Acorn TV's Launches New International Co-Production and Original Series With Screentime and Banijay
Following several recent Acorn TV Original co-production announcements including BBC's Love, Lies and Records and Detectorists Series 3, RTE's Acceptable Risk, and ITV'sGirlfriends, Acorn Media Enterprises (AME), the UK-based development division for the Acorn brand of RLJ Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: RLJE), has partnered with Screentime New Zealand (a Banijay Group company) as the North American co-producer of new crime drama Straight Forward. This truly global series is co-produced with Mastiff Denmark (a Banijay Group company), Scandinavian streaming service Viaplay, and New Zealand broadcaster TVNZ.
The eight-part drama follows a Danish woman trying to leave her criminal past behind her by moving to a small New Zealand town to start her life anew.Acorn Media Enterprises has secured all rights in North America, United Kingdom, and Ireland, and secondary rights in New Zealand and Australia.RLJ Entertainment's international division, Acorn Media International, will distribute the series in the English-speaking territories, with Banijay Rights overseeing the rest of the world. Straight Forward will make its North American Premiere as an Acorn TV Original on Acorn TV, North America's most popular streaming service for British and international television, in 2018. The series will premiere in Scandinavia in 2018 as a 'Viaplay Original.'
Casting is underway with filming beginning in February 2018. Straight Forward is a genuine co-production, making the most of the contrasts and opportunities that are offered by both filming locations - Queenstown, New Zealand and Copenhagen, Denmark.
Shane Murphy, Managing Director, Acorn Media Enterprises, said,"With its fun mix of crime caper, Nordic noir, and strong relationship themes, Straight Forward makes an excellent addition to our Acorn TV Originals co-productions. Marking one of the most globe-spanning co-productions yet, we're also excited to work with our partners in New Zealand and Scandinavia and film in these beautiful locations rarely seen by U.S. audiences."
Cate Slater, TVNZ Director of Content says "Straight Forward is an exciting TVNZ co-production that blends the very best of local and international drama. We're excited to bring New Zealand viewers their own Nordic noir packed with thrills and twisted with home-grown flavour."
Acorn Media Enterprises continues to rapidly grow its Originals slate and is now the exclusive U.S. partner for several series coming out in 2017, including the new BBC One adaptation ofAgatha Christie's A Witness for the Prosecution, which stars Toby Jones, Andrea Riseborough, and Kim Cattrall and premiered in January to rave reviews; Ireland's #1 new drama series Striking Out, which premiered on St. Patrick's Day, March 17; and ITV murder mystery thriller Loch Ness in June; and Irish conspiracy thriller Acceptable Risk (Oct. 16). Upcoming Acorn TV Originals include BBC One drama Love, Lies & Records starring Ashley Jensen (Agatha Raisin, Catastrophe) (Nov.), BAFTA-winning comedy Detectorists starring Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones, as well as Kay Mellor's ITV drama Girlfriends starring Miranda Richardson, Phyllis Logan, and Zoe Wanamaker.
Called a "glorious streaming service...an essential must-have" by The Hollywood Reporter, Acorn TV is the premier North American streaming service for world-class TV from Britain and beyond. Given the limited broadcast options for US viewers to watch first rate international programs, Acorn TV offers US fans the opportunity to not only stream many of their favorite series but, more importantly, discover new and classic programs previously unavailable to US audiences. Acorn TV exclusively premieres new international programs every month from Great Britain, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, and Australia. Acorn TV is a proprietary digital channel of RLJ Entertainment (NASDAQ: RLJE).
ABOUT RLJ ENTERTAINMENT: RLJ Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: RLJE) is a premium digital channel company serving distinct audiences primarily through its popular OTT branded channels, Acorn TV (British TV) and UMC (Urban Movie Channel), which have rapidly grown through development, acquisition, and distribution of its exclusive rights to a large library of international and British dramas, independent feature films and urban content. RLJE's titles are also distributed in multiple formats including broadcast and pay television, theatrical and non-theatrical, DVD, Blu-ray, and a variety of digital distribution models (including EST, VOD, SVOD and AVOD) in North America, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Additionally, through Acorn Media Enterprises, its UK development arm, RLJE co-produces and develops new programs and owns 64% of Agatha Christie Limited. For more information, please visit RLJEntertainment.com,Acorn.TV, and UrbanMovieChannel.com.
About Screentime New Zealand: Screentime NZ is one of the largest and most respected television production companies in NZ, and a part of the Banijay Group. Known best for producing high quality drama, docu-drama, and documentary series. Screentime has produced over 1200 hours of television including the award winning dramas Siege, Safe House, Underbelly: Land of the Long Green Cloud, How To Murder Your Wife, Bombshell, Pike River, Venus and Mars, Monster of Mangatiti, BloodLines and Dear Murderer.