PARIS– Channel 4 has acquired “The Witnesses,” a buzzed-about French procedural toplining Gallic star Thierry Lhermitte, in the run-up to Mipcom, where the series will have its world premiere.
Sold by Laetitia Recayte’s team at Newen Distribution, the series – comprising six one-hour episodes — was created by Hervé Hadmar and Marc Herpoux, the duo behind such critically-aclaimed series as “Pigalle, la nuit.” Hadmar directed the entire season, which was commissioned by pubcaster France 2.
Set in the North of France, “The Witnesses” turns on a passionate and resilient female cop, Sandra Winckler, who investigates on a wave of strange murders linked to Paul Maisonneuve, a Crime Squad legend who is now retired but forced to return to duty.
The series, which has the singular and gritty atmosphere reminiscent of a Scandinavian crime drama, is darker and more daring that local shows that are tradionnally commissioned by the French public broadcaster. And as result, it’s the first time in 20 years that a series produced for France Televisions will air the U.K..
Channel 4 will schedule “The Witnesses” on primetime, underlining its enthusiasm for the series. The U.K. channel drew hit ratings with its latest French drama pickup, “The Returned,” a supernatural thriller skein.
“The Witnesses” is produced by Fabienne Servan-Schreiber and Jean Pierre Fayer at Cinétévé.
Following Mipcom, the series will screen during Direct To Series festival hosted in late October in L.A..