Viacom’s Channel 5 Unveils Drama Slate Including Thriller ‘Penance’ From ‘Mr Selfridge’ Writer Kate O’Riordan – Edinburgh

Viacom’s Channel 5 has unveiled its latest drama slate including a thriller from Mr Selfridge writer Kate O’Riordan.

The British broadcaster has ordered three-part series Penance and two-hour drama The Small Hand as well as the renewal of Blood, starring Line of Duty’s Adrian Dunbar.

This comes after Deadline revealed that it was working on psychological thriller The Deceived.

O’Riordan is adapting her own novel Penance into a three-part series. A psychological thriller that follows the lives of Rosalie and Luke Douglas and their teenage daughter, Maddie. Following the loss of their son, Rosalie and Luke find their marriage under immense strain. Maddie and Rosalie find themselves in the caring hands of Jed, a charming and charismatic young man that they encounter at bereavement counselling who is also suffering under the weight of his own grief. Jed rekindles a hope for the future within the Douglas household. But underneath, a deadly and morally corrupt triangle is taking shape. Kate O’Riordan will be writing episodes one and three and Ben Morris (Bancroft), will write episode two. West Road Pictures produces.

Channel 5 has also commissioned a feature-length adaptation of Susan Hill’s novel The Small Hand (w/t). The thriller is  adapted by writer Barbara Machin (Waking the Dead). When Adam Snow, an antique book dealer finds himself haunted by the ghost of a young boy, he decides to investigate the strange occurrences within his life. As Adam delves deeper, he suffers nightmares and panic attacks as he receives further, increasingly sinister visits from the ghost, ultimately revealing a haunting secret from his own childhood.

The Small Hand will be produced by Awesome Media, in co-production with Two Rivers Media for Channel 5. Production will be mounted in and around Glasgow, Scotland with the financial support of Screen Scotland. Kew Media Distribution will serve as the international distributor. Awesome Media & Entertainment’s Jeff Norton will executive produce the drama alongside Alan Clements (Two Rivers Media), Mark Thomas (Screen Scotland), Barbara Machin and Susan Hill. Jane Steventon will serve as producer, and Justin Molotnikov (Doctor Who, Merlin) will direct the drama.

Finally, Dunbar is returning alongside Grainne Keenan (The Foreigner) as well as Ian Lloyd Anderson (Love/Hate), Fiona Bell (Shetland) and Denis Conway (The Bailout) in family drama Blood from writer and exec producer Sophie Petzal. West Road Pictures produces.

Channel 5’s Sebastian Cardwell said, “These exciting new dramas announced today is testament to Channel 5’s creative ambition in the genre. We have engaged with a wealth of industry talent and look forward to announcing further drama projects in the near future.”

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