BBC Two has picked up the UK rights to Samuel L. Jackson’s CBC/Epix slavery series Enslaved: The Lost History Of The Transatlantic Slave Trade from Fremantle.
Enslaved will air in the UK in a re-versioned, four-part series, which will shed new light on 400 years of human trafficking after millions of Africans were shipped to the Americas by Western European slave traders.
The show has used new diving technology to locate and examine sunken slave ships in the UK, the Caribbean and Florida, retrieving information and underwater artifacts that help reveal more about the transatlantic slave trade.
Each episode follows separate story lines: the location and investigation of sunken slave ships, and a historical analysis of the transatlantic slave trade led by Jackson, author Afua Hirsch and investigative journalist Simcha Jacobovici.
BBC Two controller Patrick Holland said: “I had the privilege to meet with Samuel L Jackson, Afua Hirsch and Simcha Jacobovici at the start of their production last year and I was determined to bring their essential, hugely ambitious and important series to the BBC. These are stories that demand to be told and which sit at the very centre of our shared history.”
Jamie Lynn, Fremantle’s EVP and head of EMEA distribution, added: “British viewers will also be fascinated to see Bristol’s role in this history, as writer and broadcaster Afua Hirsch visits the now infamous – and since toppled – statue of Edward Colston.”
Enslaved is a Canada/UK co-production between Toronto-based Associated Producers and London-based Cornelia Street Productions in association with CBC and Epix in the U.S. Anonymous Content and UppiTV, Samuel and LaTanya Jackson’s television production company, are also associated.
The series is directed by Simcha Jacobovici. It is executive produced by Jackson, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Eli Selden, Rob Lee, Simcha Jacobovici, Ric Esther Bienstock, Sarah Sapper and Yaron Niski. Producers are Ric Esther Bienstock, Sarah Sapper and Felix Golubev.
Fremantle will distribute both the 6 x 60-minute and the 4 x 60-minute versions of the series internationally.