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British Police Drama 'George Gently' Coming to The U.S.

(Updated): Previous U.K. imports from Company Pictures include "Skins" and "Shameless."

LONDON – British period TV police drama George Gently will air for the first time on U.S. television early next year. It stars Martin Shaw, from the cult 1970s action series The Professionals, as a 1960s Scotland Yard detective relocated to the north of England.

Broadcast rights to the show, produced by Company Pictures for the BBC, will be managed in the U.S. by Acorn Media, which has released the first three series on DVD in North America. George Gently will air on public television across the country at various times, depending on the market and station.

The deal with Company’s parent company All3Media follows Acorn’s success on DVD and TV in the U.S. with the long-running English crime series Midsomer Murders.

Company originated the TV shows Skins and Shameless, and with George Gently, Acorn Media US Programming VP Don Klees said the production firm “has delivered perfect content for U.S. audiences, offering strong character-based drama and gripping storylines set in an iconic era.”

All3Media International Sales VP Peter Grant said, “The series has been in high demand around the world and a premiere in the U.S. is a fantastic landmark in the George Gently story.”

Based on a series of crime novels by Alan Hunter and scripted by Peter Flannery (Funny Bones, The Devil’s Whore), George Gently tells of crimes investigated by a tough London police officer in Northumberland, near the Scottish border.

Shaw won international success as the mop-topped CI5 agent Doyle in the long-running 1970s action series The Professionals costarring Lewis Collins and Gordon Jackson and he had the title role from 2001-2007 in the TV legal series, Judge John Deed.

An acclaimed stage actor, Shaw was nominated for a best actor Tony Award and won the Drama Desk Award for outstanding featured actor in a play for his 1996 Broadway appearance in Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband.

Lee Ingleby, who played Hollum, the Jonah in Peter Weir's Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, plays his young detective sergeant.