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Harlan Coben Teams with Pay TV Operator Sky on ‘The Four’

European pay-TV provider Sky is reteaming with bestselling novelist Harlan Coben on an eight-part crime series, “The Four,” as the network continues to ramp up its drama output. The series follows their collaboration on “The Five,” the author’s first original story for TV.

“‘The Four’ is a stand-alone, character-driven thriller that tells the chilling story of an idyllic family community irrevocably shattered by secrets, lies, suspicions and misguided trust,” according to a press statement.

The series is an original story created by Coben and written by Danny Brocklehurst, whose recent credits include “Ordinary Lies.” It is produced by Nicola Shindler’s Red Production Company, which is best known for “Happy Valley” and “Last Tango in Halifax” and which also produced “The Five.” Executive producers are Coben, Brocklehurst and Shindler. It was commissioned by Sky’s head of drama Anne Mensah, commissioning editor Cameron Roach, and director of Sky’s entertainment channel Sky 1, Adam MacDonald.

“The Five,” which debuted in April on Sky 1, was well-received in the British press, which called it “a compelling thriller with a killer premise” (Telegraph), “expertly plotted with a fine script” (Observer) and a “new TV obsession” (Heat).

Coben’s books have sold more than 60 million copies, and his last nine novels all debuted at No. 1 on The New York Times bestseller list. His 2001 thriller “Tell No One” was adapted into the critically acclaimed French-language movie by Guillaume Canet. More recently, French channel TF1 adapted his bestselling novel “No Second Chance” into a six-part series that became the highest-rated French TV series in a decade.

In a statement, Coben said: “I am incredibly proud of what we all achieved with ‘The Five.’ Our goal from the start was to create a gripping crime drama that moved you, surprised you – and had a shocking and emotionally satisfying ending. I never wanted to make a sequel to ‘The Five’ — that story has now been told — but rather, to start fresh and bring a whole new crime drama to the screen.”

“The Four” joins 12 original drama series already on air or set to air in the near future on Sky’s channels Sky Atlantic and Sky 1, including “The Young Pope,” “Guerrilla,” “Tin Star,” “Jamestown” and “The Last Dragonslayer,” as well as returning series including “Fortitude.” In the past year, Sky has made a big impact on the drama scene with BAFTA nominations for “The Last Panthers” and “The Enfield Haunting,” and large audiences for “Stan Lee’s Lucky Man.”

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