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BBC Greenlights Seven New Agatha Christie Adaptations

'And Then There Were None' was a hit for BBC in December

EDINBURGH, Scotland — And then there were seven more.

The BBC has commissioned a slate of new adaptations of works by mystery writer Agatha Christie following the critical and ratings success of star-studded thriller “And Then There Were None” for flagship channel BBC One last December. Agatha Christie Productions, the production arm of Agatha Christie Ltd., will deliver the seven new shows — to be aired on BBC One — over the next four years.

The first adaptation will be of the novel “Ordeal by Innocence,” which was written in the 1950s. As with “And Then There Were None,” Sarah Phelps will adapt “Ordeal by Innocence,” a psychological whodunit that Christie rated as one of her personal favorites. It will be executive produced by Hilary Strong and James Prichard for Agatha Christie Productions, Karen Thrussell and Damien Timmer for Mammoth Screen, and Matthew Read for the BBC.

Other titles so far confirmed include “Death Comes as the End,” a murder mystery set in Ancient Egypt, and “The ABC Murders,” a 1930s novel that pits Belgian detective Hercule Poirot against an alphabetically minded serial killer who strikes across Britain.

In addition to the seven new adaptations, filming is underway on two-part “The Witness for the Prosecution,” adapted by Phelps from Christie’s 1925 short story, directed by Julian Jarrold and starring Toby Jones, Andrea Riseborough and Kim Cattrall, as previously announced. Mammoth Screen and Agatha Christie Productions are producing the show. A separate feature-film version of “Witness for the Prosecution” is also in the works by 20th Century Fox, with Ben Affleck expected to direct. (The story has appeared on both the big and small screens before: as an Oscar-nominated movie by Billy Wilder in the 1950s and as a TV special in the 1980s, with actresses Marlene Dietrich and Diana Rigg, respectively, in the title role.)

Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content, said that the seven new adaptations “continue BBC One’s special relationship as the home of Agatha Christie in the U.K. Our combined creative ambition to reinvent Christie’s novels for a modern audience promises to bring event television of the highest quality to a new generation enjoyed by fans old and new.”

Hilary Strong, chief executive officer of Agatha Christie Limited, said: “What Sarah Phelps brought to ‘And Then There Were None’ was a new way of interpreting Christie for a modern audience, and Agatha Christie Ltd. is thrilled to be bringing this psychologically rich, visceral and contemporary sensibility to more classic Christie titles for a new generation of fans.”

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