EXCLUSIVE: Pop TV is going into production on its first scripted drama series commission, I can reveal. True Blood and X-Men franchise star Anna Paquin will lead cast and co-produce the PR-world comedic-drama with UKTV and Episodes co-producer Hat Trick Productions. Rising actresses Lydia Wilson, fresh off the starring role in BBC-Netflix series Requiem, and Genevieve Angelson, co-star of Amazon series Good Girls Revolt, are both in final negotiations to join Oscar-winner Paquin in the cast. The Pop TV and UKTV order is for six one hour episodes.
Paquin will play Robyn, a quick-witted London-based U.S. publicity maven whose job it is to put out media fires and manage high-profile and exacting clients. However, while Robyn is an expert at her craft she’s a complete self-saboteur when it comes to her personal life. Lead director on the series will be Peter Cattaneo, Oscar-nominated for 1997 movie smash The Full Monty and more recently director on BBC TV comedy Rev.
Flack marks a number of firsts as it will be the debut series to go into production for Paquin’s outfit Casm but it’s also the first U.S.-UK co-commission for both CBS-Lionsgate JV Pop and its UK network partner on the show, UKTV. It will also be the latter’s first scripted drama for its flagship channel W. The UKTV Original series will shoot in the UK this spring and will air in 2019 on W. U.S. air date has yet to be confirmed.
The series is produced by Mark Talbot, executive produced by Jimmy Mulville (Episodes) and Helen Williams of Hat Trick Productions and created by Oliver Lansley (Whites), who will also executive produce. It was ordered by Richard Watsham, UKTV’s director of commissioning and Steve North, genre manager for entertainment and comedy alongside Pete Thornton, UKTV senior commissioning editor who will also oversee as executive producer for UKTV, which is jointly owned by BBC Worldwide and now Discovery.
Paquin, who last year set for a key role Martin Scorsese’s anticipated crime-epic The Irishman and fronted WGN drama series Bellevue, will executive produce for Casm alongside her True Blood co-star Stephen Moyer, Cerise Hallam Larkin and Mark Larkin with Justin Rosenblatt for Pop. Hat Trick Productions is also known for UK TV hits including Father Ted, Whose Line Is It Anyway? and Have I Got News For You.
Paquin said: “Oliver Lansley has written six of the best scripts I’ve ever read. He walks that fine line between intense character driven drama and exceptionally intelligent humour. My character, Robyn, exists in a world where there are no moral absolutes and humour is used as a sharply executed defence mechanism to maintain the illusion of perpetual control. I am incredibly excited about tackling the creative complexities of Flack as an actress and for my company CASM’s collaboration with W and Pop.”
Anna Paquin is repped by WME. Oliver Lansley is repped by WME, Curtis Brown and Grandview. Hat Trick is repped by WME.