Despite the change in ownership, co-producing UK dramas remains at the core of BBC America’s drama strategy. The network has signed on to co-produce Peter Moffatt’s BBC One drama Undercover, starring Sophie Okonedo and Adrian Lester; and BBC Three’s just cast five-part drama Thirteen, which hails from up and coming writer Marnie Dickens.
“The BBC is a creative powerhouse and we’re delighted to partner with them on these provocative, contemporary stories”, said Sarah Barnett, President and General Manager of BBC America. “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.”
Undercover follows Maya (Okonedo), the first black Director Of Public Prosecutions. Just as she is about to take up the post and her life comes under intense public scrutiny, she learns that that her husband Nick (Lester) has been lying to her for years. Twenty years ago Nick was a fearless and dedicated undercover officer, infiltrating organisations considered a danger to society because of their political beliefs. Nick built himself a fake past and now with his wife unsuspecting and his conscience killing him – his secret identity may compromise the new Director of Public Prosecutions.
Undercover was created by Silk scribe Peter Moffat and is being produced in-house by BBC Drama Production England. Richard Stokes is the series producer, while Penny Dreadful helmer James Hawes is attached to direct. Hilary Salmon, Head of BBC Drama Production England, is the executive producer. Production on Undercover is now underway in and around Cornwall and London for a 2016 premiere.
Described as a “psychological drama about who to trust when you can’t even trust yourself”, Thirteen follows Ivy Moxham (Jodie Comer), who escapes from the cellar that’s been her prison for the last 13 years. The series explores Ivy’s journey as she is reunited with her family and the effects of such a traumatic ordeal. The cast also includes Aneurin Barnard, Richard Rankin, Valene Kane, Natasha Little, Stuart Graham, Joe Layton, Katherine Rose Morley, Eleanor Wyld, Ariyon Bakare, Nicholas Farrell, Kemi-Bo Jacobs, Melina Matthews, Chipo Chung, Colin Mace, Suzette Llewellyn and Charles Babalola.
Thirteen was created by Ripper Street and Hollyoaks scribe Marnie Dickens and is being produced by BBC In-House Drama Production England. Hugh Warren is the series producer, while Elizabeth Kilgarriff will serve as the executive producer. Vanessa Caswill and China Moo-Young have boarded the project and will serve as the directors. Production on the show’s five episode order began earlier this week in and around Bristol. Thirteen is expected to premiere on BBC Three in early 2016.