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ITV Studios Global Entertainment unveils impactful spring drama slate at second annual Drama Festival

Published: Wed 20 Feb 2019

ITV Studios Global Entertainment unveils impactful spring drama slate at second annual Drama Festival
 
Epic World War Two drama World On Fire and screen adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s Noughts + Crosses lead alongside crime drama Wild Bill starring six-time Golden Globe Nominee Rob Lowe
 
ITV Studios Global Entertainment will today unveil its new spring drama slate to international buyers at its second annual Drama Festival. Featuring a range of new titles from ITV Studios’ production labels and leading independent producers, the Festival showcases some of the most exciting and powerful dramas soon to launch to the international market.
 
Ruth Berry, Managing Director of ITV Studios Global Entertainment said,
 
“Our 2019 Spring drama slate is stronger than we could have ever imagined. It is bursting with world-class drama; each one I am pleased to say we have backed all the way from its inception. Our drama festival is the perfect setting for buyers to be immersed in these incredible stories and to see and hear first-hand from their talented creators what it has taken to craft them into the masterpieces they see on screen today.”
 
Headlining the slate is Mammoth’s Screen’s World on Fire (7 x 60’), the heart-stopping, multi-stranded drama for BBC One which tells the story of World War Two through the lives of ordinary people from all sides of the global conflict. World on Fire is written by multi award-winning Peter Bowker and stars Helen Hunt, Sean Bean and Lesley Manville alongside rising stars Jonah Hauer-King, Julia Brown and Zofia Wichlacz.
 
Also from Mammoth Screen is the adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s best-selling novel series Noughts + Crosses (6 x 60’). Set in a dangerous alternate world, it tells the story of Sephy, a member of the black ruling class and Callum, a member of the white underclass who are divided by their colour but united by a forbidden love and burning injustice. Noughts + Crosses stars Helen Baxendale (Cold Feet, Cuckoo), Paterson Joseph (Timeless, Peep Show), Jack Rowan (Peaky Blinders, Born to Kill) and newcomer Masali Baduza. It is executive produced by Participant Media and Roc Nation for BBC One.
 
Six-time Golden Globe-nominee Rob Lowe (West Wing, Parks and Recreation) stars as the high-flying US police chief Bill Hixon, who is tasked with shaking up the Lincolnshire Police Force in Wild Bill (6 x 60). From 42, Anonymous Content and Shiver for ITV, Wild Bill is a sharp-witted and original take on the police procedural.
 
A Confession (6 x 60’) from Oscar-nominated screenwriter Jeff Pope (Stan & Ollie, Philomena, Little Boy Blue) is a suspenseful, contemporary drama which centres on a thought-provoking true crime story and brings into question how we want our police to act in their pursuit of justice. It features an A-list cast including Martin Freeman (The Hobbit, Sherlock) alongside Imelda Staunton (Maleficent, Harry Potter) and is produced by ITV Studios and Urban Myth Films for ITV.
 
The Bay (6 x 60’) from Tall Story Pictures for ITV is written by the award-winning Daragh Carville (Being Human, The Smoke). It is a compelling and beautifully crafted crime story rooted in the families and communities of a distinctive coastal town. When Family Liaison Officer Lisa Armstrong (Morven Christie, Granchester, The A Word) is assigned to a missing person’s investigation she realises with horror that she has a personal connection with this frightened family; one that could compromise her and the investigation.
 
Written by BAFTA-winner Danny Brocklehurst (Clocking Off, Accused), Brassic (6 x 60’) is an edgy, bold and authentic comedy which follows a group of working-class friends who find unconventional ways to win at life. Vinnie (Joseph Gilgun, This Is England), a Lancashire lad with bipolar disorder, and Dylan (Damien Molony, Ripper Street), his razor-smart best mate star in this Calamity Films Production for Sky One.
 
Gold Digger (6 x 60’) produced by Mainstreet Pictures for BBC One is a contemporary, character-driven relationship thriller which tells the story of Julia, a wealthy woman who falls in love with Benjamin, a much younger man with a shrouded past. Starring Primetime Emmy winner Julia Ormond (Sabrina, Legends of the Fall) alongside Ben Barnes (Westworld, The Punisher), their unconventional relationship tests the bonds of Julia’s already damaged family.
 
Creative genius Shane Meadows reunites with This is England co-creator Jack Thorne and lead actor Stephen Graham (Boardwalk Empire, Taboo) for The Virtues (4 x 60’) a Warp Films production for Channel 4. The Virtues is a complex, moving and gritty story of love and redemption shot through with heart and humour.
 
15 Days (4 x 60’) from Boom Pictures for Channel 5 is an intensely human drama and original crime thriller that reverses the traditional investigate narrative – the story starts with a brutal murder, before rewinding immediately by 15 days to unleash the chain of events that led to that moment.
 
 
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Notes to Editors
 
Full ITV Studios Global Entertainment 2019 Drama Slate Descriptions:
 
World on Fire (7 x 60’) Mammoth Screen, part of ITV Studios, for BBC One
 
From multi-award-winning writer Peter Bowker, this heart-stopping, multi-stranded drama tells the story of World War Two through the lives of ordinary people from all sides of this global conflict. Set amid the creeping horror of the outbreak of war during its first year, World on Fire follows an ensemble cast of vividly drawn characters as they traverse the ever-shifting lines between loyalty and brutality, and courage and fear, experience love and loss, and forge hopes and dreams. Features a stellar international line-up including Helen Hunt, Sean Bean and Lesley Manville.
 
Noughts + Crosses (6 x 60’) Mammoth Screen, part of ITV Studios, for BBC One
 
Divided by their colour but united by forbidden love and burning injustice, Sephy and Callum are fighting for more than simply the right to be together. Sephy, a member of the black ruling class, and Callum, a white member of the underclass, have been friends since childhood. But, under the laws of their dystopian State, that’s as far as it can go. Against a backdrop of prejudice, distrust and rebellion, the passionate romance that builds between them will lead them both into terrible danger. Based on the first book in Malorie Blackman’s best-selling series.
 
 
Wild Bill (6 x 60) 42, Anonymous Content and Shiver, part of ITV Studios, for ITV
 
Six-time Golden Globe nominee Rob Lowe stars as a high-flying US police chief who shakes up the UK’s Lincolnshire Police Force – and his own life in the process – in this sharp-witted original take on the police procedural. Whip-smart, acerbic and unstoppable, the impressively qualified Bill is determined to make his mark as the new Chief Constable. But Bill soon discovers that the people of this unfamiliar community are just as cynical, smart- mouthed and difficult to impress as he is and, as he’s reluctantly propelled into frontline policing, the result will be as funny as it is dangerous.
 
A Confession (6 x 60’), ITV Studios and Urban Myth Films for ITV.
 
Featuring an A-list cast including Martin Freeman and Imelda Staunton, this suspenseful,
 
contemporary drama centres on a thought-provoking true crime story, one which brings into question how we want our police to act in their pursuit of justice. When a young woman goes missing, Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher (Freeman) launches an urgent search operation, believing her to still be alive. But, as they close in on their chief suspect, the investigation takes a sudden, unexpected turn – leaving Fulcher with a life-changing choice between following police protocol and catching a killer.
 
The Bay (6 x 60’), Tall Story Pictures, part of ITV Studios, for ITV
 
Written by the award-winning Daragh Carville, The Bay is a compelling and beautifully crafted crime story rooted in the families and communities of a distinctive coastal town. When Family Liaison Officer Lisa Armstrong (Morven Christie) is assigned to a missing persons investigation, at first it seems like any other – tragic, but all too familiar. But there’s something very different about this particular case. With horror, Lisa realizes she’s got a personal connection with this frightened family; one that could compromise her and the investigation.
 
Brassic (6 x 60’), Calamity Films for Sky One
 
Written by BAFTA-winner Danny Brocklehurst, this edgy, bold and authentic comedy follows a group of working-class friends who find unconventional ways to win at life. Vinnie (Joe Gilgun), a Lancashire lad with bipolar disorder, and Dylan (Damien Molony), his razor-smart best mate, are inseparable and utterly co-dependant. They’ve scammed, bribed and conned their way through adolescence, but now, on the brink of adulthood, their dealing and stealing is catching up with them. Blending hilarious comedy with raw emotion, Brassic is about irreplaceable friends and the things that come between them.
 
Gold Digger (6 x 60’), Mainstreet Pictures, for BBC One
 
Starring Primetime Emmy winner Julia Ormond alongside Ben Barnes, this contemporary, character-driven relationship thriller tells the story of Julia, a wealthy woman who falls in love with Benjamin, a much younger man with a shrouded past. As the drama unfolds, their unconventional relationship tests the bonds of Julia’s already damaged family. And when devastating secrets from the past are revealed, the divisions between the generations grow ever wider. Has Julia finally found happiness, or is Benjamin really the gold digger her family think he is?
 
The Virtues (4 x 60’) Warp Films, for Channel 4
 
Creative genius Shane Meadows reunites with This is England co-creator Jack Thorne and lead actor Stephen Graham for The Virtues, a complex, moving and gritty story of love and redemption shot through with heart and humour. Joseph (Graham), a moral yet troubled man who’s lost everything he ever held dear, travels to Ireland to confront his childhood demons. When his path crosses with the fiery Dinah (Niamh Algar), their lives tangle into a delicate yet visceral love story between two strangers cast adrift in life.
 
15 Days (4 x 60’), Boom Pictures, part of ITV Studios, for Channel 5
 
An intensely human drama and original crime thriller that reverses the traditional investigate narrative – delivering not so much a ‘whodunnit’ as a ‘who’s going to do it’. The story starts with a brutal murder, before rewinding immediately by 15 days to unleash the chain of events that led to that moment. We meet four siblings as they gather at an isolated farmhouse to scatter their mother’s ashes. Over the coming days, increasingly dark and devastating secrets tear the family apart, and the story approaches what was its beginning...
 
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About ITV Studios Global Entertainment 
 
ITV Studios Global Entertainment (ITVS GE) is one of the world’s leading international TV distribution, home entertainment, publishing, merchandising and licensing businesses. ITVS GE distributes more than 45,000 hours of celebrated content across all genres from both its in-house production business, ITV Studios, and in collaboration with leading producers from around the world.
 
Part of ITV PLC, which includes the UK’s largest commercial broadcaster, ITV Studios Global Entertainment has offices in London, Hong Kong, Paris, Germany, Nordics, Los Angeles and Sydney.