Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders are set for a holiday special 30th anniversary episode of their award-winning sketch show French And Saunders. BBC One will air the BBC Studios Comedy production which marks the first time in 10 years that the talents behind The Vicar Of Dibley and Absolutely Fabulous will reunite on screen. Saunders says, “We have almost deliberately stayed alive this long just to force the British Broadcorping Castration to put us on television one last time.” French adds, “We’ve got our lucky pants on and we’re ready to get funny.” Jon Plowman will exec produce the show that will be a mix of greatest hits and new material.
ITV has ordered true-crime drama Manhunt, starring Martin Clunes as Detective Colin Sutton who tenaciously pursued British serial killer Levi Bellfield. Based on Sutton’s memoirs, the drama is written by Ed Whitmore (Silent Witness, Rillington Place) and produced by Buffalo Pictures. It’s the real life story of how the 2004 murder of French National Amelie Delagrange was eventually linked to the murders of Marsha McDonnell in 2003 and the abduction and murder of Milly Dowler as she travelled home from school in 2002. Sutton dedicated himself to finding Delagrange’s killer. With very little evidence, his painstaking approach and the diligence of his fellow officers gradually led to breakthroughs in the case. Manhunt will be directed by Marc Evans and produced by Philippa Braithwaite. Shooting starts in London in March; DRG has international sales.
UK-based distributor DCD Rights has added contemporary Australian thriller Romper Stomper and the second season of legal drama Striking Out to its scripted slate ahead of Mipcom. Romper Stomper, a spinoff of Geoffrey Wright’s controversial 1992 Russell Crowe-starring film, is a Stan original from Roadshow Rough Diamond. Wright directs high-stakes crime drama/political thriller that’s told from multiple points of view. SundanceTV Global has picked it up in a multi-territory deal that includes Asia, Central and Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa and Eastern Europe. SundanceTV Global has also taken the second season of Striking Out in multiple markets. Maria Doyle Kennedy (Orphan Black) and Moe Dunford (Vikings) are joining the cast that’s led by Amy Huberman, Rory Keenan, Neil Morrissey and Fiona O’Shaughnessy.