic cable television for ten consecutive years, as well as Documentary Now!, Brockmire, Love After Lockup, and the films Boyhood, Death of Stalin, and many more. Its original series Mad Men and Breaking Bad are widely recognized as being among the most influential and acclaimed shows in the history of TV. The Company also operates AMC Studios, its production business; AMC Networks International, its international programming business; the subscription streaming services Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now; and UMC (Urban Movie Channel); RLJE Films; and Levity Entertainment Group, the Company’s production services and comedy venues business. For more information, visit http://www.amcnetworks.com.
About Buccaneer Media
Buccaneer Media is a London-based international content production company led by joint CEOs Tony Wood and Richard Tulk-Hart.
The company’s mission is to partner with the industry’s best talent, global streaming platforms and broadcasters around the world to create premium scripted content for the international marketplace. Buccaneer currently has projects with partners including ITV, Viaplay, Netflix, Wildbrain, NRK and Acorn.
Buccaneer is currently collaborating with a world-class stable of literary and directing talents including Lars Lundström, Oystein Karlsen, Charley Miles, Ingeborg Topsoe, Harry Wootliff, Irvine Welsh, Dougray Scott, Elizabeth MacNeal, Rose Lewenstein, Baltasar Kormakur and John Brownlow.
Previous productions include ‘Desi Rascals’, the award-winning co-production with Gurinder Chadha (‘Bend It Like Beckham’) for Sky and scripted drama ‘Marcella’ which aired to global critical acclaim and saw Anna Friel winning an Emmy for her lead performance as Marcella Backland. The crime thriller for ITV and Netflix was written and created by Hans Rosenfeldt (‘The Bridge’). Season 3 is currently airing on Netflix worldwide and ITV in the UK and Ireland in Autumn 2020.
Buccaneer Media was formed as a joint venture with Cineflix Media in 2013.