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ITV and BritBox have picked up the U.K. rights to Hotel Portofino, a historical family drama, set in the 1920s on the Italian Riviera, with a whodunnit.
PBS Distribution, which operates the PBS Masterpiece and other streaming services, has picked up the North American distribution rights. Rights to the series have also been snapped up by Sky Italia in Italy and Foxtel in Australia.
The show is the first original commission from London-based production firm Eagle Eye Drama, Filming this summer, the show stars Natascha McElhone (Ronin, Californication),
Mark Umbers and Anna Chancellor. ITV’s head of drama Polly Hill will oversee production.
McElhone playa Bella Ainsworth, the daughter of a wealthy industrialist who moves to Italy to set up a quintessentially British hotel in the beautiful town of Portofino. Umbers (Home Fires) plays her charming but dangerous aristocratic husband. Chancellor (Four Weddings and a Funeral) plays the hotel’s most influential but hard-to-please guest. The series also features Italian star Daniele Pecci (Orgoglio), Lorenzo Richelmy (Marco Polo) and rising star Rocco Fasano (Skam Italia).
Created and written by former ViacomCBS Networks International publicist Matt Baker, the series is set against the backdrop of the rise of fascism in Mussolini’s Italy. It is directed by Adam Wimpenny (Blackwood), produced by Julie Baines (Four Kids and It) and executive produced by Jo McGrath and Walter Iuzzolino of streaming service Walter Presents.
“We are thrilled to be bringing to U.S. and Canadian audiences the first original series coming from Eagle Eye,” said Andrea Downing, president of PBS Distribution. “This beautifully crafted series will have viewers immersed in an intensely lush production filled with mystery.”
Added Iuzzolino, who serves as CEO of Eagle Eye Drama: “This is a hugely important and exciting new creative chapter for Eagle Eye; Hotel Portofino is our very first original series, from an idea which was developed in-house. The series was inspired by my hometown, and we’re grateful to PBS Distribution who have been incredibly supportive and collaborative partners on this project.”
Eagle Eye Drama was formed by Iuzzolino, McGrath and Jason Thorp, the three founders of Walter Presents. The company has the backing of Channel 4, which holds a minority stake in the firm.
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