Channel 5 & Virgin Media Board Sophie Petzal’s Thriller ‘Blood’ Starring Adrian Dunbar

Channel 5 is adding a new drama series to their line-up. The VIMN backed broadcaster has acquired Blood, a psychological crime thriller from Riviera scribe Sophie Petzal which is being headlined by Line Of Duty‘s Adrian Dunbar, in a pre-sale deal with All3Media International. Additionally, Virgin Media has licensed the SVOD rights and will make the series available as a box-set following Channel 5’s linear window.

Blood explores family, memory, and the impact the past can have on the present. Cat Hogan is an isolated woman on the run from her past, a past she is forced to confront when the sudden ‘accidental’ death of her mother, Mary, draws her back to the family she has spent the last ten years trying to avoid. Cat has always been the black sheep of the family and now this uncomfortable reunion awakens sinister demons from the past and shines a suspicious light on her mother’s death. However much she wants to believe her death was innocent, her suspicions start to mount against her father (Dunbar) when she begins to notice discrepancies in his stories.

Set over the week following Mary’s death, Cat tries to uncover the truth, looking to the past to understand the present. The audience will constantly question whether Cat is paranoid or has in fact discovered a terrible truth about her father. Nothing and no one can be taken at face value. In Blood, the ‘truth’ depends on who you ask. The six episode drama series, penned by Petzal, was originally commissioned by Virgin Media Television in Ireland and is being produced by Company Pictures in association with Element Pictures and All3Media International. In addition to Adrian Dunbar, the cast also includes Carolina Main, Ingrid Craigie, Diarmuid Noyes, Gráinne Keenan, Cillian Ó Gairbhí and Mark O’Regan.

Acorn Media Enterprises, RLJ Entertainment’s UK development division led by former UKTV acquisitions boss Catherine Mackin, has also come on-board the project as a co-producer. Under the deal, RLJ’s North American streaming service, Acorn TV, will air Blood as an Acorn original in the United States and Canada. Acorn also retains UK home entertainment rights. “We’re thrilled to partner again with our friends at All3Media International on another high-quality drama production”, Mackin said. “Delivering a new and exciting take on the crime genre, Blood boasts a stellar line-up of talent both on- and off-screen, ensuring it is perfectly in line with the first-rate dramas we’re bringing to Acorn TV’s subscribers every month.”

“We’re very pleased to welcome Acorn onboard as a key production partner on this fantastic new drama. Our collaboration on Blood continues All3Media International and Acorn’s strong ongoing relationship, which has already resulted in a wealth of high-profile UK-produced drama airing on Acorn TV”, commented Stephen Driscoll, Executive Vice-Presiden, EMEA at All3Media International. “In addition, partnering with Channel 5 is another fantastic step on the drama’s international journey. The Virgin Media UK window further endorses its appeal.”

“This announcement underlines our ambition to diversify the schedule and deliver high quality drama to the channel”, added Channel 5’s Director of Programmes Ben Frow. “With a talented cast headed by Adrian Dunbar, thrilling storylines and the drama expertise of Company Pictures, Blood will appeal to UK audiences.”