A+E Networks International has given the green-light to Miss Scarlet And The Duke, a period drama about the first ever-female detective in 19th century London. This marks the first scripted co-production for A+E Networks International’s recently launched co-pro division.
Miss Scarlet And The Duke follows Eliza Scarlet who, after her father dies, is left penniless in a time where marriage is her only option for financial security. But the headstrong Eliza is determined to find another way. Luckily, she has an ace up her bonnet – her father’s business – a private detective agency.
Eliza knows all the tricks of the trade but as a genteel 19th century lady she’s never been allowed to put them into practice. To operate in this man’s world, she needs a partner. Step forward Detective Inspector William Wellington of Scotland Yard, who is also known as “The Duke;” drinker, gambler and womaniser. Eliza and The Duke strike up a mismatched, fiery relationship that will crackle and smoulder with sexual tension as they team up to solve crime in the murkiest depths of 1880’s London.
Kate Phillips (Peaky Blinders, The Crown) is attached to play Eliza. The series, which was created by Grantchester and The Mallorca Files scribe Rachael New, and is set to begin production in Dublin in June. Irish indie ShinAwiL is overseeing production. Six episodes have been ordered for the show’s first season. Rachael New is the showrunner. The executive producers are Patty Ishimoto for Element 8 Entertainment,Todd Berger for Bandidos Yanquis, Inc and Patrick Irwin for 87 Films.
“Miss Scarlet and The Duke is a combination of my two passions; intriguing tales of crime and the often-repeated circumstances surrounding crimes throughout history. Set in Victorian London, the engine of this story is a woman in a man’s world, with many themes and issues resonating with the present day”, New said. “But I didn’t want this to be a lecture on women’s rights, above all this is an action-packed detective show that is also filled with humor and spice, and which I hope everyone will enjoy,”
While Richard Tulk-Hart, Managing Director of International Content Sales & Co-Productions for A+E Networks, added: “We are thrilled to greenlight our first international co-production featuring the amazingly talented Kate Phillips in an incredibly strong lead female role. Solid performances together with a remarkable team of exec producers and ShinAwiL’s production prowess are certain to result in an engaging series that will skillfully deliver on Rachael New’s captivating storyline.”