New Zealand broadcaster TVNZ has locked up rights to air Wentworth, the forthcoming prison drama described as a reimagining of the classic series Prisoner Cell Block H.
TVNZ picked up the 10×60′ series from distributor FremantleMedia International and will air it alongside commissioning network SoHo, which is available on Australian pay TV platform Foxtel. It is due to debut down under in May.
Wentworth is produced by FremantleMedia Australia and is set in Wentworth Correctional Centre, where viewers will be reunited with well-known characters Bea Smith and Franky Doyle from the original series.
Other scripted series sold by FremantleMedia International include miniseries The Making of a Lady, a period-se psychological drama produced by David Barron’s Runaway Fridge for ITV in the UK. The story is based on the book The Making of a Marchioness by Frances Hodgson Burnett and executive produced by Stevie Lee and Kate Brooke.
The distributor’s slate also includes Australian soap Neighbours, which was recently sold to Denmark’s DR; Seven Network drama Winners and Losers; BBC fantasy drama Merlin; and Sky Atlantic’s Hit & Miss.
FremantleMedia International has also partnered with writer Craig Pearce and Pukeko Pictures to develop The Maid, a story based on Joan of Arc; and with Marshall Herskovitz for a drama based on non-fiction book Hitlerland by Andrew Nagorski.
It is also developing The Drivers, based on the 24-hour Le Mans race during the 1950s and 1960s, with Headline Pictures and Scott Free Pictures. It is being written by Michael Hirst.
Another show in development is an adaptation of French drama Les Revenants (aka They Came Back, working title) with producer Paul Abbott.