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US cablenet BYUtv adapts Oscar Wilde for first UK drama commission

Anthony Head in The Canterville Ghost

US cablenet BYUtv has commissioned an adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Canterville Ghost from BBC Studios Productions, starring a veteran British cast led by Anthony Head.

The 4×60′ contemporary reimagining of the Wilde classic is being produced in the UK and will premiere in the US on October 31 to tie in with Halloween.

Adapted by Jude Tindall, the series marks the first British drama commission from BYUtv, which describes itself as a non-commercial, value-based network bringing US viewers inspiring and uplifting entertainment.

As well as Head (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), the cast of The Canterville Ghost includes James Lance (Ted Lasso), Caroline Catz (Doc Martin), Laurel Waghorn (Holby City), Carolyn Pickles (Broadchurch) and Haydn Gwynne (The Windsors).

Set in 21st century rural England, The Canterville Ghost sees US tech billionaire Hiram Otis buy Canterville Chase, unaware that the contents include a malevolent family ghost who has been haunting the premises for centuries and that his family will face the full might of the English aristocracy, united in opposition to the parvenu Americans.

The Canterville Ghost will be brought to the screen by directors Paul Gibson and Suri Krishnamma. The script producer is Neil Irvine and the series producer for BBC Studios Productions is Sue Howells. BBC Studios is distributing the series internationally.

Andra Johnson Duke, head of content at BYUtv, commissioned the series and said it will be “a not-to-be-missed special event of supernatural proportions filled with humour and heart that each member of the family will enjoy.”

Will Trotter, executive producer for BBC Studios Productions, described it as Oscar Wilde meets Downton Abbey, adding that the show is “bursting with gothic horror, romantic comedy and pathos.”

In addition to The Canterville Ghost, BYUtv’s original programming slate includes new scripted workplace comedy with puppets 9 Years to Neptune; a symphonic concert special from performer Marie Osmond; and long-running sketch comedy series Studio C.

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