The Night Manager makes new hires

A host of top names have joined the cast of The Night Manager.

The BBC One/AMC adaptation of John le Carré’s novel began production last month.

And joining the espionage drama are David Harewood, Neil Morrissey, Katherine Kelly, and Tobias Menzies.

The cast already includes Hugh Laurie, Tom Hiddleston, Olivia Colman, Tom Hollander, and Elizabeth Debicki.

Produced by The Ink Factory, The Night Manager tells the story of former British soldier Jonathan Pine (Hiddleston) who is recruited by an intelligence operative named Burr (Colman) to navigate the shadowy recesses of Whitehall and Washington where an unholy alliance operates between the intelligence community and the secret arms trade.To infiltrate the inner circle of lethal arms dealer Richard Onslow Roper (Laurie), which includes girlfriend Jed (Debicki) and an associate named Corcoran (Hollander), Pine must himself become a criminal.Adapted by David Farr, the executive producers are Stephen Cornwell, Simon Cornwell, Stephen Garrett, David Farr, and Polly Hill. The producer is Rob Bullock.

The miniseries is due to air in 2016.

Poldark will return to BBC One

Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson will reunite for a second season of Cornish period saga Poldark.



The new eight-part run, due to air in 2016, will again be written by Debbie Horsfield, based on books three and four of Winston Graham’s 18th Century-set series of novels.

Poldark is produced by Mammoth Screen. The season one producer was Eliza Mellor, and Horsfield executive produced with Karen Thrussell, Damien Timmer, and Polly Hill.

Cuffs come off for BBC One

A new BBC One drama from Prisoners’ Wives writer Julie Gearey has started filming.



Cuffs takes viewers to the frontline of policing, mixing character-led stories with procedural elements. Plots will include a booby-trapped cannabis farm, and an elderly wife with a shotgun.

The cast includes Ashley Walters, Peter Sullivan, Amanda Abbington, Shaun Dooley, Paul Ready, Eleanor Matsuura, Alex Carter, and Jacob Ifan.

It will be executive produced by Tiger Aspect Productions’ Will Gould, Polly Hill, and Gearey, and co-executive produced by Iona Vrolyk. The produced is Trevor Hopkins.

Wolf Hall conquers BBC Two

Period drama Wolf Hall has been revealed to be the highest-rating drama on BBC Two for more than a decade.

Wolf Hall

Wolf Hall

The series, based on Hilary Mantel’s historical novels, saw a consolidated audience of 4.4 million viewers across its six episodes.

This is the highest rating for a drama series on BBC Two since current records began in 2002.

Wolf Hall charts the meteoric rise of Thomas Cromwell in the Tudor court, from his lowly start as a blacksmith’s son to Henry VIII’s closest advisor.

It stars Mark Rylance as Cromwell and Damian Lewis as Henry VIII, with Claire Foy as Anne Boleyn.

The series was written by Peter Straughan, and co-producted by Company Pictures and Playground for BBC Two and Masterpiece for PBS in association with BBC Worldwide, and Prescience and Altus Productions.

Colin Callender, John Yorke, Polly Hill, Rebecca Eaton, Martin Rakusen, and Tim Smith executive produce.

BBC One runs out of New Tricks

Long-running detective drama New Tricks will end after 12 seasons.

New Tricks

New Tricks

The BBC One series, which debuted in 2003, followed the fictional Unsolved Crime and Open Case Squad – retired police officers who were recruited to reinvestigate unsolved crimes.

Star Tamzin Outhwaite tweeted:

The series is produced by Headstrong Pictures. The executive producers are Myar Craig-Brown for Headstrong and Polly Hill for the BBC with Huw Kennair-Jones producing.

Season 12 is due to air later this year.

Starz employs The Dresser

US premium cable channel Starz will coproduce a new BBC film that puts Anthony Hopkins and Ian McKellen together for the first time.



The Dresser is an adaptation of Ronald Harwood’s play, set against the backdrop of World War Two, which was inspired by Harwood’s own experiences as a dresser for the distinguished British actor/manager Sir Donald Wolfit.

It is directed by Richard Eyre. The executive producers are Colin Callender of Playground Entertainment, Sonia Friedman for Sonia Friedman Productions, and Polly Hilly and Ben Stephenson for the BBC.

The Dresser will begin production in London this year.

Starz retains all US multiplatform pay TV rights as well as worldwide multiplatform distribution rights. BBC retains television rights in the UK, where it is due to air on BBC Two.

BBC, Starz go Missing again

BBC One and Starz will reunite for a second season of The Missing.

The Missing

The Missing

The series followed a father’s search for the truth behind his son’s disappearance and, following that story’s conclusion, season two (8×60′) will focus on a new story and set of characters.

Produced by New Pictures in association with Two Brothers Pictures, the executive producers are Willow Grylls, Charlie Pattinson, Elaine Pyke, Harry and Jack Williams, Polly Hill, and Colin Callender for Playground.

The second series of The Missing will transmit on BBC One in the UK and Starz in the US.

All3Media International negotiated the coproduction for The Missing with Starz on behalf of New Pictures and handles overseas sales for the show. Other sales include that to TF1 France.

BBC showcases new dramas

The BBC has unveiled a huge new slate of dramas. Here are the details:




  • Luther (2×60′)


The crime series returns for a two-part special, with Idris Elba reprising his role as the eponymous murder detective. It is created and written by Neil Cross, and executive produced by ElizabethKilgarrif for BBC Drama Production England. Filming will take place in London in March ahead of its premiere next year. It will also air on BBC America, which coproduces the series.

  • One of Us (4×60′)

Against the backdrop of a horrific double murder that rocks the lives of two families living side by side in rural Scotland, this series explores the fallout for the grieving relatives and the consequences that threaten to shatter their lives. Written by Harry and Jack Williams (The Missing), it is produced by BBC Drama Production, BBC Scotland, and Two Brothers Pictures. The executive producers are Christopher Aird and Harry and Jack Williams.

  • SS-GB (5×60′)

Based on the novel by Len Deighton, SS-GB is a thriller set in 1940s London, which is under Nazi occupation after Germany wins the Battle of Britain. A Scotland Yard detective faces working under the SS faces the dilemma of whether to collaborate or join the resistance. It is written by Robert Wade and Neal Purvis, and produced by Sid Gentle Films. The executive producers are Sally Woodward Gentle, Lee Morris, and Lucy Richer.

  • Cuffs (8×60′)

Created and written by Julie Gearey (Prisoners’ Wives) and produced by Tiger Aspect Productions, cop show Cuffs will be the first new drama series commissioned for BBC One’s 8pm slot in more than eight years. The series portrays the everyday life of being a police officer in the UK, focusing on the relationships between the officers and detectives and the impact their job has on their personal lives. Set in Brighton, it is executive produced by Gearey, Will Gould and Polly Hill.

  • The Secret Agent (3×60′)

Adapted from the Joseph Conrad novel set in 1886 London, a shopkeeper who works as a secret agent for the Russian government is coerced into planting a bomb that will provoke the British authorities to crack down on extremists. Caught between the Russians and the British police, he reluctantly draws his own family into a tragic terror plot. Written by Tony Marchant, it is produced by World Productions. The executive producers are Simon Heath and Polly Hill.

  • Undercover (working title, 6×60′)

A political thriller about the first black Director of Public Prosecutions who discovers her husband and the father of her children has been lying to her for years. Written by Peter Moffat, it is executive produced by Hilary Salmon for BBC Drama Production England.

  • The A Word (6×60′)
The A Word (Israel)

The A Word (Israel)

The story of a family who find they must learn how to communicate with each other after the youngest son is diagnosed with autism. Written by Peter Bowker, it is based on the Israeli format from Keshet International and July-August Productions, which was created and written by Keren Margalit. The series is produced by Fifthy Fathoms, Tiger Aspect Productions, and Keshet UK. The executive producers are Bowker, Margalit, Patrick Spence, Sara Johnson, Avi Nir, and Lucy Richer. Filming is due to begin in 2015 for a 2016 debut.




  • The Dresser (1×120′)

Anthony Hopkins and Ian McKellen will star in this adaptation of Ronald Harwood’s play, inspired by his own experiences as a dresser to actor-manager DonaldWolfit. It is produced by Playground Entertainment and Sonia Friedman Productions, and executive produced by Colin Callender, Sonia Friedman, and Ben Stephenson. The director is Richard Eyre.

  • Top of the Lake (6×60′)

Jane Campion’s drama returns for a second season, written by Campion and Gerard Lee. Whereas the first season was set in New Zealand, this new run will be set in Sydney, Australia.

Top of the Lake

Top of the Lake

Canal + dials Zéro Zéro Zéro

Canal+ in France has commissioned a new series based on a book by writer Roberto Saviano, the author behind Italian drama Gomorrah.

Canal+ Creation Originale

Canal+ Creation Originale

Zéro Zéro Zéro (8×52′) goes inside the global cocaine market, where criminals and businessmen, the desperate and billionaires are all interlinked with one another.

Produced by Cattleya, the English language series is written by Stefano Kisses, Leonardo Fasoli and Saviano.

Tandem Communications will handle international distribution.

Meanwhile, Canal+ has acquired new US drama American Crime and British three-part thriller The Driver.

American Crime is about the fall-out in a Californian community when a couple are attacked in their own home, leaving one dead and the other unconscious in hospital. The case stirs up tensions across racial lines in this gritty drama—from the point of view of the victims.

The ABC series stars Felicity Huffman, Timothy Hutton, W Earl Brown, Richard Cabral, Caitlin Gerard, Benito Martinez, Penelope Ann Miller, Elvis Nolasco, and Johnny Ortiz. Writer/producer/director John Ridley executive produces with Michael J McDonald for ABC Studios.

American Crime

American Crime

Written by Danny Brocklehurst, BBC One’s The Driver is the story of an ordinary man who – because of family mystery, frustration with his job and life – makes a terrible decision.

David Morrissey stars alongside Claudie Blakeley, Sacha Parkinson, Ian Hart, Colm Meaney, Shaun Dingwall and Lee Ross.

It is co-created by Brocklehurst and Jim Poyser, co-produced by Highfield Pictures and Red Production Company and directed by Jamie Payne.

It is produced by Jolyon Symonds and executive produced by Morrissey for Highfield Pictures. Nicola Shindler is executive producer for Red Productions and Polly Hill for BBC One.

BBC Two, BBC America uncover London Spy

BBC Two and BBC America have partnered for a new five-part miniseries called London Spy.

The series, created by Tom Rob Smith, is the story of a chance romance between two people from very different worlds, one from the headquarters of the Secret Intelligence Service, the other from a world of clubbing and youthful excess.

Danny meets Alex, but just as the two of them realise that they’re perfect for each other, Alex disappears. Danny, utterly ill-equipped to take on the complex and codified world of British espionage, must decide whether he’s prepared to fight for the truth.

It stars Ben Whishaw, Jim Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling, and Edward Holcroft.

London Spy is produced by Working Title Television, with producer Guy Heeley and executive producers Smith, Juliette Howell, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, and Polly Hill.

Filming began in London this week ahead of a likely 2015 debut on both networks.

NBCUniversal and BBC Worldwide will distribute the series.