Julian Fellowes Period Drama 'Doctor Thorne' Sells Wide
The latest offering from the creator of 'Downton Abbey' has already aired in the U.K., with The Weinstein Co. picking up rights for the U.S.
Downton Abbey may have come to an end, but international TV networks are ensuring that any remaining appetite for upper-class period drama continues to be fed.
Doctor Thorne, based on the Anthony Trollope novels and adapted by Downton creator Julian Fellowes, has been sold to several territories by U.K.-based banner Hat Trick International ahead of MIPTV. Among the buyers are VRT Belgium, DR Byen Denmark, UTV Ireland, Yes Satellite Services Israel, Prime New Zealand and SVT Sweden.
The three-part drama — which stars Tom Hollander (The Night Manager), Ian McShane (Ray Donovan) and Alison Brie (Mad Men) and covers the Downton-friendly themes of fortune, poverty, illegitimacy and marriage — has already begun airing on ITV in the U.K. to strong reviews, with Sunday's second episode drawing 3 million viewers in the overnight ratings.
The Weinstein Company has the license for North America, although no air date has been announced yet.
"The unique combination of the original Trollope story together with Julian Fellowes’ first-class adaptation and input from the production team at Hat Trick has delivered a mini-series, which will no doubt become a classic," said Hat Trick International's director of sales Sarah Tong. "We are looking forward to screening episodes of the drama to our clients in Cannes."
Hat Trick will also be using MIPTV to launch a new three-part drama starring James Nesbitt (The Missing, The Hobbit).
The Secret, based on the book by Deric Henderson, sees Nesbitt — most recently the star of Stan Lee's Lucky Man on Sky in the U.K. — play an Irish dentist who embarks on a murderous affair with a teacher.
Produced by Hat Trick for ITV, The Secret is directed by Nick Murphy (Occupation, Prey) from a script by BAFTA winner Stuart Urban (An Ungentlemanly Act), and is produced by Jonathan Curling (The Government Inspector) and executive produced by Hat Trick's head of drama Mark Redhead.