North American streaming service Acorn TV has boarded ITV’s upcoming Martin Clunes fronted police drama Manhunt as the exclusive North American broadcaster. As part of the deal with international distributor DRG, Acorn has also acquired Clunes’s newest travel documentary series Islands of America.
“DRG is excited to be overseeing international distribution for what’s sure to be another first-rate drama from Buffalo Pictures”, said Scott Kirkpatrick, Senior Vice-President for North & South America for DRG. “Our friends at Acorn TV are ideal partners for premiering high-quality British drama in the United States.”
This marks the second big UK acquisition for Acorn TV this month after they poached U.S. rights to the new season of Line of Duty. They are also – through their London based sister company Acorn Media Enterprises – producing a second season of UK drama Agatha Raisin and new British dramas London Kills and Queens Of Mystery.
Manhunt explores how the murder of French National, Amelie Delagrange, on Twickenham Green in August 2004 was eventually linked to the murders of Marsha McDonnell in 2003 and the abduction and murder of Milly Dowler in 2002. Walking home following a night out with friends, 22 years old Amelie was savagely attacked and struck several times on the back of the head with a hammer. Hard working and instinctive, DCI Sutton was assigned to the case and dedicated himself to finding Amelie’s killer. With very little evidence, his painstaking approach and the diligence of his fellow officers gradually led to breakthroughs in the case and to suspected serial killer Levi Bellfield.
The three-part drama was penned by Silent Witness and Strike Back scribe Ed Whitmore and is set up at Buffalo Pictures – the indie that is behind ITV’s long-running Martin Clunes fronted Doc Martin, which perhaps not coincidentally also airs state-side on Acorn TV. Manhunt stars Martin Clunes as Detective Chief Inspector Colin Sutton and directed by Safe House helmer Marc Evans. Philippa Braithwaite is the executive producer. ITV has not yet set a UK premiere date, but Acorn TV said the drama would air in early 2019.