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MASTERPIECE and BritBox UK plan a return visit to Sanditon

MASTERPIECE and BritBox UK plan a return visit to Sanditon

MASTERPIECE renews Red Planet Pictures’ acclaimed drama for two more seasons 

BritBox boards as UK streaming partner

“Lush and Fun” The New York Times

“Funny, unsettling and enthralling.”
Samira Ahmed, Front Row, BBC Radio 4

“Sanditon is sexy escapism…tart and political, gorgeous and honest.
Austen would have loved it.” IndieWire

Boston, MA and London, UK: May 6, 2021--MASTERPIECE on PBS today announced, with Red Planet Pictures, the renewal of the acclaimed and hugely popular drama, Sanditon, for a second and third season. Streaming service BritBox will be the UK partner.

Voted one of the top 15 shows of 2020 in the U.S. by Vogue and premiering to wide critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, Sanditon, the fan favorite drama based on Jane Austen’s final, unfinished novel and developed by Emmy® and BAFTA-Award winning writer Andrew Davies, has been renewed with the double order following its successful run in the U.S. on MASTERPIECE. BritBox UK has boarded the show as a co-producer and will premiere the series as a BritBox Original in the UK. The new seasons of Sanditon have been acquired by ITV, which originally launched the first series in 2019, and will air on the channel following the premiere window on BritBox UK.

After fans were left hanging in suspense by the first season’s finale and clamoring for more, the drama will continue to follow the high-spirited and independent heroine, Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams, Curfew) as she returns to the picturesque coastal resort of Sanditon. Charlotte’s journey is one thread of an intricate tapestry of compelling stories full of intrigue, excitement, and romance. Against the backdrop of beautiful vistas, familiar faces return and new inhabitants are introduced -- all of whom will be having adventures as joyous and surprising as the seaside town itself.

Justin Young (Death in Paradise, Ripper Street), who wrote four episodes of the first season of Sanditon, will develop the new seasons and take the role of lead writer and executive producer. Davies, who originally created the series, will also return to write several episodes and executive produce.

Belinda Campbell, Joint MD of Red Planet Pictures commented: “We’re thrilled to be able to invite viewers back to Sanditon for not just one but two further visits!  Justin Young and Andrew Davies’ sensational scripts are relevant, timely and captivating and we can’t wait to share all the exciting new developments we have in store for our much loved characters. Now, more than ever, I think we could all do with some joy on our TV screens as well as a healthy dose of fresh sea air.”

“We are absolutely delighted to announce a second and third season of Sanditon, a show that has inspired such a passionate and devoted fan base,” says MASTERPIECE executive producer Susanne Simpson. “Audiences can expect romance, humor and plenty of twists and turns in these new seasons of Sanditon.” MASTERPIECE is a WGBH production. 

Will Harrison, BritBox UK MD commented: “We couldn’t be happier to be involved in bringing the wonderful Sanditon back to screens across the UK, and want to thank the fans for keeping these characters alive while plans came together.”

ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill commented: "I’m so glad that the success of Sanditon in the US has paved the way for its return, and for ITV to continue on this wonderful journey.  We know there are many loyal fans of the show in the UK that will be delighted to see its return and that we were able to find a way to bring it back."

PBS is the distributor of all three seasons in the U.S. and Canada. 

BBC Studios are the international distributors of all three series and since its premiere in the UK on ITV in 2019, Sanditon has sold in 176 countries across the globe. 

The series producer is Rebecca Hedderly (Casualty), the producer is Ian Hogan (Black Mirror) and lead director is Charles Sturridge (Marcella).

Executive producers are Belinda Campbell for Red Planet Pictures, Susanne Simpson for MASTERPIECE and Chloe Tucker for ITV / BritBox.

Casting will be announced in the future, with filming expected to begin later this year in and around Bristol (UK). 

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About Red Planet Pictures
Red Planet Pictures creates popular, ambitious and engaging drama. An independent production company, run by Joint Managing Directors, Belinda Campbell and Alex Jones, Red Planet Pictures has built a reputation for making drama that has quality storytelling at its heart and is loved by audiences the world over. 

Red Planet Pictures has produced some of the UK’s most successful dramas of recent years including BBC One ratings hit Death in Paradise – which this year celebrated a decade on screen with the broadcast of the tenth series airing at the start of 2021 regularly gaining audiences of over 8 million (and over 32% share) every week, and a two further series commissioned – and Sanditon, an epic adaptation of the unfinished Jane Austen novel by Emmy and BAFTA-Award winning writer Andrew Davies for ITV and MASTERPIECE, receiving rave reviews.

The indie, which was founded by award-winning writer and Executive Chairman, Tony Jordan in 2005, also produced the innovative, ambitious and critically acclaimed 20-part drama Dickensian and flagship WWI drama The Passing Bells for BBC One and big budget action adventure series Hooten & The Lady for Sky One. 

This year sees Red Planet Pictures broaden their slate still further as they start production on devastating thriller, Our House, based on the award-winning, best-selling novel by Louise Candlish and adapted by Simon Ashdown for ITV. TV rights have also been acquired for Megan Hunter‘s The Harpy and New York Times best-selling author Antony Johnston’s The Exphoria Code.

About MASTERPIECE 
Winner of 83 Primetime Emmys® and 18 Peabody Awards, MASTERPIECE has been essential Sunday night viewing for millions of fans since 1971. Susanne Simpson is the executive producer and Rebecca Eaton is the executive producer-at-large for the series. Funding for MASTERPIECE is provided by Viking and Raymond James with additional support from public television viewers and contributors to The MASTERPIECE Trust. Produced for PBS by GBH Boston, MASTERPIECE is known for hits such as All Creatures Great and Small, Sherlock, Downton Abbey and Victoria, and beloved classics such as Upstairs Downstairs, Prime Suspect, The Forsyte Saga and Poldark.

About BritBox
BritBox is a digital video subscription service created by the BBC and ITV. The service brings the very best in past, present and future British programming and award-winning content to viewers all in one place for £5.99 per month in HD. British TV boxsets from All 4 and British films from Film 4 are also available. The service includes high quality factual and entertainment content from Channel 5 plus original British comedies from Comedy Central UK. BritBox features the biggest collection of British content available on any streaming service, and brand new commissions for British production companies specifically created for BritBox. BritBox also offers expert curation and playlists that will enable viewers to easily find programmes they know and discover new favourites via web, mobile, tablet, connected TVs and streaming devices including Fire TV, Apple TV, Freesat & Chromecast. Content on BritBox can be downloaded and viewed offline where rights allow.

About BBC Studios
BBC Studios, a global content company with bold British creativity at its heart, is a commercial subsidiary of the BBC Group. Able to take an idea seamlessly from thought to screen and beyond, its activities span content financing, development, production, sales, branded services, and ancillaries across both its own productions, and programmes and formats made by high-quality UK independents. Award-winning British programmes made by the business are internationally recognised across a broad range of genres and specialisms, with brands like Strictly Come Dancing/Dancing with the Stars, Top Gear, Doctor Who and Bluey. BBC Studios has offices in 22 markets globally, including ten production bases in the UK and production bases or partnerships in a further nine countries around the world. The company, which ordinarily makes around 2500 hours of content a year for both the BBC and third parties including Apple, Amazon and China Mobile, is a champion for British creativity around the world. It is also a committed partner for the UK’s independent sector through a mix of equity partnerships, content investment and international distribution for programme titles. To the BBC, BBC Studios contributes both cash dividends and funds for programme-making, supporting the licence fee and enhancing programmes for UK audiences.