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Sundance goes short with Nick Hornby

SundanceTV in the US has ordered a 10-part shortform comedy from the UK- and Australia-based prodco behind Top of the Lake, with Stephen Frears (A Very English Scandal, Philomena) set to direct.

Chris O’Dowd

State of the Union is from See-Saw Films and has been written by Bafta winner Nick Hornby (Brooklyn, An Education).

The show, which will star Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) and Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids), is made up of 10-minute episodes and follows a couple who meet in a pub immediately before their weekly marital therapy session.

With each successive episode, the show pieces together how their lives were, what drew them together and what has started to pull them apart.

Amy Jackson will produce for See-Saw alongside the company’s chief operating officer for television Hakan Kousetta and head of television Jamie Laurenson, as well as Jan Diedrichsen, general manager of SundanceTV and Sundance Now. Shooting will commence later this summer in London.

Hornby said: “I am so pleased to be working again with Stephen, Rosamund and Chris. I first met Stephen when he directed High Fidelity [based on Hornby’s book], Rosamund when she revealed her wonderful comic talent in An Education, and Chris when he made the forthcoming Juliet, Naked, and I think they will make a tremendous team.

“State of the Union is an unusual project, so it’s all the more gratifying that we have managed to attract talent of this magnitude.”

In a joint statement, See-Saw’s Kousetta and Laurenson added: “The shortform series has given Nick the freedom to explore a marriage in crisis which manages to be both funny and touching in equal measure. Realised by such amazing on- and off-screen talent, we couldn’t be more excited to see these scripts brought to life.”

See-Saw was founded by producers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman in 2008, initially focusing on movies including The King’s Speech and, more recently, Lion.

Its TV output includes Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake, while forthcoming show The Legend of Monkey will be available via Netflix, the ABC in Australia and New Zealand’s TVNZ. See-Saw is also in development on The North Water, to be written and directed by Andrew Haigh (45 Years) and adapted from the novel by Ian McGuire.

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