NEW ANN CLEEVES NOVEL SNAPPED UP FOR TELEVISION SERIES

Silverprint Pictures has announced that it has optioned the screen rights to THE LONG CALL, the outstanding first novel in the new Two Rivers crime fiction series from bestselling author Ann Cleeves. The deal was arranged by Rebecca Watson at Valerie Hoskins Associates on behalf of literary agent Sara Menguc.

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THE LONG CALL is the third collaboration between Cleeves and Silverprint Pictures, a partnership that has produced Shetland (BBC) and Vera (ITV), two of television’s most popular dramas. Both the television series and the books they are based on have become international sensations, capturing the hearts of millions worldwide.

THE LONG CALL, published by Pan Macmillan on 5 September, is set in North Devon, where the author spent her teenage years. Ann introduces us to the reserved and complex Detective Inspector Matthew Venn, and to a wonderfully rich ensemble of characters, in a compelling, skillfully plotted mystery, which vividly evokes the stark beauty of the North Devon coastline, and a community where murder and intrigue bubble just beneath the surface.

Author Ann Cleeves says:
“I’m delighted that the team at Silverprint has optioned THE LONG CALL. The adaptations of Vera and Shetland have captured the essence of my books, while making TV dramas that are hugely successful in their own right.”

Kate Bartlett, Executive Producer, Silverprint says:
“After almost a decade working together, we are thrilled to be continuing our creative partnership with Ann. THE LONG CALL is a rich and deeply engrossing mystery with a whole host of new Cleeves characters led by the inimitable Matthew Venn. Just as the novel feels like a progression of Ann's writing, this feels like the opportunity to create a wholly unique and ambitious event crime drama with another iconic Detective at its heart. We can't wait to get started.”

Vicki Mellor, Publishing Director Fiction at Pan Macmillan says:
“We are thrilled that Ann’s superlative new novel The Long Call has been optioned for television. Ann’s unique ability to evoke landscape and create compelling new characters is never more evident than with this novel as we see a new setting in North Devon and a new lead in the wonderful Matthew Venn. The happy news that Ann’s hugely successful partnership with Silverprint is continuing couldn’t be more welcome or come at a better time. We can’t wait to see how the series evolves onto the screen.’

Silverprint Pictures
All-star cast announced for Flesh and Blood

Imelda Staunton, Francesca Annis, Russell Tovey and Stephen Rea star in new Silverprint Pictures drama for ITV, Flesh and Blood, written by Sarah Williams and directed by Louise Hooper.

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ITV and Silverprint Pictures today announce that Imelda Staunton (Maleficent, Paddington, Harry Potter, Vera Drake), Francesca Annis (Home Fires, The Little House, Cranford), Russell Tovey (Years and Years, Quantico) and Stephen Rea (Dickensian, War & Peace, The Honourable Woman) have begun filming Flesh and Blood - a darkly witty and gripping four-part drama created and written by Sarah Williams (The Long Song, Case Sensitive, Poppy Shakespeare), which explores family dynamics and modern relationships as they spiral towards a tragedy and possible crime. 

Joining the ensemble cast are Claudie Blakley (Manhunt, Grantchester, Lark Rise To Candleford), Lydia Leonard (Gentleman Jack, Absentia, Apple Tree Yard), Sharon Small (London Kills, Trust Me, Born to Kill), Lara Rossi (Cheat, Crossing Lines), Keir Charles (Man Up, Love Actually, Green Wing), Vincent Regan (Victoria, The Royals, Atlantis), David Bamber (Valkyrie, Doctors, The Bourne Identity), Stephanie Langton (Ransom, Law & Order UK), Clara Indrani (Vera, The Rebel, EastEnders) and Grace Hogg-Robinson (The Coroner, Mum).

Directed by BAFTA nominee and Grierson award winner Louise Hooper (Cheat, Vera, Cold Feet), Flesh and Blood is a modern story of three adult siblings - Helen (Claudie Blakley), Jake (Russell Tovey) and Natalie (Lydia Leonard) - who are thrown into disarray when their recently widowed mother Vivien (Francesca Annis) declares she’s in love with a new man, Mark (Stephen Rea). 

As she nears her 70th birthday, the siblings’ suspicions are heightened when retired GP Mark sweeps their mother off her feet, shifting her priorities away from her children. The happiness of her 45-year marriage to their father, Terry, is called into question, which sends a seismic shock through the lives of the siblings. Years of secrets, lies, rivalries and betrayals come to the surface and threaten to blow apart everything they’ve held dear.

With their large family home overlooking the Sussex coast, their inheritance and the happy memories of their childhood all suddenly threatened by the arrival of Mark, the siblings attempt to find out more about him.  But will their long-buried grudges and complicated personal lives allow them to pull together?

Then there’s Mary (Imelda Staunton), who has lived next door to Vivien for 40 years. Despite not being family, Mary appears unhealthily attached to Vivien and her family’s unfolding drama.

Filmed on location in London and along the Sussex coast, Flesh and Blood is produced by Letitia Knight (Dark Heart, Vera). Silverprint Pictures’ Creative Director Kate Bartlett (Dark Heart, Shetland, Vera) executive produces the series with Sarah Williams. 

Silverprint Pictures
Vera returns for series ten
 

ITV drama Vera confirmed for a tenth series

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Following the success of series nine, ITV and Silverprint Pictures confirms award winning actress Brenda Blethyn will return as DCI Vera Stanhope for a tenth series. Four feature length episodes, set against the backdrop of the North East, will begin production in April for transmission in 2020.

Kenny Doughty will return as Detective Sergeant Aiden Healy, who over the years has proved himself to be a strong and reliable partner to DCI Stanhope. Completing Vera’s team is Jon Morrison who plays DC Kenny Lockhart, Riley Jones who plays DC Mark Edwards, Ibinabo Jack who plays DC Jacqueline Williams and Paul Kaye who returns as Pathologist Dr. Malcolm Donahue. 

The four self-contained crime stories will be inspired by the best-selling novels and characters created by acclaimed crime writer Ann Cleeves, who received the Diamond Dagger Award at the Crime Writer’s Association in 2017 for a lifetime achievement for sustained excellence.

Made by Silverprint Pictures, part of ITV Studios, for ITV, series ten will be produced by Will Nicholson whilst Executive Producer Phil Hunter returns for his fourth consecutive series. Director Paul Gay and writer Paul Logue also return to the production and will be working on the first episode.  

Commented Brenda Blethyn: “Along with the rest of the cast of VERA, I’m delighted to be embarking on series ten. The enthusiasm and warmth shown to VERA has been overwhelming and we can’t wait to get started. Newcastle here we come!”

Commented Phil Hunter: “I'm thrilled VERA is returning for series ten. Making this show is such a joy and it's clear that TEAM VERA love it as much as the viewing fans love watching. I'm continually overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and commitment the brilliant cast and crew bring to the show.”

In the UK VERA performs consistently for ITV. Earlier this year series nine averaged 7.9 million viewers. Internationally VERA is one of the most successful imported drama titles in Belgium, Denmark, France, Netherlands and Norway, and has been sold to more than 150 territories worldwide.

At this year’s Royal Television Society Awards: North East & The Border, VERA won the Judges Award for outstanding contribution to the region and Production Designer Patrick Bill won the award for Professional Excellence for Production Design. 

 
Silverprint Pictures
ITV Commissions Silverprint Pictures to make Flesh and Blood

ITV Studios label, Silverprint Pictures, produces four part drama, Flesh and Blood, written by Sarah Williams

ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill, today announced the commission of family drama, Flesh and Blood, written by Sarah Williams and produced by Silverprint Pictures.

Flesh and Blood is the modern story of three adult siblings  - Helen, Jake and Natalie - who are thrown into disarray when their recently widowed mother Vivien declares she's in love with a new man. 

This is no ordinary relationship drama, as someone in the family will be dead by the end of the story - but the question of who dies and who is the killer keeps us guessing right up to the last moment.   

As she nears her 70th birthday, the siblings’ suspicions are heightened when retired GP Mark sweeps their mother off her feet, shifting her priorities away from her children. The happiness of her 45-year marriage to their father, Terry, is called into question, which sends a seismic shock through the lives of the siblings. Years of secrets, lies, rivalries and betrayals come to the surface and threaten to blow apart everything they’ve held dear.

With their large family home overlooking the Kent coast, their inheritance and the happy memories of their childhood all suddenly threatened by the arrival of Mark, the siblings attempt to find out more about him.  But will their long-buried grudges and complicated personal lives allow them to pull together?

Commented Polly Hill:

“Sarah Williams perfectly captures the messy personal lives of the three siblings, and all is not what it seems. There’s so much more going on behind closed doors as we explore themes of relationships, trust, loyalty and love. Sarah cleverly weaves together this truthful family drama, through a compelling investigation that doesn’t reveal the victim until the very end.   It’s a very original story, and we are delighted to have it on ITV.”

Sarah Williams (The Long Song, Case Sensitive, Poppy Shakespeare) executive produces Flesh and Blood alongside Silverprint Pictures, Creative Director, Kate Bartlett (Dark Heart, Shetland, Vera).  Letitia Knight (Dark Heart, Vera) will produce the show.

Commented Kate Bartlett:

"Flesh and Blood is an original contemporary drama exploring family and romantic relationships in a way which is both darkly sharp and witty as well as deeply touching. Sarah Williams has written compelling and atmospheric scripts, which we are thrilled to be bringing to the screen for ITV."

Commented Sarah Williams:  

“Coming from a big family myself, I’ve always been fascinated by sibling dynamics.  Our brothers and sisters can be our closest allies or our sworn enemies – often in the space of a heartbeat.  There’s a bond between siblings that was formed before we were fully conscious beings – something bone-deep and instinctual.  No one can make us laugh as hard or wound us as deeply as our family - and that seemed to me incredibly rich territory for a drama.”

The series will begin filming in June in London and on the Kent coast.

Silverprint Pictures
KATE BARTLETT’S DRAMA LABEL RENAMED SILVERPRINT PICTURES

The production company behind the multi-award winning international hit drama Vera has rebranded to Silverprint Pictures. Kate Bartlett’s drama label, formerly known as ITV Studios, London Drama, will begin the New Year with the launch of series 8 of Vera on ITV, shown for the first time under the Silverprint Pictures banner.

Separately, Silverprint Pictures has just won the exclusive television rights to Black Tudors: The Untold Story, from Emily Hayward Whitlock at The Artists Partnership and Charlie Viney at The Viney Shaw Agency.  Miranda Kaufmann’s critically acclaimed historical book explores  African settlers  living freely in Tudor England. The plan is to develop the stories from Kaufmann’s book into an epic and ambitious returning drama series.  

Silverprint Pictures is also behind the forthcoming new crime thriller series  Dark Heart for ITV. Written by Chris Lang, the six-hour drama stars Tom Riley as DI Wagstaffe and is inspired by characters created by crime novelist Adam Creed. 

The New Year will also see the return of Silverprint Pictures’ Shetland for BBC One. The fourth series of the acclaimed six part crime serial will premiere in early 2018, with Douglas Henshall returning as DI Jimmy Perez.

Bartlett said: “Over the last year we’ve rapidly expanded and broadened our development slate. We’re enormously proud of our heritage in a wide range of quality drama and as we build on that and develop ever more ambitious series for the international market, it felt important that our label had its own distinctive identity.”

“Winning the rights to Black Tudors is a great example of the direction of Silverprint Pictures. This is a previously untold story of Britain’s multicultural heritage, which lends itself to the increasing demand for thought-provoking, high end drama which will appeal to viewers from around the world.”

 
 
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Silverprint Pictures
ITV COMMISSIONS CRIME THRILLER DARK HEART STARRING TOM RILEY FROM SILVERPRINT PICTURES
 
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ITV has commissioned drama label Silverprint Pictures to produce six-part drama series Dark Heart starring Tom Riley as DI Will Wagstaffe, a man haunted by the murder of his parents when he was 16 years old.

Set in London, the series is written for ITV by acclaimed screenwriter Chris Lang whose work includes award-winning drama Unforgotten, Torn, Undeniable and A Mother’s Son.  Dark Heart is inspired by characters created by novelist Adam Creed, who has written a series of books featuring Will Wagstaffe.

The 6 x 60 series is the first commission for Kate Bartlett’s new drama label, Silverprint Pictures, formerly ITV Studios Drama London, who are the team responsible for ITV’s multi-award winning drama Vera starring Brenda Blethyn and Kenny Doughty which returns to the channel for an eighth series in January.

Filming will begin on Dark Heart early Spring 2018 with Chris Lang writing the first two part story, Ben Harris (Marcella, The Musketeers) writing the second two part story with Chris writing episodes five and six.

The series has been commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama Polly Hill.

Commented Polly Hill: “We’re thrilled Tom Riley has agreed to return as Will Wagstaffe in Dark Heart.  As the central character, he has immersed himself in police work to seek some form of closure for what has happened in his past. It’s a gritty, emotionally driven thriller from Chris Lang which I’m only too pleased to recommission from Kate Bartlett’s new drama label.”

Whilst devoting his life to his work, Will Wagstaffe, also known as Staffe to his colleagues, battles personal demons. He’s haunted by the unresolved murder of his parents, which affects both his private and professional life including his on-off romance with sometimes girlfriend, Sylvie, played by Miranda Raison.  His closest relationship is with his sister Juliette, played by Charlotte Riley, and young nephew Harry, who stays with him when Juliette has troubles with her boyfriend. 

With no parents and no significant partner of his own, Juliette and Harry mean everything to Staffe. Determined and tenacious, Wagstaffe is an exceptionally good police officer, in spite of the fact he’s been known for pushing the boundaries of what’s considered acceptable policing.

The drama will once again be executive produced by Chris Lang, Kate Bartlett (Vera, Shetland) and Michael Dawson (Vera, Holby City).  The producer is Letitia Knight (Vera) and the director is Colin Teague (Jekyll & Hyde, Da Vinci’s Demons).

Commented Kate Bartlett:  “Wagstaffe is an uncompromising, contemporary drama which perfectly complements the Silverprint Pictures drama slate. Chris Lang has written truly compelling and atmospheric scripts and we’re delighted that Tom Riley is playing Will Wagstaffe.”

 
Silverprint Pictures