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BBC2 targets new suspect in crime drama

UK pubcaster BBC2 has ordered a psychological crime series from the writer of Prime Suspect that will star Gillian Anderson.

The Fall, written by Allan Cubbitt and produced by Artists Studio, looks at the world through the eyes of both a serial killer stalking his victims and a female detective superintendent, played by Anderson (The X-Files), brought in to catch him.

Belgian director Jakob Verbruggen (Code 37) is on board the project, which is due to begin filming on location in Belfast in March. Delivery is due this autumn or early 2013.

Artists Studio was set up by former BOX TV alumni Justin Thomson-Glover, Gub Neal and Patrick Irwin in 2009. Neal and Julian Stevens will produce with Cubitt, Thomson-Glover and Irwin serving as exec producers. Stephen Wright will also exec produce through BBC Northern Ireland.

Additional funding for the project was invested by Northern Ireland Screen and the European Regional Development Fund.

Neal told C21: “We were unusual in developing a show in a genre that Allan was extremely knowledgeable in and had a really strong track record in.

“It’s a series about murder but from an unusual perspective, a balance between the perpetrator and the police officer. The third dimension is it’s great to have a show both written and set in Belfast. It’s a varied and extremely interesting landscape.”

Artists Studio is a partner on Titanic: Blood and Steel, a coproduction led by Italy’s DeAngelis Group.

The company, set up to create joint-venture partnerships with writers so they can retain greater influence over their projects, is also in development with creatives including Tony Marchant (Public Enemies), William Ivory (Common As Muck) and Simon Burke (Zen).

Its credits include Combat Hospital, a coproduction with Canada’s Sienna Films for Global TV and US network ABC; and TV films based on Mark Billingham’s Thorne series for UK satcaster Sky1.

Ben Stephenson, controller of BBC drama commissioning, said: “The Fall is a unique, forensic and characterful take on a classic genre that continues BBC2’s commitment to original British drama in 2012. Cubitt’s rich and complex psychological thriller combined with another compelling performance from Gillian Anderson will keep viewers on the edge of their seats.”

Further drama coming to BBC2 this year includes Sir Tom Stoppard’s Parade’s End, Paula Milne’s White Heat, Jed Mercurio’s Line of Duty, season two of nostalgic newsroom series The Hour and a season celebrating the works of Shakespeare.

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