The celebrated books were previously adapted into a group of films and TV series in the 1970s.
Howards End and Wolf Hall outfit Playground will produce the commissioned six episodes and a Christmas special. PBS’s Masterpiece in the U.S. will co-produce and All3Media will distribute internationally. The production will also receive funding and support from Screen Yorkshire.
The new version will shoot on location in Yorkshire, England later this year. The production, commissioned by Digital Channel Controller Seb Cardwell, will be produced by Richard Burrell (Silent Witness); executive producers are Colin Callender, and Melissa Gallant for Playground, Hugo Heppell for Screen Yorkshire and Rebecca Eaton for Masterpiece. Ben Vanstone (The Last Kingdom) is lead writer and executive producer and Brian Percival (Downton Abbey) is lead director.
Sebastian Cardwell of Channel 5 commented, “James Herriot has a special place in the heart of the public and the commission of this iconic drama series, against the stunning backdrop of the Yorkshire Dales, is set to bring joy to a new army of TV viewers. The original books affectionately captured a unique slice of British life; in challenging times, we hope the charming and heart-warming stories of community and compassion will resonate with new audiences.”
With the commissions of Cold Call and 15 Days and a number of other scripted series in development, the announcement marks the next development in the drama strategy initiated by Channel 5 Director of Programmes Ben Frow last year.