Channel 5 and Acorn TV have commissioned new feature length detective series Ellis (3 x 120’) from Company Pictures, in association with All3Media International and Northern Ireland Screen.

The three-part series will follow DCI Ellis, played by three-time Olivier Award winner Sharon D. Clarke (Showtrial, Lost Boys & Fairies, Rocketman), a tenacious cop who is parachuted into failing investigations. Each two-hour episode sees Ellis – accompanied by her right-hand man DS Harper, played by Andrew Gower (The Winter King, Carnival Row, Outlander) – arrive at a different police station, where she will have to win over the local detectives and immerse herself in the cases she has come to solve. “As a black female cop, Ellis is used to being dismissed and overlooked, but she is a first-class murder detective, with a determination for justice and a deep well of compassion for those who need it.”

Ellis was ordered for Channel 5 by Sebastian Cardwell, Deputy Chief Content Officer, Paramount UK and Paul Testar, Commissioning Editor, Drama, Channel 5 and Paramount+. Both also serve as executive producers for the series. Catherine Mackin, Managing Director of Acorn Media Enterprises (AME), commissioned the series for Acorn TV and executive produces alongside Bea Tammer, AME’s Director of Development. Executive producers for Company Pictures are Michele Buck and Lucy Raffety, with producer Chris Martin and writers Paul Logue and Sian Ejiwunmi-Le Berre.

Sebastian Cardwell, Deputy Chief Content Officer, Paramount UK, said: “Ellis is a brilliant addition to our scripted slate, and we are thrilled to be working with the teams at Acorn TV and Company Pictures on this gripping new series. I can’t wait to see the incredible Sharon D. Clarke bring DCI Ellis to life.”

Catherine Mackin, Managing Director, Acorn Media Enterprises (Acorn TV), said: “Acorn TV is known for compelling, intriguing and invigorating detective dramas, and Ellis delivers on every note. We are elated to have found our ideal DCI in the incomparable Sharon D. Clarke, and we are excited to work with both Channel 5 and Company Pictures again.”

Michele Buck, CEO, Company Pictures (an All3Media company), said: “Company Pictures are proud and delighted to be creating a new detective series for Channel 5 and Acorn with funding from Northern Ireland Screen, in association with All3Media International.  Sharon D. Clarke is the perfect DCI Ellis, who will bring her inimitable talents to this inventive and powerful new female-led detective series.”

David Swetman, SVP Content and Commercial Strategy at All3Media International, said: “We’re delighted to be distributing this new crime series from Company Pictures. Following the investigations of the enigmatic DCI Ellis will be a delight for audiences around the world.”

Ellis is set to begin filming this spring in Northern Ireland and will air on Channel 5 and Acorn TV later this year.

Photo credit: Darren Bell

Jon Creamer

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