The first offering is Deadline (4 x 60”) written and directed by BAFTA-nominated Gareth Tunley (The Ghoul, Cold Call). This compelling series is a noir thriller for a mainstream audience full of the labyrinthine plotting, twists and dark character hinterlands that define the genre. The story’s leaping off point is a ‘jagged edge/ basic instinct’ style hook: a ‘did she or didn’t she do it?’ scenario with a journalist falling in love with the femme fatale he is supposed to be dispassionately profiling for his newspaper. Benson will serve as Executive Producer alongside Herbert Kloiber with Rebecca Davies (Cold Call) producing. The series will be produced in association with Night Train Media with distribution by Abacus Media Rights.
The second series from Clapperboard is Teacher (4 x 60”), created by Barunka O’Shaughnessy (Motherland, Alabama, Hitmen) and Mike Benson (Cold Call). Teacher is a psychological thriller following Jenna, a state schoolteacher, whose life unravels after being accused of a drunken sexual encounter with one of her pupils. With no memory of the night in question, Jenna’s only hope of redemption lies in uncovering the truth about a dark event in her past that returns to haunt her. O’Shaughnessy will also serve as Lead Writer and Dom Leclerc (The Syndicate, From Darkness) will direct with Benson as Executive Producer.
On the latest additions to the drama slate Sebastian Cardwell, SVP, Deputy Director of Programmes, ViacomCBS Networks UK commented: “After an incredibly successful year of drama on Channel 5 in 2020, I'm delighted to be expanding our thriving slate further. These exciting additions for 2021 highlight the channel’s continued commitment to the genre and I'm looking forward to seeing them on our screens next year.”
Mike Benson, Managing Director, Clapperboard added: “We’re delighted to be working with Seb and the team at Channel 5 again on two new Clapperboard productions. Both concepts, while different in style and tone, have provocative and dangerous relationships at their core and explore those murky grey areas between the personal and professional.”
The announcement follows a string of drama successes on Channel 5 including The Deceived and All Creatures Great and Small, its biggest programme launch since 2016. Anne Boleyn, Dalgliesh and Intruder were all recently announced for 2021 as part of the Channel’s continued expansion into original Drama.