“Best of British” streaming service BritBox is making further moves into original production, announcing a new multi-series collaboration with Oscar-nominated writer-producer Jeff Pope during its Television Critics Association panel on Saturday. BritBox will co-produce Pope’s new dramas “The Barking Murders” and “The Hatton Garden Heist” with the BBC.
“The Barking Murders” stars Stephen Merchant, Sheridan Smith and Jaime Winstone and is written by Neil McKay, who previously collaborated with Pope on 2017’s “The Moorside,” also starring Smith, and 2011 miniseries “Appropriate Adult.” The three-part factual drama, executive produced by Pope, focuses on the families of the victims of a convicted serial killer (Merchant). It is scheduled to start filming this spring and will air on BBC One in the U.K.
Written and created by Pope, “The Hatton Garden Heist” stars Timothy Spall in a crime drama that provides an inside look at the infamous London jewelry heist. The 2015 robbery and its slightly geriatric group of culprits have been the subject of several television and film projects already.
Both series will debut on BritBox, a collaboration between BBC Studios and ITV, later this year.
Pope, who was Oscar-nominated for his screenplay to “Philomena,” recently wrote movie biopic “Stan & Ollie,” for which he is BAFTA-nominated for Outstanding British Film. He previously won a BAFTA Television Award for 2006’s “See No Evil: The Moors Murders” and a BAFTA Film Award for “Philomena.” He also received BAFTA’s Special Award in 2015 for outstanding contribution to television. This year’s Outstanding British Film award will be presented at the British Academy Film Awards on Sunday night.
BritBox, which launched in March 2017 and hit half a million subscribers in January, also announced a host of new upcoming content to expand its offering, starting with groundbreaking comedy drama “There She Goes” in April. The show stars David Tennant as a father learning to cope with the unique challenges of raising a daughter (Miley Locke) with learning disabilities.
Other new content on the service will include new seasons of “Bancroft” and “Cold Feet,” and the final season of “Mum,” starring 2018 Oscar nominee Lesley Manville. Also new to BritBox is ensemble comedy “Living the Dream.”
BritBox president Soumya Sriraman, who led the streamer’s presentation at TCA, said: “Throughout the past year BritBox has continued to thrive in an increasingly competitive space. Our service has the right mix of one-of-a-kind originals, unrivaled British talent, and an enviable library of classics that proves even in a field dominated by Goliaths, David still has a shot.”
BritBox bills itself as offering U.S. and Canadian viewers the best of new and classic British television content. The platform aired its first original commission, crime drama “The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco,” in July 2018.