Fremantle Media is continuing its high-end drama push after striking a development deal with Dudi Appleton and Jim Keeble, the writers of long-running British legal drama Silent Witness. The RTL-owned producer and distributor has inked the agreement with Appleton and Keeble’s production company 87 Films.

The pair, who have written a number of episodes of BBC1’s Silent Witness as well as Sky’s David Morrissey-fronted thriller Thorne, have also teamed up with former Far Moor producer Patrick Irwin, who has produced series including BBC1 magic drama Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, to develop international dramas.

It comes after the pair signed a one-year development deal with NBC Universal International Television in 2015 to develop series including character-driven conspiracy thriller Effective Range, which was a co-production with Scott Free UK.

Keeble and Appleton, who are repped by UTA and Casarotto Ramsay, also previously developed Cold War Berlin pilot The Wall with AMC. They will work closely with a number of Fremantle Media-backed drama firms and are already developing projects with Italian producer Wildside, French producer Kwai, Miso across Scandinavia and FremantleMedia North America in the U.S.

It is also the latest development deal for Fremantle Media, which has struck agreements with author Neil Gaiman and Stephen Mangan’s Slam Films.

Keeble and Appleton said that they wanted to create “authentic” dramas that “break trough traditional borders of culture, language and place”.

Sarah Doole, Director of Global Drama for Fremantle Media added: “Jim and Dudi are a creative force that will be a tremendous addition to Fremantle Media. They have an exceptional vision for stories that tie perfectly into our ambitions for our drama business. This key relationship will bring their talents to our global network of producers.”