UKTV has commissioned its first ever drama series for its channel W. It will be produced by Hat Trick and stars Anna Paquin.
Flack (6×60’) is set in the world of “high-stakes public relations” and stars Anna Paquin (The Piano, True Blood, X-Men) as the “sharp and witty publicity maven Robyn, who’s an expert at her craft but a complete self-saboteur when it comes to her personal life.”
The series is the first UKTV co-commission with an American broadcaster. The series is co-commissioned with US network Pop and co-produced by Hat Trick Productions and Anna Paquin’s production company CASM Films. The series was created by Oliver Lansley (Whites, Alice’s Adventures Underground) who will also executive produce. Lead director on Flack will be Peter Cattaneo, Oscar-nominated for The Full Monty and director of the BAFTA-winning BBC Two comedy Rev.
Anna Paquin said: “Oliver Lansley has written six of the best scripts I’ve ever read. He walks that fine line between intense character driven drama and exceptionally intelligent humour. My character, Robyn, exists in a world where there are no moral absolutes and humour is used as a sharply executed defence mechanism to maintain the illusion of perpetual control. I am incredibly excited about tackling the creative complexities of Flack as an actress and for my company CASM’s collaboration with W and Pop.”
Flack is produced by Mark Talbot, executive produced by Jimmy Mulville and Helen Williams of Hat Trick and has been ordered by Richard Watsham, UKTV’s director of commissioning and Steve North, genre manager for entertainment and comedy. Flack is commissioned by Pete Thornton, UKTV senior commissioning editor who will also oversee as executive producer for UKTV. Anna Paquin will also executive produce for CASM alongside Stephen Moyer, Cerise Hallam Larkin and Mark Larkin with Justin Rosenblatt for Pop.
Jimmy Mulville said: “Hat Trick is honoured to be bringing UKTV’s first big drama series to W. We’ve found a very supportive creative home for Oliver Lansley’s fantastic series and we are assembling a stunning cast led by the brilliant Anna Paquin who is also starring in her first UK drama.”
On UKTV’s drama ambition, Richard Watsham said: “It’s very exciting to announce Flack as the first original drama for W – it marks a new chapter in the ever-expanding story of UKTV’s move into original programming. The response from independent producers to our call out for distinctive drama has been incredible and as well as moving into production on Flack, we are now developing a growing number of original drama series for Alibi and Drama.”
Pete Thornton added: “This is an incredibly ambitious production, so it’s crucial for us to be in business with production partners who we can trust implicitly to deliver creative excellence on time and on budget. In director Peter Cattaneo and the multi-talented and award-winning teams at CASM and Hat Trick Productions, we know we’ve got exactly that.”
Adam Collings, channel director for W added: “I’m beyond thrilled to be bringing Flack to W’s viewers as Oliver’s script is super-smart, wonderfully edgy and totally compelling. This, combined with the internationally recognised talent of Anna Paquin, makes Flack a perfect fit for W whose viewers expect the best in high quality, talent-driven entertainment. I can’t wait for the first episode to air.”
Flack is a co-commission with Pop who commented: “Flack is extremely poignant, smartly exploring an age in which for better or worse, news happens in a breath,” said Justin Rosenblatt, EVP of Original Programming, “This series captures the often funny and sometime damaging results with a dream lead in Anna Paquin.”
The UKTV Original series will go into production this Spring and will TX in 2019 on W.
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