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Peacock, C4 go to War with Kosminsky

NBCUniversal (NBCU)-owned US streaming service Peacock and UK broadcaster Channel 4 have commissioned a cyber thriller directed and co-written by Peter Kosminsky.

Simon Pegg

Six-part series The Undeclared War reunites Kosminsky with producer Colin Callender and his production company Playground, the company behind the Golden Globe- and Bafta-winning miniseries Wolf Hall, which Kosminsky also directed, and recent hit series All Creatures Great & Small.

Playground will coproduce the series with NBCU International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group, for C4 and Peacock. NBCU Global Distribution will handle international sales.

The cast includes Mark Rylance, Simon Pegg, Adrian Lester, Alex Jennings, Maisie Richardson-Sellers and newcomer Hannah Khalique-Brown.

Set in a post-pandemic 2024 in the run up to a UK general election, the plot tracks a leading team of analysts buried in the heart of GCHQ and secretly working to ward off a cyber-attack on the country’s electoral system.

During a three-year research process, Kosminsky and his team gained access to the cyber security industry on both sides of the Atlantic, with the aim of depicting a realistic picture of the threat faced by the Western world in the drama.

Kosminsky will direct all six episodes and has written four. Other writers on The Undeclared War include Declan Lawn (The Salisbury Poisonings), Adam Patterson (The Salisbury Poisonings) and Amelia Spencer (Dead Birds).

Kosminsky will also executive produce alongside Callender (Wolf Hall, All Creatures Great & Small) and Noëlette Buckley (Wolf Hall, King Lear) for Playground. Robert Jones (Babylon) is the producer.

Caroline Hollick, head of drama at commercially funded UK pubcaster C4, said; “Peter Kosminsky is a titan of British television drama and it’s a privilege to have this ground-breaking thriller on Channel 4. It’s a truly momentous series which will change the way we see the world around us. I’m also delighted to have such stellar names in the cast, as well as the chance to break brand new on-screen talent.”

Lisa Katz, president of scripted content at NBCU Television and Streaming, said: “It’s such an honour to bring this powerhouse writing and producing team to Peacock for a thrilling drama that will keep viewers at the edge of their seat with this timely and realistic look into cyber security.”

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