Acorn Media Enterprises, the development division for the Acorn brand of RLJ Entertainment, has partnered with Hillbilly Television and DRG on new ITV drama, The Level. The six-part crime thriller marks a first-of-its-kind deal for Acorn which will be the North American co-producing partner as well as having acquired the UK DVD and secondary rights. The series begins production this month in the UK and will premiere on Acorn’s streaming serivce, Acorn TV, in the U.S. later this year.

Written by Gaby Chiappe (Vera) and Alex Perrin (Leonardo), The Level centers on Nancy Devlin (Karla Crome), a Detective Sergeant whose exemplary career masks a covert attachment to Frank Le Saux (Philip Glenister), a shady businessman and drug trafficker who is the father of her best friend (Laura Haddock). When she finds herself at the center of an investigation that puts her at risk of exposure and is stalked by a killer intent on destroying her, Nancy’s complicated love life and relationships with colleagues create further tension as she doesn’t know who she can trust.

Acorn, a major purveyor of British drama, has been raising its profile of late, and via AME intends to further co-produce and co-finance series. Last year, it scored its first-ever Emmy nomination with Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Curtain, Poirot’s Last Case. Earlier this month, it came in on BBC drama The Secret Agent, acquiring the upcoming four-part period series for North America.

The Level also stars Noel Clarke, Robert James Collier, Lindsey Coulson, Gary Lewis, Jo Absolom, Amanda Burton and Ruth Madeley. Exec producers are Hillbilly Television joint Managing Directors, Polly Leys and Kate Norrish.