‘Line Of Duty’: ITV Studios To Sell Season 6 Of Hit Police Drama After Kew Media’s Collapse

Line Of Duty
Line Of Duty was among the victims of the lockdown. World Productions/BBC

EXCLUSIVE: ITV Studios will handle global sales for the sixth season of Line Of Duty, the hit BBC police corruption drama made by Bodyguard producer World Productions.

ITV Studios will distribute the new series — which was in production until the coronavirus pandemic shutdown British film and TV shoots in March — following the collapse of Kew Media Distribution earlier this year.

The situation regarding the international rights to the first five seasons of Line Of Duty remains messy. Kew Media Distribution’s library was acquired by Quiver Entertainment last month, and Quiver believes it is entitled to keep selling Seasons 1-5 globally.

Deadline understands that ITV Studios would like to represent all six seasons, but would not comment on whether it is in talks with Quiver over cutting a deal. Deadline understands that other producers, with shows once represented by Kew Media Distribution, are having discussions over extracting their rights from Quiver.

The uncertainty over who holds international rights resulted in Netflix removing Line Of Duty from its library in territories including Canada and Australia, but this was resolved in recent weeks when the streamer did a deal for the rights directly with World. BritBox and Acorn TV hold the U.S. rights.

Series five of Line Of Duty was one of the BBC’s biggest shows of 2019 after its finale gripped 12M viewers. As well as returning cast Vicky McClure, Martin Compston and Adrian Dunbar, Season 6 features Trainspotting star Kelly McDonald as a detective who piques the interest of anti-corruption unit AC12.

Ruth Berry, managing director of global distribution at ITV Studios, said: “I’m so pleased that we can take the upcoming season of the hugely addictive and hotly anticipated Line of Duty series to market. It’s a formidable show that has grown from strength to strength and really is must-see drama.”

Line Of Duty creator Jed Mercurio told the BBC last month that getting the show back into production is not going to be straightforward amid the ongoing pandemic. “I want to get back as soon as we can, but that’s got to be when it’s safe,” he told The Andrew Marr Show. “To be honest with you there’s a lot we can do within the industry, but until wider society has the public health infrastructure of test, trace and isolate in place it’s going to be very hard for anyone… I just don’t think, unless wider society has got the process right, we’ll be able to work in isolation.”

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2020/06/line-of-duty-itv-studios-to-distribute-season-6-kew-media-collapse-1202953608/