Channel 5 has commissioned two new dramas from Clapperboard, Chalkboard’s scripted sister company, set to air in 2022.

Both series were ordered by Sebastian Cardwell, Deputy Chief Content Officer UK, at Paramount.

The first series is Desperate Measures (4 x 60”), which follows diligent bank clerk Rowan, who has raised her teenage son Finn on a lawless estate whilst paying off her absent father’s debts. Rowan’s life spirals when Finn is coerced into a botched drug deal by a local gang. With Finn’s life on the line and a violent gang leader encroaching on her life, Rowan is faced with recuperating the money that Finn lost. Desperate to save her son and having exhausted all options, Rowan commits to a dangerous heist at the bank she works in.

Desperate Measures will be produced in association with international distributor Eccho Rights. Mike Benson and Julie Ryan team up again as executive producers for Clapperboard, whilst Adam Barth and Nicola Söderlund serve as executive producers for Eccho Rights.  Helen Ostler (The Last Kingdom) is the producer, whilst Anthony Philipson (Our Girl) will be the director of the series.

The second from Clapperboard, produced in association with Chapter One and Endeavor Content, is The Winter Child (4 x 60”). The series follows Claudia, a lonely single mother and school nurse, longing for connection. Her opportunity to be a hero comes when a young child in her community – Emily Winter – goes missing. Claudia becomes embroiled in the case and fixated on uncovering the truth. However, her fascination quickly begins to turn to obsession, not only with what happened to Emily, but also with the Winter family at the heart of the case. Emily’s grief-stricken father, Owen; her cold mother, Sabine, and her twelve-year-old brother, Dean.

Mike Benson and Julie Ryan serve as executive producers for Clapperboard, whilst Sophie Gardiner and Toby Bentley are executive producers for Chapter One. Giula Sandler (White House Farm) is the writer of The Winter Child, whilst Cormac Fox (Animals) joins the team as producer and Dominic Leclerc (The Teacher) will direct. Endeavor Content handles worldwide distribution on the title outside the UK.

On the expansion of Channel 5’s 2022 drama slate Sebastian Cardwell said: “I’m delighted to be working with the talented Clapperboard team again on these exciting additions to our scripted slate. These new commissions for 2022 illustrate the continued growth of Channel 5’s thriving drama portfolio, and I’m looking forward to seeing them come to fruition over the next year.”

Mike Benson, Managing Director, Clapperboard added: “Desperate Measures will be our first foray into producing an action thriller, which asks how far you’d be prepared to go in protection of your loved ones? Quite far it turns out! In The Winter Child our brilliant writer Giula has created a fascinating, flawed protagonist at the heart of the narrative which I loved from first reading the pilot. We’re of course thrilled to be working again with the Paramount Global team and our brilliant distribution partners who do such a fantastic job of supporting us and our productions.”

Both series will commence shooting on location in 2022. Casting details will be announced in the coming months.

The additional commissions follow a string of drama series from Clapperboard for Channel 5, including Sally Lindsay’s The Madame Blanc Mysteries (co-produced with Saffron-Cherry Productions) and most recently The Teacher with Sheridan Smith.


Jon Creamer

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