Channel 5 and AMC Networks’ Acorn TV commission New drama The Reluctant Madame Blanc (w.t), created by Sally Lindsay
Sally Lindsay and Sue Vincent have penned 6 x 60” series for Channel 5 and Acorn TV.
LONDON 19th JANUARY 2021: Channel 5 and Acorn TV are thrilled to announce the commission of a new six part thriller, The Reluctant Madame Blanc (w.t). Acorn Media International are the distributor for the series, which is co-produced by Clapperboard (Cold Call) and Saffron Cherry Productions. The Reluctant Madame Blanc (w.t) will have its world premiere exclusively on AMC Networks’ streaming service Acorn TV in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain, and will be broadcast on Channel 5 in the United Kingdom, followed by a second window on Acorn TV UK.
The announcement follows the recent commission from Channel 5 and Acorn TV for Dalgliesh (6 x 60”) starring Bertie Carvel, and is a continuation of Channel 5’s and Acorn TV’s commitments to expand their scripted programming slates.
The new six-part series follows Jean White, a renowned and respected antiques dealer, running a successful business in leafy Cheshire with her husband, Rory. We meet Jean on a rainy morning in Manchester, overcome with grief as she learns that Rory has tragically died on his way home from their vintage treasure-trove stomping grounds in the South of France.
Things are about to take a darker turn for poor Jean when she discovers that along with her husband, all of their money has disappeared, their shop re-mortgaged to the hilt and their assets pawned off. With the final thousands in their joint account ironically spent on Rory’s funeral, Jean’s life is set adrift…until her solicitor informs her of one thing her beloved did not sell: their cottage in French antiques hub, Saint Victoire. And when Jean finds out that the lavish ring Rory was bringing back to her is nowhere to be found, she quickly realises something is amiss and does the first thing she can think of; arriving in Saint Victoire, will Jean get the answers she is searching for?
The creator of The Reluctant Madame Blanc (w.t) is Sally Lindsay (Cold Call, Mount Pleasant) who will also star as Jean White. Sally has co-written the series with Sue Vincent (Mount Pleasant, Shameless) who will also have an on-screen role. Full casting will be announced later this year.
The series will be directed by Dermot Boyd (Mount Pleasant) and produced by Andy Morgan (Tin Star). Acorn Media Enterprises’ Catherine Mackin serves as executive producer on the series for Acorn TV, whilst Mike Benson (Cold Call) is Executive Producer for Clapperboard and Caroline Roberts-Cherry (The World According to Grandpa) for Saffron Cherry.
Creator and Lead Writer Sally Lindsay, Creative Director of Saffron Cherry, said: “I’ve always been fascinated by the worlds of antiques and Agatha Christie, so putting the two together and creating the world of St.Victoire with Sue has been an absolute joy. We are so excited to show the audience the stunning sunny locations and beautiful antiques cloaked in a veil of mystery and can’t wait for you to see what Jean unravels as she embarks on her new life in the sun.”
Sebastian Cardwell, Channel 5 Deputy Director of Programmes, ViacomCBS Networks UK commented: “Channel 5’s return to original Drama has been a great success, especially with Sally Lindsay starring in Cold Call in 2019, which was a real hit with our viewers. With a brilliant creative team at the helm, I have no doubt that this series will also have viewers hooked from the very beginning, impatiently waiting for the mystery to unravel in Saint Victoire!”
Catherine Mackin, Managing Director for Acorn Media Enterprises and Executive Producer for Acorn TV noted: “Sally Lindsay and Sue Vincent have created an exciting, immersive world with a beautiful setting, fascinating characters and enjoyable mysteries that Acorn TV’s subscribers across the globe are going to absolutely love.”
Mike Benson, Executive Producer for Clapperboard TV, said: “When Sally told me about her idea for an antique-centric crime series on the Mediterranean I was sold instantly! Along with Sue, Sally has created a world packed with hilarious characters, intricate mysteries and a quaint, sun-kissed town in St Victoire which I think viewers will want to escape to again and again.”
About AMC Networks
Known for its groundbreaking and celebrated original content, AMC Networks is the company behind the award-winning brands AMC, BBC AMERICA, IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv, and IFC Films. Its diverse line-up of popular and critically acclaimed series and independent films include Killing Eve, Better Call Saul and The Walking Dead, which has been the #1 show on ad-supported cable television for ten consecutive years, as well as Portlandia, Brockmire, Love After Lockup, and the Oscar-winning Boyhood. Its original series Mad Men and Breaking Bad are widely recognized as being among the most influential and acclaimed shows in the history of TV. The company also operates AMC+, its premium subscription bundle; the subscription streaming services Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now, and UMC; AMC Studios, its production business; AMC Networks International, its international programming business; and Levity Entertainment Group, its production services and comedy venues business. For more information, visit http://www.amcnetworks.com.
About Channel 5
Channel 5 is a public service broadcaster and the UK’s third largest commercial TV station. Launched in March 1997, Channel 5 has been owned by ViacomCBS Networks International since September 2014. Channel 5, 5STAR, 5USA, 5Select and My5 TV reach 3 in 4 of the UK viewing public each month with a diverse schedule including issue-led documentaries, popular factual, accessible history, stunning natural history, inclusive entertainment and reality, top level sport, high quality scripted programming and critically acclaimed children’s, news and current affairs programming. Through its agenda-driving commissions, Channel 5 has led on societal issues from inequality to inner city gang life, homelessness to mental health, aiming to tell the story of modern Britain by reflecting the lives of people across the nation. My5 is an on-demand service allowing viewers to watch content online for free from Channel 5, 5STAR, 5USA, 5Select and 5Spike, as well as selected third-party channels. In 2018, Channel 5 won its first BAFTA for Cruising with Jane McDonald and was named ‘Channel of the Year’ at the Edinburgh TV Festival. In 2019, Chanel 5 won best documentary award for The Abused at the RTS Awards, Edinburgh TV Awards and the Association of International Broadcasters Awards. In 2020, Channel 5 was crowned Channel of the Year at the Broadcast Digital Awards and Channel of the Year at the RTS awards.
About Viacom International Media Networks:
Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), is comprised of many of the world’s most popular multimedia entertainment brands, including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount Channel, VH1, VIVA and COLORS. Viacom brands are seen globally in more than 600 million households in 170 territories and 37 languages via more than 200 locally programmed and operated TV channels and more than 550 digital media and mobile TV properties. For more information about Viacom and its businesses, visit www.viacom.com. Keep up with Viacom news by following Viacom’s blog at blog.viacom.com and Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/Viacom
Clapperboard is a new scripted label from iZen and the partner company of UK indie Chalkboard, producers of Cold Call, — the first original drama commission from the UK’s Channel 5’s in its history. The company will also be headed up by Chalkboard MD Mike Benson and has been established to fully focus on developing and producing scripted programming across the UK broadcasters.
iZen is the Producer-led content group comprising of a network of independent production companies in Spain, the Middle East and the UK. iZen’s experience in scripted also extends to one of Amazon Prime Video’s largest original scripted series in Europe, El Cid.
Clapperboard uniquely aims to offer a commercial and creative home for leading writers and directors in the UK by offering partnerships with enhanced commercial terms more akin to a co-producer.
About Saffron Cherry Productions:
Saffron Cherry Productions founded by managing director Caroline Roberts-Cherry, is a scripted and non- scripted TV and film company based in Manchester. Currently with script commissions at ITV and BBC and producing a twenty-five part live action and animation series, The World According to Grandpa, starring Don Warrington for Channel 5’s Milkshake! Recent factual commissions include The Great Staycation; Dot’s Farm for BBC One and Emmeline Pankhurst; The Making of a Militant (BBC One/BBC 4) presented by Sally Lindsay.