Mrs Sidhu Investigates, Signora Volpe S1, Whitstable Pearl S1-2, Darby and Joan, The South Westerlies and Dark Winds set to premiere later this year and early 2024 on Drama, Alibi, UKTV Play and BBC First Benelux.
12th September 2023
UKTV and BBC Studios have secured the U.K. and Benelux rights to shows from AMC Networks in a joint deal. The shows are Mrs Sidhu Investigates (4x90'), Darby and Joan S1 (8 x 60'), Signora Volpe S1 (3 x90') and Whitstable Pearl S1-2 (2 x 6x60') for its free-to-air channel Drama and free streaming service UKTV Play. AMC's Dark Winds (6x60') will air on crime channel Alibi, and Acorn TV's The South Westerlies (8x60') will be available on UKTV Play.
Additional shows The Madame Blanc Mysteries S1-2 (13 x 60'), London Kills S3 (10 x 60') and Queens of Mysteries S2 (6 x 45') have also been acquired for BBC First in Benelux, a premium British drama channel, curated locally for Dutch and Belgian audiences and available on leading platforms in the market.
This deal is the first between UKTV and AMC Networks and was secured by Jimmy Rumble, global acquisitions manager at BBC Studios and UKTV.
Melanie Rumani, global head of acquisitions at BBC Studios and UKTV said
It's brilliant to see our portfolio on Drama, Alibi and UKTV Play, as well as BBC Studios' owned BBC First in Benelux, a significant buyer of UK drama content in the market, continue to grow with these fantastic new additions.
Mike Pears, EVP of distribution and content sales for AMC Networks said
The BBC has been a longstanding valued partner of ours and we are excited by this new chapter in our relationship. Both in the U.S. and around the world, we want to make our shows available on a wide variety of platforms, to find new viewers and build awareness of the high-quality content that continues to define our company.
Mrs Sidhu Investigates and Signora Volpe are set to premiere on Drama and UKTV Play this Autumn, with Whitstable Pearl and Darby and Joan airing on the channel early 2024. The South Westerlies premieres exclusively on UKTV Play in October and Dark Winds will be available to watch on Alibi also from October.
Emma Ayech, channel director for Drama and Alibi, said
I am thrilled to have these exciting new titles join our stellar programming line-up on both Drama and Alibi. With each new acquisition there will be compelling storytelling, entertaining characters, and gripping narratives that'll both captivate and engage our audiences, which I'm very excited to see.
Andrea Amey, UKTV's general manager for digital, added
We are pleased to be adding Mrs Sidhu Investigates, Signora Volpe, Whitstable Pearl, Darby and Joan and The South Westerlies to our ever-growing catalogue of quality drama on UKTV Play. We're dedicated to making our platform one that provides an array of premium content that all viewers can watch and enjoy freely, and these are sure to be a hit with our audience to binge on across the Autumn.
Based on the popular BBC Radio 4 series of the same name, the four-episode series is created and written by Suk Pannu (The Kumars at No. 42). Mrs Sidhu Investigates finds Mrs Sidhu (Meera Syal CBE FRSL - The Kumars at No. 42), a recently widowed, high-end caterer with a taste for crime, solving murders and other investigations amongst the affluent residents of Berkshire. She uses a lifetime as an 'Indian Auntie' to sharpen her skills as an investigator, whilst juggling her new catering business and wrangling with her wayward son Tez (Gurjeet Singh - Ackley Bridge). She forms an unofficial partnership with world weary police officer, DCI Burton (Craig Parkinson - Line of Duty), much to the amusement of his official partner DS Mint (Naana Agyei-Ampadu - Death in Paradise).
Emilia Fox (Silent Witness) leads the cast in Signora Volpe and plays Sylvia Fox, a disillusioned British spy-turned-detective who starts a new life in the beautiful heart of Italy, but soon finds out trouble follows her wherever she goes. The series sees Sylvia in Italy for her niece's wedding when the groom goes missing. Sylvia solves the mystery and, longing to reconnect with her sister (Tara Fitzgerald - Game of Thrones), decides to start anew in Umbria. Soon she's tackling other cases and winning over a handsome local cop (Giovanni Cirfiera - Ford vs Ferrari), even as her ex-husband/ex-colleague (Jamie Bamber - Beyond Paradise) tries to lure her back.
Based on a series of novels by Julie Wassmer, Kerry Godliman (After Life) leads detective drama Whitstable Pearl where single mum Pearl (Godliman) pursues her lifelong dream of starting a private detective agency, which she runs from her family restaurant in the coastal town of Whitstable. Drawn by her caring nature, locals soon flock to her with all kinds of cases. But, when a friend dies suspiciously, Pearl finds herself in conflict with gruff new cop in town, DCI Mike McGuire (Howard Charles - Top Boy).
Darby and Joan is an Australian murder mystery and crime dramedy series starring Bryan Brown (Cocktail) and Greta Scacchi (The Player), created by Philip Gwynne and Glenys Rowe. Widowed English nurse Joan Kirkhope (Scacchi) is on a quest to find answers about her husband's mysterious death, while ex-detective Jack Darby (Brown) has taken to the open road; the two meet in the outback and form an unlikely investigative team.
Little lies lead to bigger truths in charming Irish dramedy, The South Westerlies. Environmental consultant Kate Ryan (Orla Brady - Fringe) goes undercover in a small town to quell objections to a wind farm. But Kate has a complicated history with Carrigeen. Soon after arriving with her son, she runs into an ex-friend and an old flame, soon realising her task won't be a breeze. Co-stars Patrick Bergin (Patriot Games).
Dark Winds is an American psychological, noir thriller created by Graham Roland, based on the Leaphorn & Chee novel series by Tony Hillerman. Set in the 1970s Southwest, the series follows the FBI investigation of a bank robbery in Gallup, N.M., and the Navajo Tribal inquiry into the local murder of two Native residents. Lt. Joe Leaphorn (Zahn McClarnon - Fargo) and his new deputy Jim Chee (Kiowa Gordon - The Twilight Saga) do the heavy lifting around the reservation, which is near Monument Valley. The strange behaviours of some of the residents and the newcomers intertwine with their personal stories as the two men battle the forces of evil and their own personal demons on the path to salvation. Co-stars Jessica Matten (Tribal), Noah Emmerich (The Americans), Deanna Allison and features Rainn Wilson (The Office).
All six shows will air later this year and in early 2024 on Drama, Alibi and UKTV Play.
For more information please contact:
Sky 143, Virgin Media 130, Freeview, YouView, TalkTalk & BT 20, Freesat 158 +1 Sky 243, Virgin Media 226, Freeview, YouView, TalkTalk & BT 60 On demand on Sky & Virgin Media
Free-to-air channel Drama is passionate about bringing Britain the best quality drama. From period to contemporary, family to comedy, the channel is a treasure trove of well-loved classics and modern drama which showcases the greatest stories ever told. With programmes including familiar favourites Call the Midwife, Pride and Prejudice, New Tricks and Silent Witness, and brand new and exclusive hits The Sister Boniface Mysteries and The Brokenwood Mysteries, this is the channel where viewers can escape and indulge in a handpicked range of the nation's most celebrated TV dramas.
Sky 109/826, Virgin 126/200, BT 312/382, TalkTalk 312, TV Player On demand on Sky, Virgin, BT and TalkTalk
Alibi is the only TV channel dedicated to crime drama, investigating the best selection from the genre and premiering hit series from around the world such as CSI: Vegas, Miss Scarlet and the Duke, Clarice and Ragdoll.
Alibi stepped into UKTV Original crime drama series with guaranteed thrills, twists and turns including hit series Annika, starring Nicola Walker, Traces, starring Molly Windsor and Martin Compston and We Hunt Together, starring Eve Myles and Babou Ceesay.
Now in its 16th series, Murdoch Mysteries has found a safe space on the channel while newcomers Hudson and Rex have become hugely popular additions. British crime dramas including Death in Paradise, Father Brown and Silent Witness give the viewers another chance to catch their favourite shows.
About UKTV Play
UKTV Play is an on-demand TV service providing instant access to shows from UKTV's free-to-air channels - Dave, W, Yesterday and Drama. With the easy-to-use UKTV Play app you can browse and stream hundreds of shows for free via your computer, tablet or smart phone. You can also watch on the telly thanks to Freeview Play, Amazon Fire TV, YouView, Samsung TV, Apple TV, Freesat, NOW and Roku.
If you're a Sky, Virgin Media or BT TV customer, shows from other great UKTV channels - Gold, W, Alibi, and Eden - are also on the menu.
UKTV has been at the forefront of branded television for over 30 years, entertaining the nation with programmes they love. Its leading brands - Dave, Gold, W, Drama, Alibi, Eden and Yesterday - span comedy, entertainment, natural history, factual and drama, and are delivered to audiences through UKTV Play, Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, Freesat and Amazon Fire. The broadcaster is a significant investor in British creativity and is committed to working with new and established writers, directors and programme-makers.
UKTV is part of BBC Studios, the UK's most-awarded production company, a world-class distributor with international branded services, and a commercial subsidiary of the world's leading public service broadcaster, the BBC.
About BBC First Benelux
BBC First is home to premium, original British drama from globally recognised and award-winning talent from in front of and behind the camera. It is a locally curated channel, tailored to the likes and preferences of the Benelux audiences, offering viewers the first chance to see stories that challenge, immerse, and entertain, all from a uniquely British perspective.