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HBO, Sky uncover Chernobyl drama

HBO in the US and Sky in the UK have confirmed the first show to emerge from their recently agreed drama partnership, a five-parter about the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear facility in 1986.

Chernobyl is being produced by UK prodcos Sister Pictures and The Mighty Mint and will be written by Craig Mazin. Johan Renck directs while Carolyn Strauss, Jane Featherstone and Mazin executive produce.

The show dramatises the true story of one of the worst man-made disasters in history, when a catastrophic nuclear accident at the Ukraine plant caused 31 deaths and subsequently led to an enormous exclusion zone around the site that remains in place to this day.

The drama will tell the story of those who sacrificed themselves to save Europe from further disaster. Filming will begin in Lithuania in spring 2018.

“From the moment Craig Mazin pitched us the story, we were convinced that this all-too-true tale of horror and redemption needed to be told,” said Kary Antholis, president of HBO miniseries and Cinemax programming. “It will engage – and enrage – our viewers, as well as audiences around the world.”

The US cablenet and European pay TV operator linked up earlier this year on a US$250m coproduction scheme to develop high-end drama.

The arrangement between the companies, which have previously coproduced shows such as The Young Pope together, focuses on shows that feature “engaging stories with international points of view and casting,” with the first series expected to air in 2018.

Sister Pictures was formed by former Kudos CEO Jane Featherstone in January 2016.

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