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Netflix Takes Thriller ‘Harlan Coben’s The Five’ to the U.S. (EXCLUSIVE)

Netflix subscribers in the U.S. and Canada will be able to tune in to mystery thriller “Harlan Coben’s The Five” after the streaming service scooped the North American rights to the series.

The series was produced and is set in the U.K., where it went out on pay-TV service Sky. It marked bestselling author Coben’s move into TV, and follows a group of friends as they discover that the brother of one them, who vanished years earlier, may still be alive after his DNA turns up at a murder scene.

The series has sold well internationally. It will debut in the U.S. on Friday.

Netflix, along with Canal+’s C8 in France, already has dibs on Coben’s next project, “Safe,” another thriller from “The Five” team, and starring Michael C. Hall (“Dexter”) in the lead role. As on “The Five,” Nicola Shindler’s Red is producing, the shingle’s parent group StudioCanal is distributing, and Danny Brocklehurst is penning the script, based on an idea and input from Coben.

The New Jersey-based author says his work is well suited to a streaming service, where people can watch multiple episodes. “In same way as you might say ‘I’m going to read one more chapter before I go to sleep,’ I think ‘The Five’ and ‘Safe’ are binge-worthy shows that you will start and finish in a day or two,” Coben told Variety.

Coben said he was pleased his new series has also landed at Netflix internationally. “In a sense, I don’t care where it airs, just like I don’t care if you read my book on paper or on digital, but I think it’s a more exciting platform for us, to get all of the episodes out at one time. I almost never watch a show that isn’t completed in case I do want to binge. I don’t watch anything live anymore.”

The author is about to publish his 32nd book and says that TV allows him to be part of a collaborative effort in a way that novel-writing does not. He added that he was excited to be working with actor Hall on “Safe.” “It’s such a thrill – Michael’s only done ‘Dexter’ and ‘Six Feet Under,’ so this is his third show,” Coben said. “It’s great that he chose us.”

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