Advanced Television

BritBox unveils debut originals

July 22, 2020

BritBox UK, the streaming service created by ITV and the BBC, has confirmed four original commissions.

In addition to A Spy Among Friends; the limited series based on the best-selling book written by Ben Macintyre and produced by ITV Studios’ BAFTA award-winner Patrick Spence, BritBox UK has greenlit a raft of scripted drama. The Beast Must Die, Crime and Magpie Murders will debut exclusively on the UK streaming platform.

An original British five-part revenge thriller, The Beast Must Die is being produced by New Regency Television and Ridley Scott’s Scott Free. New Regency is also the international distributor on the production.

Ed Rubin, Head of New Regency Television International said: “We are tremendously excited to be bringing Nicholas Blake’s gripping novel to the screen, as the first drama for New Regency Television out of the UK – and one of the first BritBox originals. It’s been adapted brilliantly by Gaby, and we couldn’t ask for a more talented cast and team to bring it to life.”

Marina Brackenbury, Head of TV and Film at Scott Free UK added: “The Beast Must Die is both intensely emotional and thrilling, with a fresh and exciting psychology at play between all the characters; Dome and our stellar cast each bring a very personal take to the material which – along with our partners New Regency, BritBox and Nathaniel Parker – we feel will undoubtedly translate as a must see for audiences.”

Irvine Welsh will adapt his first TV drama, based on his novel Crime, alongside long-standing screenwriting partner Dean Cavanagh. Crime is distributed worldwide by Cineflix Rights.

Welsh said: “Delighted that BritBox have picked this up. Lennox is a compelling character for me, not so much a cop as a broken avenging angel. So don’t expect a run of the mill cop show, and nonces beware.”

Magpie Murders is adapted from the bestseller written by Anthony Horowitz OBE. It has been commissioned by BritBox alongside MASTERPIECE on PBS and will be produced by Eleventh Hour Films.

Jill Green, Eleventh Hour Films said, ”This is an  extraordinary and distinctive drama. I don’t think there’s ever been a crime show like it with a strong female lead treading the line between reality and fiction as she fights to uncover the truth.”

Horowitz added: “Magpie Murders is my most successful novel and it wasn’t easy to adapt. But I think the result is a completely original drama that will delight and beguile audiences in equal measure.”

Reemah Sakaan, Group Director ITV SVOD and Chief Creative & Brand Officer BritBox Global, commented:  “BritBox Originals need to be bold, bingeable and distinctively British. Creating this exceptional roll call of talent, stories and productions in our first drama slate to add exclusively to the treasure trove of BritBox boxsets from every UK PSB is something no one else can do, we can’t wait to bring them to subscribers.”

Kevin Lygo, ITV’s Director of Television who leads BritBox UK Originals said: “BritBox stands for the best of British and with this high calibre slate of Original Drama commissions, we are bringing the very best of UK creative talent to a UK streamer for the first time.”

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