A+E Networks International has given a formal series order to crime drama Miss Scarlet and The Duke, its first international, scripted co-production. The series, fronted by The Crown star Kate Phillips as the first-ever female detective in 19th century London, will start pre-production next month. Irish production company ShinAwiL has boarded the project and will oversee production in Dublin in June 2019.
Created by Grantchester and The Mallorca Files writer Rachael New, who also showruns, the six-episode series stars Phillips as Eliza Scarlet. When Eliza’s father dies, he leaves her penniless in a time where marriage is her only option for financial security. But the headstrong Eliza is determined to find another way. Luckily, she has an ace up her bonnet – her father’s business – a private detective agency. Eliza knows all the tricks of the trade but as a genteel 19th century lady she’s never been allowed to put them into practice. To operate in this man’s world, she needs a partner. Step forward Detective Inspector William Wellington of Scotland Yard, who is also known as “The Duke;” drinker, gambler and womaniser. Eliza and The Duke strike up a mismatched, fiery relationship that will crackle and smoulder with sexual tension as they team up to solve crime in the murkiest depths of 1880’s London.
The project originated with Element 8 Entertainment’s producing team including Patty Ishimoto (Rogue) as well as Todd Berger of Bandidos Yanquis, Inc. (Wynonna Earp) and 87 Films’ Patrick Irwin (The Fall) to exec produce.
It comes after the international arm of the U.S. cable giant appointed former Sky Vision exec Moreyba Bidessie as Director of Scripted Development and Sales. Bidessie has been tasked with overseeing the company’s push into international co-productions.
“We are thrilled to greenlight our first international co-production featuring the amazingly talented Kate Phillips in an incredibly strong lead female role,” said Richard Tulk-Hart, Managing Director, International Content Sales & Co-productions, A+E Networks, who announced the formal series order Monday at Series Mania 2019. “Solid performances together with a remarkable team of exec producers and ShinAwiL’s production prowess are certain to result in an engaging series that will skillfully deliver on Rachael New’s captivating storyline.”