Disney Unit Greenlights Disney Channel's Largest U.K. Production To-Date

Arley Hall Exterior - H 2014
Courtesy of Disney

Arley Hall Exterior - H 2014

The four-part mystery adventure "Evermoor" will become the first live-action movie from Britain to air on the U.S. Disney Channel and the most ambitious project from Disney Europe, Middle East & Africa.

LONDON -- The Walt Disney Co.'s Disney Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) unit has greenlit what the company said is its largest-scale U.K. production in the form of four-part mystery adventure Evermoor.

Produced by Lime Pictures in Liverpool, the TV movie will be "punctuated with comedy" and premiere on the Disney Channel in more than 160 countries worldwide starting in the fall.‎ Evermoor will also break new ground, as it will become the first live-action movie produced in the U.K. that will air on the U.S. Disney Channel.

‎A co-commission between Disney EMEA and Disney U.S., the project is scheduled to start shooting at Arley Hall and Gardens in Cheshire, England, soon. Casting is underway.

PHOTOS: Disney's Anne Sweeney Exit: Her Greatest Hits

‎The Disney EMEA unit has been working on becoming a key production hub for the Walt Disney Co. Evermoor will be its most ambitious production‎ to-date, it said without disclosing a budget.

The movie, told in four parts lasting a commercial half hour each, ‎centers on Tara Bailey, an American teen uprooted from her city home and brought to Evermoor, which is described as "a beautiful but isolated village on the edge of some very creepy moors in middle England."

The show description also reads: "Whilst Tara's famous novelist mum and stepdad are busy unpacking at Evermoor Manor, the Bailey kids, Tara's brother Jake and her British stepsiblings, Seb and Bella, try to adjust to life in their new home. It's not long before danger, mystery and intrigue unfurls and Tara and Seb have to unite to save their new home and their family's new start in England."

The project's creators are Tim Compton and Diane Whitley, who both worked on House of Anubis, with the script written by Bede Blake (House of Anubis, Strange Hill High). The executive producers are Rebecca Hodgson (Good Cop, Stolen) and Compton.  

PHOTOS: 11 British Actors Invading Hollywood's 'It List'

"Evermoor is our most ambitious EMEA production yet that builds on our experience of co-producing the global hit series, Violetta," said Tricia Wilber, chief marketing officer of the Walt Disney Co., EMEA and general manager, Disney Channels EMEA.

Added‎ David Levine, vp programming, production and strategic development, Disney Channels EMEA: "Evermoor is a hugely exciting project for the team here in EMEA with a gripping story that I'm sure will captivate our global Disney Channel audience. The movie's intriguing cast of characters also gives us a great opportunity to find exciting new talent."

Claire Poyser, joint managing director for Lime Pictures, said Lime was "delighted to be the first independent production company in the U.K. to work with Disney on a live-action movie to be aired worldwide, including the U.S."

Disney EMEA has not only had success with Violetta on the Disney Channel, but also Disney Junior shows Jungle Junction, Art Attack and Henry Hugglemonster and Disney XD's Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja.

‎Disney Channels EMEA operates 60 channels, including 24 with the Disney Channel brand, in 117 countries and 22 languages. Disney Channel properties continue to expand into new markets across the region, introducing the Disney brand to new consumers.

The global portfolio of Disney Channels reaches 166 countries and territories with 107 channels.

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai