Five commissioned series, a feature length Miss Fisher mystery, and new series of Line of Duty and Mystery Road are among the highlights of Acorn TV’s 2020 Slate.
First-look photos and trailers (where available) follow.
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AMC Networks’ Acorn TV – North America’s largest streamer devoted to British and international television – has announced a stellar 2020 lineup, consisting of five commissioned Acorn TV Originals. As the largest streamer devoted to a specialized audience, Acorn TV is the ultimate destination of high-quality, world class dramas, mysteries and comedies from all sides of the pond.
Coming up in 2020, Acorn TV will feature both brand-new and returning riveting Acorn TV Original series: upcoming debuts include Irish comedy drama The South Westerlies, New Zealand thriller The Sounds, and Irish period mystery series Dead Still. Returning shows include British mystery (and Acorn TV’s first sole commission) Agatha Raisin, Irish comedy Finding Joy (series 2), ABC Australia drama Mystery Road (series 2), and Irish thriller Blood (series 2). Also, this spring will feature the premiere of Acorn TV’s eagerly anticipated feature-length film Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears starring award-nominated actress Essie Davis (The Babadook, Game of Thrones.)
Among the returning favorite series are the #1 UK drama of 2019 Line of Duty (series 6), British school dramedy Ackley Bridge, New Zealand detective drama The Brokenwood Mysteries, French crime drama Balthazar, new episodes of Canadian hit drama Murdoch Mysteries, and acclaimed Swedish noir Rebecka Martinsson.
Exclusive U.S. Premieres on Acorn TV
THE BROKENWOOD MYSTERIES, Series 6 – Monday, January 6 through January 27 (Exclusive U.S. Premiere, new episodes to premiere weekly every Monday)
This acclaimed New Zealand detective series filmed amid the beautiful landscape of the country’s North returns with four feature-length, standalone mysteries featuring compelling characters, dry humor, and piquant wit. After transferring from a big city to the quiet, little, murder-ridden town of Brokenwood, Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Shepherd (Neill Rea, Go Girls) and Detective Kristin Simms (Fern Sutherland, The Almighty Johnsons) uncover more macabre goings on and investigate murderous rivalries and lethal grudges. (4 EPS)
MURDOCH MYSTERIES, Season 13 (Episodes 4-18) – Monday, January 6 through April 13 (new episodes to premiere weekly every Monday)
Garnering more than two dozen Gemini® nominations and the sole 2016 “Fan’s Choice Award” at the Canadian Screen Awards for lead actor Yannick Bisson, Murdoch Mysteries has found a huge audience in North America for its period charm, entertaining mysteries, and likeable characters. Set in Toronto in the late 1890s and early 1900s during the age of invention, the mystery series centers on Detective William Murdoch (Bisson), a methodical and dashing detective, who enlists radical new forensic techniques like fingerprinting, ultraviolet light, and trace evidence to solve some of the city’s most gruesome murders.
ACKLEY BRIDGE, Series 3 – Monday, January 13 (Exclusive U.S. Premiere)
From the creators of Shameless (UK) comes the return of this hit British dramedy set in a multicultural academy school in a small West Yorkshire mill town. Ackley Bridge offers a character-driven, gritty, funny, truthful, and mischievous angle into the daily drama of the teachers, teenagers and families. The series 3 cast includes Jo Joyner (EastEnders), Sunetra Sarker (Broadchurch), Poppy Lee Friar (Mr. Selfridge, In The Club), Amy-Leigh Hickman (EastEnders), Megan Parkinson (Game of Thrones) and new cast addition Robert James-Collier (Downton Abbey). (8 EPS)
AGATHA RAISIN, Series 3 (Acorn TV Original Series, Commissioned) – Monday, February 10, 17 and 24
Emmy®-nominated actress Ashley Jensen (Catastrophe, Extras, Ugly Betty) returns in the acclaimed adaptations of MC Beaton’s best-selling comedic mystery novels. The series follows a London PR whizz turned amateur sleuth, who becomes entangled in mischief, mayhem, and murder when she opts for early retirement in the country. In series 3 of this contemporary mystery, Agatha is now an official private investigator and has just opened her first detective agency, where pressures are high to keep new business flowing. In addition, she’s now living with on-and-off-again beau and British history author, James Lacey (Jamie Glover, Waterloo Road). Stay tuned for more of her wild, hilarious adventures in these new movies: The Deadly Dance, Love From Hell and As The Pig Turns.
BLOOD, Series 2 (Acorn TV Original Series, Co-production) – Monday, March 9 with first two episodes
Compared to Broadchurch and The Killing by critics and called “a dark, addictive and unmissable crime drama” by The Guardian, this highly-rated Irish psychological mystery stars BAFTA nominee Adrian Dunbar (Line of Duty) as Jim Hogan, a respected doctor in a small Irish town with a family full of secrets. In series 2, Jim Hogan returns home a year later after the suspicious death of his wife, determined to make amends and reconnect with his family. But when eldest daughter Fiona (Gràinne Keenan (Victoria, Black Mirror) is in an accident, a disturbing discovery threatens to tear them apart again. (6 EPS)
MISS FISHER AND THE CRYPT OF TEARS (Movie) – mid-to-late March in select theatres and on Acorn TV
This highly anticipated and gorgeously-shot feature film continues the story of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, which aired for three seasons (2012-2015) and is one of the most popular Australian series worldwide. Essie Davis (The Babadook, Game of Thrones) returns in the five-time Logie-nominated role that made her a worldwide star. Set in the late 1920s, The Crypt of Tears follows the slinky, seductive and risk-taking detective Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher on a Middle Eastern adventure in search of an ancient treasure. The film also features series regular Nathan Page as Detective Inspector Jack Robinson. (Feature- length)
DEAD STILL (Acorn TV Original Series, Commissioned)
Set in 1880s Ireland in the Victorian era of “postmortem photography,” this period drama follows renowned memorial photographer Brock Blennerhasset (Michael Smiley, Luther, Kill List), as he investigates the murders of his recently deceased subjects. Dublin Detective Frederick Regan (Aidan O’Hare, Jackie, Pilis) suspects that Ireland may have its first serial murderer at large, and with Blennerhasset as a possible suspect and his family is put in harm’s way, the police must track down the serial killer before he strikes again. Inspired by a true-life Irish tradition in the 1800s, this series also stars Kerr Logan (Game of Thrones, Alias Grace) and Eileen O’Higgins (Brooklyn, Mary Queen of Scots). (6 EPS)
THE SOUNDS (Acorn TV Original Series, Commissioned)
This eight-part New Zealand psychological thriller centers on a happily married couple (Rachelle Lefevre, Proven Innocent, Under the Dome and Matt Whelan, The Luminaries, Narcos) who move into a sleepy town to start a new business venture and set them on a new life path. But when husband Tom disappears, unsettling facts about him soon come to light, and the search brings long-buried wounds to the surface. As wife Maggie struggles to navigate the escalating events, it becomes clear that in this small, seemingly close-knit community, nothing and no one are quite what they seem. THE SOUNDS was created by bestselling author, Sarah-Kate Lynch, also the series’ lead writer. (8 EPS)
BALTHAZAR, Series 2 (Foreign language)
This acclaimed French crime thriller, one of the top ten highest-rated French dramas of 2018, introduces a forensic pathologist with an unusual talent – the brilliant yet unconventional Raphaël Balthazar (Tomer Sisley, Philharmonia, The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch), who can make the dead speak like no one else to help solve Paris’ most baffling crimes. New, tough-as-nails police commander Hélène Bach (Hélène de Fougerolles, Le Secret d’Elise, The Beach, VA Savoir) must learn to collaborate with Raphaël on these investigations. This series also stars Yanig Samot (The French Kissers). (10 EPS)
FINDING JOY, Series 2 (Acorn TV Original Series, Commissioned)
Created, written and starring Irish Film & TV Academy winner Amy Huberman (Striking Out, The Clinic), this six-part comedy follows a single woman, Joy, after a painful breakup who looks for happiness in all the wrong places. Finding Joy is a warm, irreverent show with a lot of heart and laughs as Joy struggles with life, her friends and her world. (6 EPS)
REBECKA MARTINSSON, Series 2 (Foreign language)
“Characters so vividly created… the script, and performances, shine throughout, as does the arctic background, both beautiful and menacing” (The Wall Street Journal) and based on Åsa Larsson’s celebrated and popular crime novels, this series set in the bleak Northern Environment revolves around Rebecka Martinsson, a lawyer from Kiruna who has succeeded professionally, but still hasn’t found herself. In Series 1, when a dear friend from childhood suddenly passes away, Rebecka reluctantly returns to her hometown, but soon discovers that her death becomes more and more suspicious, and Rebecka cannot tear herself away until she finds answers. Drawn into the gripping pursuit of a killer on the hunt for the next victim, Rebecka is forced to confront the terrible trauma that caused her to abandon her hometown. (8 EPS)
MYSTERY ROAD, Series 2 (Acorn TV Original series)
Voted Most Popular Drama at the 2019 Logie Awards, series one of this beautifully filmed, acclaimed ABC Australia series, featured multiple Emmy, BAFTA, and Golden Globe winner Judy Davis and AFCA winner Aaron Pedersen (Jack Irish, A Place to Call Home) as two detectives investigating the mysterious disappearance of two young men in a remote outback town. Series 2 will feature the return of Jay Swan (Pedersen) as he investigates a gripping new mystery in a small coastal community alongside a detective played by Sofia Helin (Scandi crime drama The Bridge). (6 EPS)
THE SOUTH WESTERLIES (Acorn TV Original series, Commissioned)
With an impressive ensemble of acclaimed actors including Orla Brady (American Horror Story, Mistresses,) Eileen Walsh (Catastrophe, Women on the Verge, Can’t Cope Won’t Cope), and Ger Ryan (Little Dog, Rialto, Raw), this sharp Irish comedy-drama focuses on a small coastal town in the southwest of Ireland earmarked for a Norwegian-owned wind farm. Kate (Brady) is a single working mom and environmental consultant who has to go undercover among protesters to quash objections to the wind farm project. Her eco-battle is compounded by the return of a surfer with an unmistakable resemblance to her teenage son, as well as the emergence of old secrets she’s keeping under wraps. (6 EPS)
LINE OF DUTY, Series 6 (Acorn TV Exclusive)
Written and created by Jed Mercurio (creator of international sensation Bodyguard), the highly-anticipated season six marks a new case for the police anti-corruption unit AC-12, featuring new guest star Kelly Macdonald (Boardwalk Empire), alongside series regulars Adrian Dunbar (Blood, The Crying Game), Vicky McClure (The Secret Agent), and Martin Compston (The Great Train Robbery). Series 5 was the highest rated UK drama of 2019. (6 EPS)