AMC Networks’ Acorn TV has commissioned new British crime drama Whitstable Pearl with Acorn Media Enterprises from Buccaneer Media (Marcella).
Based on the novels The Whitstable Pearl Mystery and Disappearance at Oare by Julie Wassmer (EastEnders) and brought to the screen for the first time by Norwegian filmmaker Øystein Karlsen (Exit, Dag, Lilyhammer), the new six-part series (6 X 45’) will feature Kerry Godliman (Ricky Gervais’ After Life) in the lead role as Pearl Nolan.
Whitstable Pearl explores the dark undercurrents of murder and debauchery swirling beneath the surface of the picturesque 16th century English seaside town of Whitstable.
Distributed internationally by Cineflix Rights, the Acorn TV Original Series will begin production in Whitstable on October 26. The series will exclusively premiere on Acorn TV in North America, New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom in 2021.
The series follows local celebrity Pearl Nolan, a chef-proprietor of the eponymous Whitstable Pearl restaurant which she runs alongside her son, Charlie, waitress Ruby, and in spite of her mother Dolly. She is also the proprietor of a newly-formed detective agency, finally putting her distant police-training to good use.
When Pearl discovers the body of Vinnie, a close family friend, she takes it upon herself to investigate what she believes to be murder. Standing in the way of her detective work is DCI Mike McGuire, the new Kent police chief who has transferred from London in an attempt to escape from his past. Pearl and Mike clash at first, but then Mike becomes the only other person to share Pearl’s belief that Vinnie was murdered. When a second body shows up, Pearl finds herself pulled into the dark underbelly of this picturesque town. The British seaside holiday will never be the same again. . .
Julie Wassmer said, “I am absolutely thrilled that the dream team of Buccaneer and Acorn is about to begin shooting the TV series based on my Whitstable Pearl Mystery crime novels and that a wealth of talent is involved in the entire production – in which Whitstable itself will have a starring role alongside the brilliant Kerry Godliman!”
Kerry Godliman said, “I’m over the moon to be portraying Pearl Nolan in ‘Whitstable Pearl’. Her character has such a big heart and I can’t wait to get stuck into bringing Julie’s vision of Pearl’s life juggling Whitstable, murder, seafood and romance to life!”
Catherine Mackin, Managing Director, Acorn Media Enterprises, noted, “Acorn Media Enterprises is excited to commission television adaptations of Julie Wassmer’s popular seaside mysteries. We’re thrilled to have Kerry Godliman in the lead role and are sure our subscribers worldwide will love this character, picturesque seaside setting and intriguing mysteries.”
Tony Wood and Richard Tulk-Hart, joint CEOs of Buccaneer Media said “Building a show with Acorn has been a terrific experience and has led to so many exciting collaborations, behind and in front of the camera. We’re delighted to be bringing Julie’s hugely-loved world to the screen for the first time”.
Alongside lead writer Øystein Karlsen, the rest of the writing team includes Mike Walden (Marcella, The Frankenstein Chronicles, Uwantme2killhim), Rachel Flowerday (Malory Towers, Father Brown, The Moonstone) and Alastair Galbraith (Strike Back, Doc Martin, River City). David Caffrey (The Alienist, Peaky Blinders, Line of Duty) 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. Executive Producers are Tony Wood, Anna Burns, Richard Tulk-Hart and Nadia Jaynes for Buccaneer as well as Oystein Karlsen and Julie Wassmer.
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