Silver Spring, MD; September 25, 2019 – Acorn Media Enterprises (AME) and Sky NZ have partnered to commission New Zealand thriller THE SOUNDS with all3media’s New Zealand production company South Pacific Pictures and Toronto-based Shaftesbury co-producing. The 8-episode drama takes a missing person and a blissful marriage and turns it upside down in a sleepy New Zealand town, where nothing is quite what it seems. THE SOUNDS is created by best-selling author, Sarah-Kate Lynch, who is also the lead writer, with Peter Stebbings directing the series. Acorn Media Enterprises has secured all rights in the United States, Ireland, and United Kingdom; secondary rights in Australia; and home entertainment and non-exclusive SVOD rights in New Zealand. The series is produced in association with CBC, who have the Canadian broadcast rights, while Acorn TV has the home entertainment rights and will offer the series to its Canadian subscribers. International distributor all3media international will distribute the series in the rest of the world. THE SOUNDS will premiere in 2020 on Acorn TV in the United States as an Acorn TV Original and in New Zealand on Sky NZ. Acorn Media Enterprises (AME) is the UK-based development division for the Acorn TV brand of RLJ Entertainment, Inc., a privately owned subsidiary of AMC Networks. The series is now filming on location in and around the greater Auckland and Northland areas of New Zealand through November 2019.
The new series stars Rachelle Lefevre (Proven Innocent, Under the Dome, White House Down) and Matt Whelan (The Luminaries, Narcos) and co-stars Matt Nable (Arrow, Dead Lucky, Riddick), Emily Piggford (The Girlfriend Experience), Peter Elliott (Tarzan), Anna-Maree Thomas (The Brokenwood Mysteries), Vanessa Rare (Last Man Standing), Tandi Wright (800 Words, The Returned), Morgana O’Reilly (Wentworth), Tainui Tukiwaho, John Bach (Janet King, Jack Irish), Josh McKenzie (The New Legends of Monkey), Adam Brown (The Hobbit), Emma Fenton (Filthy Rich), and Sara Wiseman (A Place to Call Home, Rake).
An eight-part psychological thriller, THE SOUNDS is set against the stunning backdrop of New Zealand’s South Island and the exotic landscape of Marlborough Sounds. When Maggie (Lefevre) and Tom Cabbott (Whelan) move to the town of Pelorus to escape the oppressive influence of Tom’s family, they plan to start a new business venture that will reinvigorate the local economy and set them on a new life path. But when Tom disappears, unsettling facts about him soon come to light, and the search brings long-buried wounds to the surface. As Maggie struggles to navigate the escalating events, it becomes clear that in this small, seemingly close-knit community, nothing and no one is quite what they seem.
Catherine Mackin, Managing Director of Acorn Media Enterprises noted, “We’re thrilled to work with our partners at South Pacific Pictures, Shaftesbury, Sky NZ, and all3media on another exciting drama. With its beautiful setting, taut script, and stellar ensemble cast, THE SOUNDS will absolutely thrill Acorn TV subscribers around the world.”
Kelly Martin, CEO; South Pacific Pictures and Executive Producer of THE SOUNDS says, “South Pacific Pictures is privileged to be working with Sarah-Kate on this series. It’s an intriguing and intense tale from start to finish, one that will keep audiences guessing right up to the last frame. It’s a testament to the quality of the material that we have such a great line-up of partners on board with Shaftesbury, Acorn TV, Sky NZ, All3 Media, and CBC and that we have been able to attract such a stellar cast.”
“Sarah-Kate Lynch has created a gripping, character-driven tale of intrigue in THE SOUNDS – perfect material for director Peter Stebbings. This series is a thrill ride from start to finish, set in one of the most beautiful regions in the world. We are thrilled to work with such talented partners worldwide, including South Pacific Pictures, CBC, Acorn TV, All3 Media, Sky NZ, Sarah-Kate Lynch, and Peter Stebbings, as well as the brilliant cast led by the wonderful Rachelle Lefevre,” Christina Jennings, Chairman & CEO, Shaftesbury / Executive Producer, THE SOUNDS.
Acorn TV with Acorn Media Enterprises has commissioned several series including Agatha Raisin, Series 2 (Trailer) and Series 3 starring Ashley Jensen; the straight-to-series order of British drama London Kills, starring Hugo Speer and Sharon Small (Trailer); and fun British mystery Queens of Mystery, starring Olivia Vinall and Julie Graham (Trailer); as well as co-commissioned period mystery series Dead Still. Acorn TV has also recently featured the U.S. premiere of ITV’s highest rated drama in the past six years with true crime drama Manhunt starring Martin Clunes (Doc Martin) (Trailer), and UK’s highest rated show of the year and from the creator of Bodyguard with Line of Duty, Season 5 (Trailer); plus Australian mystery series My Life is Murder starring Lucy Lawless (Xena). Up next is the return of smash hit British dramedy Doc Martin, Series 9 (Thurs., Sept. 26).
About AMC Networks
Known for its groundbreaking and celebrated original content, AMC Networks 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 nine consecutive years, as well as Portlandia, 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 Shudder, Sundance Now; Acorn TV; and UMC (Urban Movie Channel); and Levity Entertainment Group, the Company’s production services and comedy venues business. For more information, visit http://www.amcnetworks.com.
Sky is New Zealand’s leading entertainment company and home to the best and broadest choice in live sport, movies, shows, documentaries and breaking news.
Sky offers a suite of viewing choices to suit every New Zealander, whether it’s through the Sky Box and streaming service Sky Go for premium direct-to-home customers, or through its contract-free streaming services Sky Sport Now for sport or NEON for movies and entertainment. Sky also owns free-to-air channel, Prime. Unique New Zealand stories and free-to-air sport are a strong part of Prime’s line-up.
About South Pacific Pictures:
South Pacific Pictures is New Zealand’s largest screen production company and has an international reputation for producing world-class television and film. The company is in its 31st year of operation and to date has produced more than 5500 hours of programming. Drama series and serials, feature films, and more recently, entertainment, reality programming and documentaries are all part of the programming mix. The current slate includes work for New Zealand, Australian, Canadian and UK broadcasters.
Shaftesbury is an award-winning creator and producer of original content for television, film, and digital. Shaftesbury’s current slate includes 13 seasons of Murdoch Mysteries for CBC and UKTV, three seasons of detective drama Frankie Drake Mysteries for CBC and UKTV, three seasons of critically acclaimed horror series Slasher for Netflix, two seasons of Hudson & Rex for Citytv/Rogers Media, and several new primetime series including Departure for Global/Corus Entertainment and NBC Universal, Dead Still for RTE, Acorn TV, and Citytv/Rogers, and The Sounds for CBC, Acorn TV, and Sky NZ. Shaftesbury’s branded division produces original entertainment projects for brands including the global phenomenon Carmilla for U by Kotex/Kimberly-Clark and Turning the Tables for göt2b®/Henkel. Shaftesbury’s technology division works with leading healthcare institutions and researchers to explore and develop clinical applications for immersive media experiences including augmented and virtual reality.