Sky Orders Harlan Coben’s ‘The Five’; Sets Pregnant Stephen Mangan In ‘Birthday’

harlan cobenContinuing a steady stream of recent orders, Sky has commissioned two new dramas to air later this year. For Sky Living, Harlan Coben (Gone For Good, Tell No One) has created a new original story, The Five. This is the first original TV series penned by the bestselling author. Described as a 10-part roller-coaster thriller, it follows a group of friends who are united by a terrible incident. Haunted by the disappearance of one of their younger brothers some years earlier, the group is forced to revisit the past when the missing boy’s DNA turns up at the scene of a murder.

The Five is produced by Red Production Company (Happy Valley, Last Tango In Halifax). Shooting starts in the spring.

Meanwhile, Sky Arts’ existential one-off drama, Birthday, will star EpisodesStephen Mangan as Ed, a pregnant man going through labor in a British maternity ward. Notting Hill and Le Weekend helmer Roger Michell will direct the adaptation of Joe Penhall’s 2012 Royal Court play. Anna Maxwell Martin (Death Comes To Pemberley) stars as Ed’s high-flying executive wife who does her best to remain sympathetic and patient through his agony, tears, humiliation, anxiety and ecstasy.

The two new series join recent commissions for jewel heist thriller The Last Panthers; medical drama Critical; mystery Enfield Haunting; and family adaptation, Fungus The Bogeyman. Sky Atlantic’s Fortitude debuts January 29 across Europe and in the U.S. on Pivot.

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