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Netflix Adds Brit Drama 'Happy Valley'

The successful BBC series pulled in north of 7 million viewers each week during its original run in the U.K.

Happy Valley BBC - H 2014
BBC
"Happy Valley"

Netflix is heading to Happy Valley. The streamer announced Friday that it will be the exclusive stateside and Canadian broadcaster of the hit British drama.

"We're proud to add this highly lauded, masterfully crafted and brilliantly acted British series to the exclusive offerings Netflix viewers in the U.S. and Canada can enjoy," said content acquisition vp Elizabeth Bradley. "Already recognized as one of the top dramas of 2014, Happy Valley is sure to keep our viewers on the edge of their seats."

Each of the series' six episodes make their way to Netflix starting Aug. 20. The project, which averaged north of 7 million viewers for the bulk of its first-time run on BBC One, stars Sarah Lancashire and was written by her Last Tango in Halifax creator Sally Wainwright. It follows the personal and professional life of a female police officer whose own daughter was murdered. The series picks up when the man she believes to be her child's murderer is released from prison.

"Happy Valley is one of the most gripping and exciting shows to come out of the U.K. this year, and we are thrilled that it will make its anticipated North American debut just weeks after it finished its initial airing across the pond," said BBC Worldwide North America exec vp sales and co-productions Matt Forde. Fans already recognize Netflix as a great place to discover new BBC dramas, and this clever, compelling thriller won't disappoint."

As Netlfix beefs up its original offerings — see its 31 Emmy nominations this summer — it also continues to order plenty of international projects to stream exclusively. It also has U.S. rights to BBC Two mystery The Fall.

Happy Valley is executive produced by Wainwright and Nicola Shindler. It is a Red Production Company production for the BBC and premiered to 7.6 million viewers in April on BBC One. The finale raked in a 92.5 rating for the national broadcaster — an all-time high for a drama series.