A spokesperson for the Comcast-backed pay-TV operator confirmed the decision: “Sky will not be proceeding with any further series of ‘Bulletproof.'” Meanwhile, production company Vertigo Films has also said it “will not make any future series of ‘Bulletproof.'”
Variety understands season 4 of the show had already been commissioned and was in pre-production stages when news broke in The Guardian on April 29 about Clarke. Sky immediately took steps to halt any work on the program — and other work with Clarke — and has been holding internal discussions ever since about what’s next for the show.
The Guardian’s investigation saw 20 women who have worked with Clarke in a professional setting come forward, all of whom made an array of allegations against the “Bulletproof” star, including sexual harassment, unwanted touching or groping, sexually inappropriate behaviour and comments on set, professional misconduct, taking and sharing sexually explicit pictures and videos without consent, and bullying between 2004 and 2019.
Clarke has “vehemently” denied all allegations made against him.
It’s believed a number of options, including the recasting of Clarke’s character Aaron Bishop, were considered to proceed with the series, particularly in hopes of protecting the jobs of the rest of the cast and crew, but ultimately, a fourth season of the buddy cop comedy on Sky wasn’t creatively viable. Clarke is heavily intertwined with the show, which he created and co-writes alongside co-star Ashley Walters.
Sources indicate, however, that there may be opportunities for the program’s on and off-screen talent on other Sky shows in the future.
Variety understands the broadcaster made its decision based on findings from an internal investigation carried out by “Bulletproof” producers Vertigo. It was also aware of other allegations about Clarke made anonymously to a number of organizations this month.
Vertigo’s investigation is still ongoing. The production company made clear following the allegations that it was keen to speak to as many people involved in the production as it could. The show wasn’t solely produced by the outfit: Company Pictures was involved in season 1, and Clarke’s All3Media-backed Unstoppable banner has been credited through all three seasons.
Variety understands that All3Media’s probe into Unstoppable is still ongoing.
Over in the U.S., where “Bulletproof” was picked up by The CW, the network pulled the show on April 30, just a day after the allegations emerged. As an acquisition, however, the CW had far less skin in the game than Sky, which would have been keen to at least explore a workaround for the sake of the remaining cast and crew.
Police procedural “Bulletproof” debuted on Sky One in 2018, and follows detectives and best friends Aaron Bishop (Clarke) and Ronnie Pike Jr. (Walters) as they investigate the country’s most dangerous criminals. The first two seasons of the show were set in the U.K. but season 3 — a truncated order of just three episodes due to the coronavirus pandemic — was based in South Africa. An eight-episode season 4 order was made in January.
(Pictured, L-R: Ashley Walters, Noel Clarke in “Bulletproof”)