‘Grace’ film spins off ‘Doc Martin’ for BSkyB

Sundance award winner spawns series for Clunes

LONDON — “Saving Grace,” the Brit dope comedy that won the world cinema audience prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, has spawned a TV spinoff.

Sky TV and Portman Entertainment, which co-financed the movie, are prepping “Doc Martin,” a series of six telepics based on one of the film’s supporting characters, a dope-smoking country doctor played by Martin Clunes.

Clunes, one of the most popular comedy actors on British TV, will reprise his role as a laid-back medic who is exiled from London to rural Cornwall, where he discovers unexpected happiness amid local eccentrics.

The TV franchise will be produced by Clunes’ own company Buffalo Pictures. Mark Crowdy, the co-writer and producer of “Saving Grace,” will act as script editor.

This is part of satcaster BSkyB’s move to bolster its original programming by creating vehicles for big-name local comedy talent.

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