UKTV’s Alibi Channel Boards Canadian Period Drama ‘The Frankie Drake Mysteries’

UKTV is re-teaming with Shaftesbury and Canadian public broadcaster CBC for another Canadian period drama. The multi-channel broadcaster, which is a joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, has signed on to co-produce 1920s detective drama The Frankie Drake Mysteries for their Alibi channel.

This marks the second Canadian period drama that UKTV co-produces for their Alibi channel. For more than a decade, the company has also co-produced Shaftesbury’s Murdoch Mysteries, which began its life on Canadian network CityTV before moving to public broadcaster CBC in 2013. For it’s part, Murdoch Mysteries has proved to be a wise investment for UKTV, with the show frequently ranking amongst Alibi’s top rated shows.

“We are thrilled to be extending our relationship with Shaftesbury” said Alexandra Finlay, UKTV’s Head of Acquisitions and Co-Productions. “Murdoch Mysteries is one of Alibi’s most-loved series, so we are delighted to be working together again. We are so excited to bring the vibrant world of Frankie Drake’s 1920s Toronto to the UK.”

The Frankie Drake Mysteries follows the exploits of The Drake Private Detective Agency, Toronto’s only female private detective agency. The team take on the cases the police do not want. In a time of change, their gender is their biggest advantage as they defy expectations and rebel against convention. Frankie Drake and her associate Trudy’s fearless sense of adventure get them into all kinds of trouble, but they always manage to find a way out. They are new detectives for a new world – but is the world ready for them?

The cast is led by Lauren Lee Smith (CSI: Crime, Scene Investigation) as Private Investigator Frankie Drake and includes Chantel Riley (The Lion King) as Trudy, her associate at Drake Private Detectives; Rebecca Liddiard (Houdini & Doyle) as police morality officer Mary Shaw; Sharron Matthews (Odd Squad) as morgue attendant Flo; and Emmanuel Kabongo (Teenagers) as boxer Moses Page.

Laurence Fox (Lewis) will guest star in season one as Frankie’s confidante Greg Miller. Other guest stars include Lucas Bryant (Haven), Wendy Crewson (Revenge), Grace Lynn Kung (Mary Kills People), Steve Lund (Bitten), Charlotte Sullivan (Chicago Fire) and Laura Vandervoort (Smallville).  Both The Frankie Drake Mysteries and the eleventh season of Murdoch Mysteries are set to premiere on Alibi in 2018.

“This is an excellent addition to Alibi’s growing slate of exciting new content. Frankie Drake Mysteries is a brilliant new detective series that fits perfectly with our premium crime dramas”, said Adrian Wills, General Manager of Alibi. “Dynamic characters, action and adventure around every corner, this will definitely appeal to Alibi fans.”

The drama series, which has received an order for eleven hour-long episodes, hails from Murdoch Mysteries scribes Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci and is produced by Shaftesbury in association with CBC and UKTV, with the participation of the Canada Media Fund, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit, the Cogeco Program Development Fund, and the Bell Fund. Jonathan Hackett is the series producer, while Hay, Ricci, Christina Jennings, Scott Garvie, and Cal Coons serving as executive producers. Content Media is handling global sales.

“We are thrilled to embark on this new adventure with UKTV and look forward to continued success together in creating another hit series for fans around the world”, added Shaftesbury’s Chairman and CEO and Frankie Drake Mysteries executive producer Christina Jennings. “From Gatsby-esque garden parties to rough-and-tumble speakeasies, there’s a global appeal to the 1920s that we’re excited to bring to life in Frankie Drake Mysteries. This was a time in Toronto of booming construction, considerable population growth, and a major shift in the role of women from the home and farm into the workplace.”