Paramount Plus Reveals Raft of U.K. Original Series Commissions « CmaTrends

Paramount Plus has revealed a further slate of scripted and unscripted U.K. original series ahead of the launch of the streaming service in the U.K. this summer.

Scripted original series commissioned by Sebastian Cardwell, deputy chief content officer, U.K., Paramount, as part of the streamer’s plans to greenlight 50 new international scripted originals in 2022, include “The Ex-Wife” (4×60″), based on Jess Ryder’s the hit psychological thriller novel, where a woman’s world of a perfect house, a loving husband and a beautiful little girl is turned upside down when her husband’s ex-wife won’t leave them alone.

Céline Buckens (“Showtrial”) plays the lead role in the series, which is co-produced by Clapperboard Studios, BlackBox Multimedia and Night Train Media, with Night Train Media financing and controlling worldwide distribution rights.

“The Ex-Wife” is written by Catherine Steadman who will also serve as executive producer on the series alongside Mike Benson for Clapperboard, Giuliano Papadia and Chiara Cardoso for BlackBox Multimedia, Olivia Pahl and Herbert Kloiber for Night Train Media, and Jess Ryder. Andy Morgan (“Tin Star”) is producer and Brian O’Malley (“The Lodgers”) will direct.

Also commissioned is “The Burning Girls” (6 x 60”), based on the novel of the same name by C.J. Tudor, where a female vicar and single mother to a 15-year-old daughter, arrives in Chapel Croft in the hope of a fresh start. However, instead of finding peace in their new home, they find the village rife with conspiracies and secrets.

The series is produced by Buccaneer Media in association with VIS – the international studio division of Paramount. Executive producers are Richard Tulk-Hart, Tony Wood, Tudor and Hans Rosenfeldt (“The Bridge”), who also serves as the lead writer alongside Camilla Ahlgren.

Unscripted U.K. originals, in addition to the ones announced in March, include “L.A. Hairdressers” (working title) – produced by Fulwell 73, in association with Endeavor Content, which will follow two Los Angeles establishments, with their teams of stylists that make them destinations for the Hollywood elite, over eight one hour episodes.

Leo Pearlman and Sheldon Lazarus serve as executive producers for Fulwell 73. The series was ordered by Kit Morey, VP commissioning editor for Paramount Plus U.K., and Daniel Pearl, VP, unscripted U.K. originals. Endeavor Content will handle global sales.

“Fashion House” (working title), produced by Lambent, in association with All3Media International and Night Train Media, is a 3 x 90” anthology series telling the story of three of the greatest fashion houses of all time – Gucci, Versace and Burberry. The series was ordered by Lucy Willis, VP commissioning editor for Paramount Plus U.K. Executive producers for Lambent are Emma Tutty and Ollie Tait. Ian Denyer, Kate Misrahi and Clare Richards will each direct an episode of the series.

“Pervert: Catching the Strip Search Caller” (working title), produced by Wag Entertainment, is a 3×60” series following the true crime story of a hoax caller who targeted fast food restaurants across America, convincing managers to obey his instructions, resulting in the abuse of staff. Executive producers for Wag Entertainment are Bridget Boseley and Steven Green, and the director is Sara Mast. It was commissioned by Denise Seneviratne, VP commissioning editor for Paramount Plus U.K.

“Girl, Taken,” produced by Soilsiú Films, in association with Screen Ireland, M-Net and Abacus Media Rights, is a feature length film following the story of Celeste and Morne Nurse, whose baby daughter Zephany was stolen from hospital two days after her birth in Cape Town, in 1997. Executive producers are Lesley McKimm for Screen Ireland, Jonathan Ford for Abacus Media Rights and Guy Davies for Paramount Plus. The South African partners and executive producers are M-Net’s Allan Sperling and Nicola van Niekerk.

David Rane is the producer for Soilsiú Films. Francois Verster also produces and directs the film alongside Simon Wood. The film was ordered by Guy Davies, VP commissioning editor for Paramount Plus U.K., from Abacus Media Rights, who also will handle global sales.

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