New York, NY, June 17, 2020 – AMC today announced that The Salisbury Poisonings, the limited series from BBC One and Dancing Ledge which was the biggest overnight launch of a new drama in the UK in six years, will make its exclusive U.S. debut on the network this fall, following a deal with global producer and distributor Fremantle. Based on the incredible true story of the 2018 Novichok poisonings and the impact it had on a local community, the four-part drama stars Anne-Marie Duff (Sex Education, His Dark Materials), Rafe Spall (Trying), MyAnna Buring (The Witcher, Ripper Street) and Johnny Harris (Jawbone).
The Salisbury Poisonings tells the remarkable story of how ordinary people and public services reacted to a crisis on their doorstep, displaying extraordinary heroism as their city became the focus of an unprecedented national emergency. In March 2018, the eyes of the world turned to the British city of Salisbury when it became the epicenter of what has been described as one of the biggest political events of the 21st century – but until now, the heroic acts behind the headlines have not been told. Within three days of the assassination attempt on double agent and spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, key agencies discovered that a lethal nerve agent called Novichok was used, just half a teaspoon of which could kill 20,000 people. Within four days, hundreds of traces were found across the city, and, just when things were finally thought to be under control, a perfume bottle containing the nerve agent was discovered, throwing the investigation into renewed chaos.
“The Salisbury Poisonings is a riveting story about the bravery and resilience of a small town under siege by a silent killer,” said Dan McDermott, president of original programming for AMC and co-president of AMC Studios. “With mysterious twists and turns and an array of complex, heroic characters, it’s exactly the type of captivating, high-end scripted drama that our audience craves, and we’re thrilled to share it with them this fall.”
Lisa Honig, SEVP Distribution North America, International, Fremantle, who brokered the deal with AMC, said: “The events that took place in 2018 in Salisbury truly shocked the world. Dancing Ledge have created a sensitive and authentic telling of this event in The Salisbury Poisonings, bringing together a brilliant cast who portray the real people affected in such a compelling way. We are proud to partner with AMC to bring this important and poignant story to US audiences.”
Laurence Bowen, CEO, Dancing Ledge Productions said “We couldn’t be more delighted to have AMC as a partner and to share the series with a US audience. We’ve always felt this is a universal story of a community coming together to face an invisible threat – with ordinary people rising to an incredible challenge with bravery and resilience. And the truth is that an attack like this could happen anywhere in the world.”
The central characters affected by the attack — including Tracy Daszkiewicz (Marie-Anne Duff), who was the Director of Public Health of Wiltshire Council, the Sturgess family, who lost their daughter Dawn (MyAnna Buring), Charlie Rowley (Johnny Harris), Dawn’s boyfriend, and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey (Rafe Spall), who was contaminated during the course of his work — have worked closely with the producers to tell their stories amidst the ongoing investigation. Capturing the fear, uncertainty and immense heroism of a community in turmoil, this is the real human story of how Salisbury rose to the challenge of fighting a lethal contagion.
The Salisbury Poisonings is executive produced by Laurence Bowen and Chris Carey for Dancing Ledge Productions, Lucy Richer for the BBC and by the writers of the drama, Adam Patterson and Declan Lawn. It is directed by Saul Dibb (Journey’s End, The Duchess, Bullet Boy), who also executive produces, and produced by Karen Lewis (Years And Years, Happy Valley, Last Tango In Halifax). Dancing Ledge Productions works internationally with Fremantle, which has a minority stake in the company, with Fremantle handling global distribution for the drama series.
AMC is home to some of the most popular and acclaimed programs on television. AMC was the first basic cable network to ever win the Emmy® Award for Outstanding Drama Series with Mad Men in 2008, which then went on to win the coveted award four years in a row, before Breaking Bad won it in 2013 and 2014. The network’s series The Walking Dead is the highest-rated series in cable history. AMC’s current original drama series are Better Call Saul, Dispatches from Elsewhere, Fear the Walking Dead, NOS4A2, Quiz, Soulmates, The Terror, The Walking Dead, The Walking Dead: World Beyond and the recently greenlit 61st Street, Kevin Can F**k Himself, Pantheon and National Anthem. AMC also explores authentic worlds and discussion with original shows like Talking Dead, AMC Visionaries and Ride with Norman Reedus. AMC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc. and its sister networks include IFC, SundanceTV, BBC America and WE tv. AMC is available across all platforms, including on-air, online, on demand and mobile.
Fremantle is one of the largest and most successful creators, producers and distributors of scripted and unscripted content in the world. From Got Talent to My Brilliant Friend, Family Feud to The Young Pope, Idols to American Gods, The Price is Right to Neighbours and The X Factor to Deutschland 83 – we are behind the world’s most-loved and most-watched shows.
We have an outstanding international network of production teams, companies and labels in over 30 countries – our Fremantle family includes UFA (Germany), Wildside (Italy), Abot Hameiri (Israel), Miso Film (Denmark, Sweden and Norway), Blue Circle (Netherlands), Original Productions (USA) and Easy Tiger (Australia) to name a few.
We produce in excess of 12,000 hours of original programming, roll out more than 70 formats and air 400 programmes a year worldwide. We also distribute over 20,000 hours of content in more than 200 territories.
Dancing Ledge Productions
Dancing Ledge Productions was founded in 2016 with a 25% stake from Fremantle and a development deal with Martin Freeman. It’s run by two of the UK’s leading producers, Bafta award winning CEO Laurence Bowen (The Eichmann Show) and Emmy award Winning MD Chris Carey (Les Miserables, Apple Tree Yard). In addition to The Salisbury Poisonings, the company is six-part drama The Responder for the BBC written by Tony Schumacher and starring Martin Freeman. Its credits include two seasons of Porters for UKTV/Dave, The New Pope as UK co-producer for Wildside, Sky Italia & HBO starring Jude Law and John Malkovich, and developing Netflix true crime drama Delhi Crime. Its’ slate includes a Lee Child True Crime anthology series, Paulo Coelho /Matthew Graham series Briefly Immortal with Fremantle US, and Guy Hibbert’s Kono Bridge with 42. It also runs its own new talent mentoring scheme with Jack Thorne, Lucy Prebble, Jed Mercurio, Paul Abbott, Sally Wainwright and Amanda Coe backed by by ITV, BBC TV and Screenskills.