- Network extends commissioning breadth and orders first scripted drama for entertainment channel W, co-commissioned with Pop and made by Hat Trick Productions and CASM
Monday 12 March 2018
UKTV has commissioned its first ever drama series for premium entertainment channel W. UKTV Original Flack (6x60'), set in the world of high-stakes public relations, stars Academy Award winning, Golden Globe winning and Emmy(R)-nominated actress Anna Paquin (The Piano, True Blood, X-Men).
Flack stars Paquin as the sharp and witty publicity maven Robyn, who's an expert at her craft but a complete self-saboteur when it comes to her personal life.
The series is the first UKTV co-commission with an American broadcaster. The series is co-commissioned with US network Pop and co-produced by Hat Trick Productions and Anna Paquin's production company CASM Films. The series was created by Oliver Lansley (Whites, Alice's Adventures Underground) who will also executive produce. Lead director on Flack will be Peter Cattaneo, Oscar(R)-nominated for The Full Monty and director of the Bafta-winning BBC Two comedy Rev.
Anna Paquin said:
Oliver Lansley has written six of the best scripts I've ever read. He walks that fine line between intense character driven drama and exceptionally intelligent humour. My character, Robyn, exists in a world where there are no moral absolutes and humour is used as a sharply executed defence mechanism to maintain the illusion of perpetual control. I am incredibly excited about tackling the creative complexities of Flack as an actress and for my company CASM's collaboration with W and Pop.
Flack reflects on the brutal reality and complexities of modern life where problems can go viral in an instant. With PR serving as the perfect backdrop to explore these complexities, Flack centres on an American PR executive living in London (Paquin) who must figure out how to make the best of bad situations and somehow manage to get out unscathed.
Flack is produced by Mark Talbot, executive produced by Jimmy Mulville (Episodes) and Helen Williams of Hat Trick Productions and created by Oliver Lansley, who will also executive produce. The series will be directed by Peter Cattaneo and has been ordered by Richard Watsham, UKTV's director of commissioning and Steve North, genre manager for entertainment and comedy. Flack is commissioned by Pete Thornton, UKTV senior commissioning editor who will also oversee as executive producer for UKTV. Anna Paquin will also executive produce for CASM alongside Stephen Moyer, Cerise Hallam Larkin and Mark Larkin with Justin Rosenblatt for Pop.
Jimmy Mulville said:
Hat Trick is honoured to be bringing UKTV's first big drama series to W. We've found a very supportive creative home for Oliver Lansley's fantastic series and we are assembling a stunning cast led by the brilliant Anna Paquin who is also starring in her first UK drama.
On UKTV's drama ambition, Richard Watsham commented: "It's very exciting to announce Flack as the first original drama for W - it marks a new chapter in the ever-expanding story of UKTV's move into original programming. The response from independent producers to our call out for distinctive drama has been incredible and as well as moving into production on Flack, we are now developing a growing number of original drama series for Alibi and Drama."
Pete Thornton added:
This is an incredibly ambitious production, so it's crucial for us to be in business with production partners who we can trust implicitly to deliver creative excellence on time and on budget. In director Peter Cattaneo and the multi-talented and award-winning teams at CASM and Hat Trick Productions, we know we've got exactly that.
Adam Collings, channel director for W added: "I'm beyond thrilled to be bringing Flack to W's viewers as Oliver's script is super-smart, wonderfully edgy and totally compelling. This, combined with the internationally recognised talent of Anna Paquin, makes Flack a perfect fit for W whose viewers expect the best in high quality, talent-driven entertainment. I can't wait for the first episode to air."
Flack is a co-commission with Pop who commented:
Flack' is extremely poignant, smartly exploring an age in which for better or worse, news happens in a breath," said Justin Rosenblatt, EVP of Original Programming, "This series captures the often funny and sometime damaging results with a dream lead in Anna Paquin.
The UKTV Original series will go into production this Spring and will TX in 2019 on W.
Series creator Oliver Lansley is an accomplished actor and theatre producer. He created Whites which was broadcast on BBC Two, and he has developed projects with HBO and FX. He additionally runs an award-winning theatre company, Les Enfants Terribles which was nominated for a 2016 Olivier Award for its production Alice's Adventures Underground and recently returned to the Vaults.
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W is UKTV's premium entertainment channel, offering audiences a dazzling mix of UKTV original series; Dr Christian Will See You Now, John Bishop: In Conversation With..., The Davina Hour, The Secrets In My Family and Inside the Ambulance alongside handpicked gems from the BBC and Channel 4 including series from Louis Theroux, David Beckham, Stacey Dooley as well as the same day repeat of EastEnders.
UKTV is a commercial broadcaster reaching over 40m viewers every month.
The award-winning independent has eleven imaginative brands - UKTV Play, Dave, W, Gold, Alibi, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home, Eden and Good Food. These include the two most popular non-PSB channels in the UK and account for nearly 10% of the British commercial TV market.
The network delivers inspired channels to audiences through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, Freesat, Amazon Fire and UKTV Play, and distributes its highly valued original programmes to 200 territories. Now celebrating over 20 years at the forefront of digital television, UKTV - an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Discovery, Inc. - is proud to be the first British television broadcaster in The Sunday Times top 100 companies list.
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