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UKTV and AMC Networks ink deal to air several dramas


UKTV and AMC Networks ink deal to air several dramas

UKTV and BBC Studios have secured the rights to shows from AMC Networks in a joint deal.

The shows are four-part series Mrs Sidhu Investigates, the eight-episode run of Darby and Joan (series one), five episodes of Signora Volpe (series one) and twelve episodes of Whitstable Pearl (series one and two) for its free-to-air channel Drama and free streaming service UKTV Play. AMC’s Dark Winds six episodes will air on crime channel Alibi, and Acorn TV’s eight-part drama The South Westerlies will be available on UKTV Play.

Andrea Amey, UKTV’s general manager for digital:

“We are pleased to be adding Mrs Sidhu Investigates, Signora Volpe, Whitstable Pearl, Darby and Joan and The South Westerlies to our ever-growing catalogue of quality drama on UKTV Play. We’re dedicated to making our platform one that provides an array of premium content that all viewers can watch and enjoy freely, and these are sure to be a hit with our audience to binge on across the Autumn.”

Additional shows The Madame Blanc Mysteries, London Kills and Queens of Mysteries have also been acquired for BBC First in Benelux, a premium British drama channel, curated locally for Dutch and Belgian audiences and available on leading platforms in the market.

Mrs Sidhu Investigates and Signora Volpe are set to premiere on Drama and UKTV Play this Autumn, with Whitstable Pearl and Darby and Joan airing on the channel early 2024. The South Westerlies premieres exclusively on UKTV Play in October and Dark Winds will be available to watch on Alibi also from October.

Emma Ayech, channel director for Drama and Alibi:

“I am thrilled to have these exciting new titles join our stellar programming line-up on both Drama and Alibi. With each new acquisition there will be compelling storytelling, entertaining characters, and gripping narratives that’ll both captivate and engage our audiences, which I’m very excited to see.”

Based on the popular BBC Radio 4 series of the same name, Mrs Sidhu Investigates finds Mrs Sidhu (Meera Syal), a recently widowed, high-end caterer with a taste for crime, solving murders and other investigations amongst the affluent residents of Berkshire.

She uses a lifetime as an ‘Indian Auntie’ to sharpen her skills as an investigator, whilst juggling her new catering business and wrangling with her wayward son Tez (Gurjeet Singh). She forms an unofficial partnership with world weary police officer, DCI Burton (Craig Parkinson), much to the amusement of his official partner DS Mint (Naana Agyei-Ampadu).

Emilia Fox leads the cast in Signora Volpe and plays Sylvia Fox, a disillusioned British spy-turned-detective who starts a new life in the beautiful heart of Italy, but soon finds out trouble follows her wherever she goes. Series 1 sees Sylvia in Italy for her niece’s wedding when the groom goes missing. Sylvia solves the mystery and, longing to reconnect with her sister (Tara Fitzgerald), decides to start anew in Umbria. Soon she’s tackling other cases and winning over a handsome local cop (Giovanni Cirfiera), even as her ex-husband/ex-colleague (Jamie Bamber) tries to lure her back.

Based on a series of novels by Julie Wassmer, Kerry Godliman leads detective drama Whitstable Pearl where single mum Pearl (Godliman) pursues her lifelong dream of starting a private detective agency, which she runs from her family restaurant in the coastal town of Whitstable. Drawn by her caring nature, locals soon flock to her with all kinds of cases. But, when a friend dies suspiciously, Pearl finds herself in conflict with gruff new cop in town, DCI Mike McGuire (Howard Charles).

Darby and Joan is an Australian murder mystery and crime dramedy series starring Bryan Brown and Greta Scacchi. Widowed English nurse Joan Kirkhope (Scacchi) is on a quest to find answers about her husband’s mysterious death, while ex-detective Jack Darby (Brown) has taken to the open road; the two meet in the outback and form an unlikely investigative team.

Little lies lead to bigger truths in charming Irish dramedy, The South Westerlies. Environmental consultant Kate Ryan (Orla Brady) goes undercover in a small town to quell objections to a wind farm. But Kate has a complicated history with Carrigeen. Soon after arriving with her son, she runs into an ex-friend and an old flame, soon realising her task won’t be a breeze. Co-stars Patrick Bergin.

Dark Winds is an American psychological, noir thriller based on the Leaphorn & Chee novel series by Tony Hillerman. Set in the 1970s Southwest, the series follows the FBI investigation of a bank robbery in Gallup, N.M., and the Navajo Tribal inquiry into the local murder of two Native residents. Lt. Joe Leaphorn (Zahn McClarnon) and his new deputy Jim Chee (Kiowa Gordon) do the heavy lifting around the reservation, which is near Monument Valley.

The strange behaviours of some of the residents and the newcomers intertwine with their personal stories as the two men battle the forces of evil and their own personal demons on the path to salvation. Co-stars Jessica Matten (Tribal), Noah Emmerich (The Americans), Deanna Allison and features Rainn Wilson (The Office).

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