Acorn TV

Acorn TV Commissions Gritty New Detective Drama Ellis, Starring Sharon D. Clarke

New Series Joins Slew of Successful Acorn TV Titles Returning in 2024 Including Jane Seymour’s Harry Wild, Lucy Lawless’s My Life Is Murder and More

PASADENA, CA – February 6, 2024 – AMC Networks’ streaming platform Acorn TV and Channel 5 today announced the commission of new, feature-length detective drama series Ellis. Specializing in premium British and international television, Acorn TV also recently announced new seasons of popular series My Life Is Murder, Recipes for Love and Murder, Harry Wild, Under the Vines, and Whitstable Pearl.

A three-part series, Ellis will follow DCI Ellis, played by three-time Olivier Award winner Sharon D. Clarke (Showtrial, Lost Boys & Faries, Rocketman), a tenacious cop who is parachuted into failing investigations. Each two-hour episode sees Ellis – accompanied by her right-hand man DS Harper, played by Andrew Gower (The Winter King, Carnival Row, Outlander) – 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.

From Company Pictures, in association with Northern Ireland Screen, Ellis (3 x 120’) was commissioned for Acorn TV by Catherine Mackin, Managing Director of Acorn Media Enterprises (AME), who also 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 and Sian Ejiwunmi-Le Berre. International distribution will be handled by All3 Media International.

Catherine Mackin, Managing Director, Acorn Media Enterprises (Acorn TV), shares: “Acorn TV is known for compelling, intriguing and invigorating detective dramas, and Ellis delivers on every note. We are elated to have found our ideal DCI in the incomparable Sharon D. Clarke, and we are excited to work with both Channel 5 and Company Pictures again.”

On this exciting new commission for Channel 5, Sebastian Cardwell, Deputy Chief Content Officer, Paramount UK, comments: “Ellis is a brilliant addition to our scripted slate, and we are thrilled to be working with the teams at Acorn TV and Company Pictures on this gripping new series. I can’t wait to see the incredible Sharon D. Clarke bring DCI Ellis to life.”

Michele Buck, CEO, Company Pictures (an All3Media company), adds: Company Pictures are proud and delighted to be creating a new detective series for Channel 5 and Acorn with funding from Northern Ireland Screen, in association with All3Media International.  Sharon D. Clarke is the perfect DCI Ellis, who will bring her inimitable talents to this inventive and powerful new female-led detective series.”

David Swetman, SVP Content and Commercial Strategy at All3Media International, also comments: “We’re delighted to be distributing this new crime series from Company Pictures. Following the investigations of the enigmatic DCI Ellis will be a delight for audiences around the world.”

Ellis is set to begin filming this spring in Northern Ireland and will air on Acorn TV and Channel 5 later this year.

In addition to Ellis, as recently announced, new seasons of the following series will debut across Acorn TV’s 2024 slate, cementing its place among niche streamers as a premium destination for revered British and international mysteries, dramas and comedies:

  • Harry Wild (Season 3): A breakout success on Acorn TV in its first two seasons, the successful mystery series starring and executive produced by Jane Seymour (The Kominsky Method, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman) returns for a third season featuring Harriet “Harry” Wild, a retiring university literature professor finding herself at one of life’s crossroads. Also returning are Rohan Nedd (Whitstable Pearl) as her protégé turned partner, Fergus; Kevin Ryan (Guilt, Copper) as Harry’s son and senior police detective; Amy Huberman (Finding Joy, Striking Out) as Harry’s daughter-in-law; as well as Samantha Mumba (The Time Machine, Evolution), Paul Tylak (Kin), and Rose O’Neill. Season three picks up where season two left off with Fergus, guided by Harry, planning to contest Paula’s custody claim to Liberty. In the midst of personal drama, Harry and Fergus are as busy as ever with their most twisted, complex cases yet. Season Three is created and written by David Logan, along with writer Jo Spain, and 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): The popular crime drama led by Lucy Lawless 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 her for the ride this time are her friends and family: tech guru Madison (Ebony Vagulans); cafe owner Reuben (Joe Naufahu); her brother Will (Martin Henderson); and Detective Harry (Rawiri Jobe). 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 series’ 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): Award-winning actress Maria Doyle Kennedy (Outlander, Orphan Black) makes her return as recipe columnist turned advice columnist Tannie Maria, who gets sucked into a murder investigation with a local rookie journalist, Jessie September (Kylie Fisher). The second season picks 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): The New Zealand-set comedy starring Rebecca Gibney and Charles Edwards as two city slickers, Daisy Monroe and Louis Oakley, who inherit a failing vineyard returns six tumultuous months since we last saw the Oakley family. Desperate to regain their former standing as the ‘sole’ mutual heirs of Oakley, Daisy and Louis will need to work together to try and oust William in any way they can. Rebecca Gibney, Richard Fletcher for Libertine Pictures and Brendan Dahill for Perpetual Entertainment are the executive producers.
  • Whitstable Pearl (Season 3): The popular British crime drama starring Kerry Godliman (Ricky Gervais’ After Life) returns with Godliman once again in the lead role as Pearl Nolan and Howard Charles as DCI Mike McGuire. Based on the much-loved novels, the six-part series 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. This season, Pearl continues to build her private detective business, finding herself involved in more diverse investigations, including reopening an infamous local cold case and the death of a famous food critic. The producer of the series is Debbie Pisani. 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.

About Acorn TV

AMC Networks’ Acorn TV is North America’s largest streaming service specializing in premium British and international television. Acorn TV adds exclusive programming every week to a deep library of revered mysteries, dramas, and comedies – all commercial-free. Acorn TV’s recent slate is comprised of critically acclaimed commissioned and original series including popular New Zealand detective series My Life Is Murder (Lucy Lawless), acclaimed Irish crime thriller Bloodlands (James Nesbitt, co-executive produced by Jed Mercurio), British crime drama Whitstable Pearl (Kerry Godliman), Emmy®-nominated Queens of Mystery, Kiwi romantic comedy Under the Vines and British detective drama Dalgliesh (Bertie Carvel), to name a few. Current and upcoming Acorn TV Original Series include UK detective drama Harry Wild (Jane Seymour), tasty murder mystery Mrs. Sidhu Investigates (Meera Syal), Signora Volpe (Emilia Fox), The Chelsea Detective (Adrian Scarborough) and many more. The above add to a growing catalog of popular bingeable dramas including Agatha Raisin (Ashley Jensen), Jack Irish (Guy Pearce), Doc Martin (Martin Clunes), Deadwater Fell (David Tennant, Cush Jumbo), all 23 seasons of fan-favorite Midsomer Murders and highly-rated drama The Nest, among others.

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