Golden Globe-Winning ‘Downton Abbey’ Star to Become ITV’s Victorian Poisoner

Joanne Froggatt is set to take the lead in upcoming two-part drama 'Dark Angel.'

Having found international fame  alongside a Golden Globe and couple of Emmy nominations  changing the bedsheets for the Crawleys in Downton Abbey, Joanne Froggatt has found herself another major period role once the hit show comes to a close, although one with a rather more homicidal element.

U.K. broadcaster ITV has signed the actress to take the lead in the two-part drama Dark Angel, based on the true story of Victorian poisoner Mary Ann Cotton.

Announced Friday, the drama comes from World Productions, the banner behind the acclaimed Line of Duty series, and will see Froggatt play the serial killer, who after finding herself facing abject poverty in the North East of England used adultery, bigotry, fraud and  eventually  murder to better herself socially and financially, leaving a trail of victims in her wake.

Dark Angel, written by Gwyneth Hughes and inspired by David Wilson’s book Mary Ann Cotton: Britain’s First Female Serial Killer, will be directed by Emmy and BAFTA-winner Brian Percival (Downton Abbey, The Book Thief).

The show, which is supported by Screen Yorkshire’s Yorkshire Content Fund, was commissioned by ITV’s director of drama, Steve November, and controller of drama, Victoria Fea. It is being produced by Jake Lushington (The Bletchley Circle) and exec produced by Kirstie Macdonald (The Fear) and Simon Heath (Line of Duty) for World Productions. Endemol Shine will handle international distribution.

Dark Angel is an extraordinary and chilling true story,” said ITV's Fea. “We’re delighted to have an actress of Joanne Froggatt’s caliber in the lead role. The combination of a tautly written script, an outstanding cast and great producers in World Productions make this a really exciting addition to the ITV drama slate.”

Shooting is due to begin in August.

Meanwhile, the sixth – and final – season of Downton Abbey is expected to air on ITV in the U.K. in November and on PBS in the U.S. in 2016.

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