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Acorn TV plants Wassmer crime drama

AMC Networks-owned streamer Acorn TV has commissioned a British crime drama from Buccaneer Media (Marcella) and based on novels by Julie Wassmer.

Kerry Godliman

Whitstable Pearl (6×45′) will star Kerry Godliman (After Life) in the lead role as Pearl Nolan, the proprietor of a newly formed detective agency.

Due to begin production in Whitstable, south-east England, on October 26, it will be distributed internationally by Cineflix Rights and will premiere exclusively on Acorn TV in North America, New Zealand, Australia and the UK in 2021.

Based on novels The Whitstable Pearl Mystery and Disappearance at Oare by mystery novelist Wassmer – who previously worked on shows such as EastEnders as a TV drama writer – Whitstable Pearl has Norwegian filmmaker Øystein Karlsen (Exit, Dag, Lilyhammer) attached as lead writer.

The series explores the dark undercurrents of murder and debauchery swirling beneath the surface of the picturesque  seaside town of Whitstable, famous for its native oysters and buffeted by the prevailing winds and spray of the North Sea.

Alongside Karlsen, the rest of the writing team includes Mike Walden (Marcella), Rachel Flowerday (Malory Towers) and Alastair Galbraith (Strike Back). David Caffrey (The Alienist) is lead director and will helm the first two episodes.

The producer of the series is Guy Hescott (Agatha Raisin) and the casting director is Rob Kelly. The exec producers are Tony Wood, Anna Burns, Richard Tulk-Hart and Nadia Jaynes for Buccaneer, alongside Karlsen and Wassmer.

Acorn TV, which specialises in scripted content from outside North America, particularly the UK, recently launched in Portugal with a slate that includes classic ITV dramas Doc Martin and Foyle’s War.

Its UK-based development arm is Acorn Media Enterprises (AME), which works with producers, distributors, writers and broadcasters in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and beyond to commission, coproduce and co-finance international English-language scripted shows.

Along with Whitstable Pearl, AME has commissioned seasons two and three of Agatha Raisin and seasons one and two of London Kills.

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