BBC America announced two new scripted series on Friday set to air in 2016, marking the first series co-developed under the creative partnership between BBC Worldwide and AMC Networks.
“Undercover” is a political thriller from acclaimed writer Peter Moffat (“Silk,” “Criminal Justice”) that will star Sophie Okonedo (“Criminal Justice”) and Adrian Lester (“Hustle”), according to a statement from the network.
The six-part limited series features lead character Maya (Okonedo), who is about to become the first black woman to hold the highest ranking public prosecutor role in England just as she discovers that her husband has been lying to her for years.
Meanwhile, “Thirteen” is a contemporary mystery from former “Hollyoaks” writer Marnie Dickens. The five-part mystery thriller follows Ivy Moxham (Jodie Comer) on the day she escapes from the cellar that has been her prison for the last 13 years.
“The BBC is a creative powerhouse and we’re delighted to partner with them on these provocative, contemporary stories,” Sarah Barnett, President and General Manager at BBC America, said. “Peter Moffat is one of the UK’s most vibrant and acclaimed screenwriters, while new talent Marnie Dickens brings a singular voice and perspective to her first original series. We can’t wait to launch these shows on the network.”
Moffat added: “I’m relishing the prospect of returning to the contemporary British political landscape to look at where we stand and how we got here. ‘Undercover’ is a thriller about identity, trust and the struggle to lead a morally principled personal and professional life, while working up close with the police, press, politicians and criminals who have so corrupted and damaged public life over the last 20 years.”
Speaking at the Television Critics Association press tour, Barnett also announced the first portion of an extensive original scripted development slate.
“The scripted TV explosion in recent years has affirmed over and over that strong visionaries are the heart of creative and commercial success,” she said. “At BBC America we’re doubling down on extraordinary creator-led projects.”
See descriptions of the upcoming development slate from the network below:
- “Dirk Gently” an adaptation of Douglas Adams’ (“Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”) wildly successful comic novel, “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency,” is an anthology series set in the unexpected world of the hyper, absurd, ridiculous Dirk Gently. Penned by Max Landis — the mind behind cult classic “Chronicle” — this series is produced by IDW, Circle of Confusion and Ideate for BBC America.
- An untitled project from prolific filmmaker Sebastian Silva. Using unconventional storytelling — including real people — Silva explores humorous, absurd and uncomfortably raw stories of 21st century dating in our impulsive era of swiping and liking. Sebastian Silva is the writer/director of 2015 Sundance and Berlinale selection “Nasty Baby” starring Kristen Wiig and Golden Globe-nominated “The Maid.” A24 is attached to produce.
- “Moths” follows a young American woman whose reckless quest for thrill and adventure takes her to the epicenter of Tokyo’s Shibuya sub-culture scene. After an unthinkable crime occurs, she finds herself face-to-face with an unfamiliar, ancient and intractable world. Tony Wood and Cineflix are attached to produce.
- “The Greater Good” from Oscar-nominated filmmaker Dana Shapiro (“Murderball”) is the provocative, fictionalized story of Cora Jones, lone survivor of the Jonestown massacre where 918 of her fellow cult members died. She was saved, she believes, to rid the world of false prophets but, as her own fame as an atheist preacher grows, she begins to morph into the very thing she’s been railing against. It is produced by Lakeshore Entertainment.
- An untitled comic-noir thriller from Anders August set in a 1950s resort follows the social climbing of a disarming young woman who turns out to be a dangerous sociopath. August wrote the Oscar-nominated film “The Pig” and was executive producer of “Follow the Money,” which premiered at the 2015 Berlin Film Festival. Michael London (“The Illusionist,” “Sideways”) is attached to produce.
- An untitled project from Anna Winger. A family drama, an amped up adventure and a celebration of the city of Berlin today, this journey is a darkly humorous exploration of colliding worlds, the unifying bonds of loss, and the dangerous pursuit of answers in a utopian city. Anna Winger is the creator of international series, “Deutschland ’83.”
- The two new co-productions, “Undercover” and “Thirteen,” will join BBC America’s slate of original scripted shows that includes the iconic series “Doctor Who” (returns September 19); “Orphan Black” (returns for a fourth season in 2016); “The Last Kingdom” (premieres October 10) and “Luther” (fourth installment premieres winter 2015).