Acorn TV Picks Up Martin Clunes-Fronted British Crime Drama ‘Manhunt’ From DRG


Acorn TV has acquired a pair of Martin Clunes-fronted titles including true crime drama Manhunt.

The SVOD service has acquired ITV drama Manhunt, which stars Doc Martin’s Clunes as Detective Colin Sutton, the police officer who tenaciously pursued British serial killer Levi Bellfield.

The series, which is produced by Buffalo Pictures and written by Ed Whitmore (Silent Witness), has been picked up from distributor DRG and Acorn TV has taken exclusive North and South American rights.

The drama is 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.

It will launch in the U.S. in early 2019 and Clunes and Braithwaite are scheduled to participate at the Television Critics Association in February 2019 to discuss the show.

Also, part of the deal is Martin Clunes’s travel documentary series Islands of America. The non-scripted four-part series, which will also air on ITV, follows Clunes from the frigid waters of Alaska, along the coast of Washington State and California, before crossing to Louisiana, Florida, and Georgia. Finally, his journey – by boat and plane – will steer him north up past Long Island, bringing him to the coast of New England. Along the way, he’ll ride with saltwater cowboys on Assateague; enter a hot dog eating contest on Coney Island; fish for giant halibut off the Alaskan coast; join a gospel choir with the isolated descendants of plantation slaves; he’ll shuck clams, dive with seals and sample life on an island which hasn’t had a shop since 1942.

Shannon Cooper, Acorn’s Director of Programming, said, “Martin Clunes remains one of the most popular actors with our subscribers from Doc Martin, his travel documentaries, among several other shows, so we’re thrilled to acquire his newest dramatic role in Manhunt and work with Buffalo Pictures again. The compelling program also marks another first-rate production with DRG, our partners on Detectorists and The Level, among many others.”

Scott Kirkpatrick, SVP, North & South America for DRG, said, “DRG is excited to be overseeing international distribution for what’s sure to be another first-rate drama from Buffalo Pictures. Our friends at Acorn TV are ideal partners for premiering high-quality British drama in the United States.”

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