×

Sky Re-Enters ‘Tunnel,’ Wants ‘Gone’ by Lennie James

Sky has commissioned two new Sky Original Productions for Sky Atlantic: a third season of “The Tunnel” and the new drama “Gone,” created and written by “Walking Dead” actor Lennie James.

“Gone” will be directed by Nick Murphy and is produced by World Productions (“Line of Duty”). Suranne Jones and Stephen Graham co-star. James is currently starring in “The Walking Dead’s” seventh season on AMC, which is on its mid-season hiatus. Graham can be seen in “Taboo,” alongside Tom Hardy, on BBC One in Britain and on FX in the U.S.

Set on a southeast London housing estate, “Gone” tells the story of Nelson “Nelly” Rowe, a charmer and chancer who is the life and soul of his local bar. When he is falsely accused of a terrible crime, he determines to clear his name and find the real perpetrator. The journey makes him confront his careless past but also offers a chance for redemption, though Nelly faces the painful reality that the worst thing happening to someone he loves might be the best thing that has ever happened to him.

“Everyone knows someone like Nelly,” said James of the central character, describing Nelly as someone who “never really grew up and has wasted who he could have been. They are usually the cautionary tale. They are almost never the hero.”

Jones plays an old flame whom Nelly shared a summer of love with 13 years earlier. Graham’s role has not been revealed. Simon Heath and Jessica Sykes serve as executive producers for World Productions, with international distribution handled by Sky Vision.

Lennie James has mixed a gripping mystery with utterly unique characters,” said Anne Mensah, head of drama for Sky. “‘Gone’ exemplifies the originality we aim for on Sky Atlantic.”

“The Tunnel” (pictured) will return for a third and final season titled “The Tunnel: Vengeance.” Stars Stephen Dillane, who won an International Emmy in 2014 for his role in the first season of the crime thriller, and Clemence Poesy will reprise their roles as detectives Karl Roebuck and Elise Wasserman.

“Law & Order: UK” writer Emilia di Girolamo has written the six-part final season, which is set in Europe amid hysteria around a refugee crisis, the increased threat of terrorism and the growing power of far-right groups. The British and French detectives find themselves faced with a pair of adversaries whose crimes employ increasing dark and desperate measures designed to provoke the police into collaborating on their desperate endgame.

“In ‘The Tunnel: Vengeance’ we return to our incomparable detective duo examining questions which politically couldn’t be more pertinent,” said Mensah. “This final installment will be the perfect ending to the emotional journey we’ve been on across three fantastic series.”

“The Tunnel: Vengeance” is executive produced by Manda Levin and Karen Wilson for production company Kudos. It is produced by Toby Welch and directed by Anders Engstrom and Giles Bannier. Endemol Shine International handles international distribution.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Tin Star

    Sky Studios Launches U.K. Innovation Hub in Northern England

    Sky Studios is set to follow Channel 4’s move to the northern English city of Leeds with the launch of a new Innovation Hub. Sky Studios, the production arm of pay-TV giant Sky, said Wednesday that the new regional hub would focus on talent development, scripted partnerships and new content experiences, creating new original drama, [...]

  • THE BACHELORETTE - "The Bachelorette: Season

    'The Bachelor': ABC Announces Leading Man For Season 24

    ABC has cast its next leading man for Season 24 of “The Bachelor.” Peter Weber has officially been named the upcoming “Bachelor.” The announcement was made Tuesday night on ABC’s “Bachelor In Paradise” reunion special. Weber appeared on Season 15 of “The Bachelorette” with Hannah Brown, ultimately becoming the second runner-up. He was a fan-favorite [...]

  • SEAL TEAM stars David Boreanaz (left),

    Showrunner John Glenn Exits 'SEAL Team' at CBS

    CBS is cutting ties with “SEAL Team” showrunner John Glenn, Variety has confirmed. Glenn joined the show for its second season, which premiered in October of last year. Christopher Chulack, Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly also executive produced. “Regarding ‘SEAL Team,’ I am proud of the work we did – and greatly enjoyed having the chance to [...]

  • NBC Campaign Aims to Reclaim Brand

    NBC Launches Campaign to Reclaim Brand Ownership of Hit Comedies (EXCLUSIVE)

    NBC is preparing a new salvo in the streaming-era TV branding wars. As audiences increasingly watch shows like “The Good Place” and “Superstore” on other platforms, the Peacock network has launched a new campaign to remind them that these are, first and foremost, NBC shows. And they’re even enlisting a real-life peacock to convey the [...]

  • Shane Gillis

    'SNL' Sought Conservative Appeal With Shane Gillis Hire

    “Saturday Night Live” was looking to shake things up with the casting of Shane Gillis — and it did, albeit unintentionally. According to sources, the long-running NBC comedy show and series mastermind Lorne Michaels were actively looking to cast a comedian for its new season who would appeal to more conservative viewers. This was meant [...]

  • TV News Roundup: Netflix Announces Arsenio

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Announces Arsenio Hall's Comedy Special Premiere Date

    In today’s TV news roundup, Netflix announced the premiere date for Arsenio Hall’s comedy special and a “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” duo (among others) will guest star on “Elena of Avalor.” CASTING “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” stars Rachel Brosnahan and Tony Shalhoub, as well as Auli’i Cravalho (“Moana”), John Leguizamo (“When They See Us”), Taye Diggs (“All American”), Eugenio Derbez [...]

  • How 'Save Our Show' Campaigns Affect

    From 'The OA' to 'One Day at a Time': How 'Save Our Show' Campaigns Affect Network Interest

    Organized flash mobs and mounting billboards still may not save your favorite shows, as some fan campaigns are finding out. Following Netflix’s most recent decision to stand firm on its cancellation of “The OA,” the question remains, “what will save these shows?” When networks and streamers find that smaller favorites aren’t big cash cows, fans [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content