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European pay TV giant Sky — now part of the Comcast family — appears to be making good on a recent commitment to boost its investment in original programming (which has recently included the likes of 19-time Emmy-nominated Chernobyl).
The company unveiled Wednesday that BAFTA nominee Billie Piper (Collateral, Doctor Who) is set to lead the cast of new Sky drama I Hate Suzie, written by British playwright Lucy Prebble, co-executive producer and writer on the hit HBO show Succession, and co-created by Piper.
The eight-part series — due to air on Sky in 2020 — is described as “bold, bracing, funny drama about the moment in life when the mask slips, asking if any us can survive being well and truly ‘known.’”
Piper will play Suzie Pickles, a star on the wane, who has her whole life upended when her phone is hacked and a photo of her emerges in an extremely compromising position.
“It’s taken years to finally get Lucy, my long-term GF and favorite writer in London, to work with me again,” said Piper. “We feel we’ve created something timely and not for the faint-hearted. If you too suffer with anxiety, shame, compulsive lying but like a laugh, please tune in at some point.”
Added Prebble: “At last I get to make my best friend BIllie Piper do terrible things onscreen again. It is all I live for.”
Made by Bad Wolf, behind the upcoming big-budget HBO/BBC His Dark Materials adaptation and led by former Doctor Who producers Julie Gardner and Jane Tranter, I Hate Suzie was commissioned by Zai Bennett, managing director of content at Sky, and Cameron Roach, director of drama, Sky Studios. Liz Lewin is the commissioning editor for Sky and the series is co-created and executive produced by Prebble and Piper. Gardner is executive producer and Andrea Dewsbery is producing, both for Bad Wolf. Sky Vision will handle the international distribution.
“We couldn’t be more excited about I Hate Suzie — a truly unique show, from the brilliant, long-standing creative partnership of Lucy Prebble and Billie Piper,” said Roach. “Lucy’s scripts promise a vital, moving and darkly funny portrayal of the thirty-something woman, and the prospect of Billie bringing Suzie to life is thrilling. Following in the footsteps of Patrick Melrose, Save Me and Chernobyl, I Hate Suzie’s commission underlines our belief in backing truly original drama and Sky Atlantic as the home for the most innovative storytelling and ideas.”
Added Bad Wolf’s Gardner: “Jane Tranter and I loved traveling time and space with Billie as the original Bad Wolf, and know that her talent and fearlessness will make I Hate Suzie very special. Lucy Prebble’s blistering and provocative scripts take Suzie on a raw, rollercoaster ride full of upheaval and self-discovery. We can’t wait to get started!”
Upcoming Sky originals include Temple starring Mark Strong, Catherine The Great starring Helen Mirren; a second series of Jez Butterworth’s Britannia and a second series of Save Me starring Lennie James and Suranne Jones.
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