BBC Four Acquires UK Rights To Canadian Drama ‘Cardinal’

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BBC Four has acquired its first Canadian drama series. The channel has closed an agreement with international distributor Entertainment One (eOne) for the exclusive UK rights to murder mystery drama Cardinal, toplined by The Killing and Helix star Billy Campbell,

“Set in the bleakly beautiful Northern Ontario winter landscape, Cardinal is a finely nuanced, atmospheric thriller which is completely gripping from beginning to end”, said Sue Deeks, BBC Head of Programme Acquisition, who brokered the deal with eOne.

Cardinal follows John Cardinal who, after being demoted for a hunch about a case that he wouldn’t let go, is brought back to the Homicide Unit when the body of a missing teenager is discovered. Back on the case, Cardinal’s search for the murderer soon becomes an all-consuming race to stay ahead of a serial killer. Meanwhile, he must right past wrongs that threaten to derail the investigation and end his whole career.

The drama series, which was commissioned by Canadian broadcaster CTV, is based on the series of Cardinal novels by Giles Blunt and is produced by produced by Sienna Films and eOne in association with Bell Media’s CTV. In addition to Billy Campbell, the cast also includes Karine Vanasse, Deborah Hay, Alanna Bale, Glen Gould, David Richmond Peck, Gail Maurice, Kristen Thomson, Brendan Fletcher and Allie MacDonald.

Cardinal caps off what has been an unusually busy period of buying activity for BBC Four when it comes to scripted acquisitions. Just last week the channel acquired the exclusive UK rights to Spanish drama series I Know Who You Are and before that they agreed a deal for a rare U.S. scripted acquisition; taking first window on A+E Network’s Roots reboot.

“I’m delighted to expand BBC Four’s hugely popular international drama range with our first Canadian drama series, Cardinal”, added Cassian Harrison, Controller of BBC Four. “Further to the recently announced Spanish drama I Know Who You Are and returning hits such as Follow The Money, Inspector Montalbano and Spiral, BBC Four remains the home of high quality, high stakes international drama on British television in 2017.”