Sky Living Orders Drama Pilots ‘Lawless’ & ‘The Psychopath Next Door’, Suranne Jones & Anna Friel Lead Casts

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Sky Living has given the green-light to two new hour-long drama pilots titled Lawless and The Psychopath Next Door.

These dramas will form part of the channel’s upcoming Drama Matters (formerly known as Reckless), a strand similar to the channel’s previously announced Love Matters and Sky1′s Little Crackers which will showcase a number of one-off dramas that are also serving as backdoor pilots. Such strands are considered an effective way of piloting potential new series and have thus far led to a full series order for Moone Boy, Sky1′s sitcom which was initially piloted as an episode of Little Crackers. The Drama Matters strand is slated to premiere on Sky Living this Autumn.

Created by Jacquetta May, Lawless offers a backstage pass into the inner workings of a modern court from the cells in the basement to the judge’s chambers. The drama follows a brand new judge (Suranne Jones) battling to keep her head above the water in the murky depths of the justice system. Lawless is being produced by Twenty Twenty and stars Suranne Jones (Scott & Bailey), Jonathan Cake (Desperate Housewives), Chris Coghill (Eastenders) and Lindsay Duncan (Doctor Who). Jon Jones is directing.

Penned by Trollied scribe Julie Rutterford, The Psychopath Next Door is described as a the creepy and intriguing drama which explores what happens when evil moves in next door. Word is that the drama, if successful, is being eyed for an 8 episode first season. The Psychopath Next Door is being produced by ITV Studios with Pushing Daisies alum Anna Friel taking the lead role. Myar Craig-Brown is serving as the executive producer. Vexed helmer Kieron J. Walsh is directing.

“It’s fantastic to be welcoming this incredible line up of talent to the channel – both in front of and behind the camera” said Director of Sky Living Antonia Hurford-Jones. “I’m really proud of ‘Drama Matters’, each story is unique but together they form a strand of engaging, entertaining quality drama which I think our customers will really enjoy.”