BBC Studios is partnering with Irish producer Treasure Entertainment to make Smother, a six-part series set on the rugged coast of County Clare in which a wife investigates the brutal death of her husband.
Val Ahern’s partner is found dead at the foot of a cliff the morning after a family party and as she unravels the circumstances that led to his demise, she discovers how his controlling, manipulative behavior impacted his children and siblings.
O’Riordan said it was a story about contemporary Irish women and the “challenges of modern motherhood.” She added: “In the aftermath of a tragic death, Val Ahern and her daughters will explore their difficult complex mother-daughter relationships while simultaneously dealing with the shocking realization that one of them may have been driven to murder.”
O’Riordan serves as the lead writer and executive producer, with supporting writers including Tom Farrelly, Daniel Cullen and Ursula Rani Sarma. Tom Sherry and Michael Parke are also executive producing for BBC Studios, which developed the drama out of its Drama North and Scotland division. Treasure’s Rob Walpole and Rebecca O’Flanagan are the producers.
Screen Ireland and the Western Region Audio-Visual Producers Fund are providing finance for Smother, which will be shot entirely in the west of Ireland. BBC Studios is distributing the series internationally. It is part of a growing slate of scripted projects BBC Studios is making for third-party outfits after it produced shows including Good Omens for Amazon and BBC America’s The Watch.
Dermot Horan, RTÉ’s director of acquisitions and co-productions, said: “Working with international partners enables RTÉ to develop more projects with Irish producers, directors and writers. It also expands our drama slate and by being included in BBC Studios’ international drama catalog, it gives Irish projects a major global distribution platform.”