Viacom’s Channel 5 Doubles Down On Drama With Thriller ‘The Deceived’ From ‘Derry Girls’ Creator Lisa McGee & ‘The Spanish Princess’ Producer New Pictures

Channel 5's Adrian Dunbar-fronted drama Blood launched last year. Channel 5

EXCLUSIVE: Viacom’s Channel 5 is doubling down on its dive into drama with a four-part thriller from the creator of Derry Girls.

The British broadcaster has ordered The Deceived from All3Media-owned producer New Pictures, the company behind Starz’ The Spanish Princess, Netflix’s The Innocents and HBO and Sky’s forthcoming Helen Mirren-fronted mini-series Catherine The Great.

The show is created by Lisa McGee, who created Channel 4 hit comedy Derry Girls, which is set during The Troubles in Northern Ireland and is available globally on Netflix, and her husband, Tobias Beer, an actor and writer.

It is set in Cambridge in the UK and Donegal, the northernmost county in Ireland. It is a contemporary psychological thriller following a young English student called Ophelia, who falls in love with her married lecturer, Michael. However, when their affair results in a shocking and tragic death, Ophelia finds herself trapped in a world where she can no longer trust her own mind.

The show is understood to be the latest C5 show that will be produced in association with Irish broadcaster Virgin Media One, which was formerly known as TV3. It comes after the two networks partnered on Sophie Petzal’s thriller Blood, which starred Line of Duty’s Adrian Dunbar. Deadline understands that unlike Blood, which was led by the Irish net, Channel 5 has creative control on The Deceived.

Last August, Deadline revealed that C5, led by director of programmes Ben Frow, had ordered its first original drama in four years with the commission of four-part psychological thriller Cold Call, fronted by Happy Valley’s Sally Lindsay and produced by Chalkboard TV.

Cold Call, written by Karyn Dougan-Buckland and Mark Buckland, is a dark thriller, set in Manchester, detailing the story of a single mother caught up in a fraudulent cold call scam that threatens to see her life unravel. It stars Lindsay as June, a hard working mother left determined to salvage her family’s future after a phone call that changes her life. Following the death of her elderly mother and fuelled by a bubbling rage, June attempts to hunt down those responsible in order to seek her revenge.

C5 also recently revealed it was rebooting All Creatures Great and Small with Howards End producer Playground and PBS.

The broadcaster’s charge to get back into the drama business is being led by Channel 5 Commissioning Executive Sebastian Cardwell.

In its recent financial results, C5 revealed that it had increased its UK original programming budget by 2%, thought to have been done to accommodate its scripted plans. The Viacom-owned broadcaster’s production studio has also been tasked with moving into the genre.

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