BBC America Orders Dramas From 'Murderball,' 'Hitchhiker's Guide' Creators

Sarah Barnett - H 2014
Courtesy of AMC

Sarah Barnett - H 2014

BBC America announced two new series orders Friday at the Television Critics Association press tour.

Undercover, which reunites Criminal Justice writer Peter Moffat and star Sophie Okonedo, is described as a gripping political thriller.  The six-part limited series centers on a female on the verge of becoming the first black woman to hold the highest-ranking public prosecutor role in England.

Her life comes under intense scrutiny just as she discovers her husband, Nick (Adrian Lester), has been lying to her for years — about what, she's not yet sure. Undercover is exec produced by Hilary Salmon, BBC One and BBC America's head of drama production, England.

Thirteen, a five-part mystery thriller and psychological drama, hails from Marnie Dickens (The Musketeers, Ripper Street). The series follows Ivy Moxham (Jodie Comer) on the day she escapes from the cellar that has been her prison for the past 13 years. She returns to her home, to her family, to her life and must learn how to feel and love again.

From BBC In House Production England, Thirteen will be exec produced by Elizabeth Kilgarrif for BBC Three and BBC America.

The two series are the first co-developed under the new partnership between BBC Worldwide and AMC Networks, which was announced in late 2014. Both shows will premiere in 2016.

“The BBC is a creative powerhouse, and we’re delighted to partner with them on these provocative, contemporary stories,” said BBC America president and general manager Sarah Barnett. “Peter Moffat is one of the U.K.’s most vibrant and acclaimed screenwriters, while new talent Marnie Dickens brings a singular voice and perspective to her first original series. We can’t wait to launch these shows on the network.”

In addition to the new series, which join originals Doctor Who, Orphan Black, Luther and new entry The Last Kingdom, the network also announced an extensive development slate. “The scripted TV explosion in recent years has affirmed over and over that strong visionaries are the heart of creative and commercial success," said Barnett. "At BBC America we’re doubling down on extraordinary creator-led projects.”

Here's a closer look at the six new dramas in the works:

Dirk Gently

An adaptation of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy author Douglas Adams’ hit comic novel, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, is an anthology series set in the unexpected world of the hyper, absurd, ridiculous Dirk Gently. Written by Chronicle's Max Landis, IDW, Circle of Confusion and Ideate for BBC America will produce.

Untitled Sebastian Silva Project

From the filmmaker behind the Kristen Wiig-led Nasty Baby and The Maid, the project will employ unconventional storytelling and real people to explore the world of 21st century dating in the era of swiping and liking. A24 will produce.


The series centers on a young American woman whose reckless desire for adventure leads her to the epicenter of Tokyo's Shibuya sub-culture scene. After an unthinkable crime takes place, she comes face-to-face with an unfamiliar, ancient world. Tony Wood and Cineflex are attached to produce.

The Greater Good

From Murderball filmmaker Dana Shapiro comes the fictional tale of Cora Jones, the lone survivor of the Jonestown massacre where 918 of her fellow cult members died. She believes she was saved to rid the world of false prophets, but, as her fame grows, she begins to become the very thing she's been fighting against. Lakeshore Entertainment (Underworld) will produce.

Untitled Anders August Project

This comic-noir thriller from Anders August (The Pig, Follow the Money), set in a 1950s resort, centers on disarming young social climber who turns out to be a dangerous sociopath. Michael London (Sideways, The Illusionist) is attached to produce.

Untitled Anna Winger Project

From Deutschland '83 creator Anna Winger, this family drama is set in modern-day Berlin. The series explores the themes of colliding worlds, the unifying bonds of loss and the dangerous pursuits of answers in a utopian society.