EXCLUSIVE: AMC Networks streamer Acorn TV has teamed with New Zealand broadcaster TVNZ to commission its latest original — a romantic comedy set on a Kiwi vineyard, led by The Crown star Charles Edwards and Wanted actress Rebecca Gibney.
Libertine Pictures and EQ Media Group will produce six-part series Under The Vines, which follows Edwards and Gibney as two unlikely city slickers who inherit a failing vineyard in rural New Zealand.
Australian TV star Gibney features as Sydney socialite Daisy Munroe, who heads to New Zealand for a vacation at her recently deceased stepfather’s winery, which she intends to sell.
Little does she know that the vineyard has a co-owner: Grumpy UK-born lawyer, Louis Oakley (Edwards), who also travels to New Zealand to escape a spiraling series of unfortunate events in his life.
Despite neither having done a hard days’ work in their lives and both despising each other, Munroe and Oakley must somehow make the vineyard successful so they can sell up.
Under The Vines is created and co-written by Erin White, while Tim Balme, Nick Ward, J C Stewart-Te Whiu, Kathryn Burnett, and Harry McNaughton also serve as writers. Production begins next February in Central Otago, New Zealand.
Alongside Gibney and Edwards, the series stars Dean O’Gorman (The Hobbit), Sara Wiseman (A Place to Call Home), John Bach (The Sounds), Matt Whelan (The Sounds), Simon Mead (Nothing Trivial), Sarah Peirse (Poor Boy), Cohen Holloway (Top of the Lake), Carrie Green (Mystic), Catherine Wilkin (Stateless), Robbie Magasiva (Wentworth) and newcomer Trae Te Wiki.
Under the Vines will be produced by Carmen J Leonard and executive produced by Gibney and Richard Fletcher for Libertine Pictures, and Brendan Dahill for EQ Media Group. Acorn Media Enterprises, the company’s London-based development division, co-produces. Acorn TV has all rights worldwide with the exception of TVNZ in New Zealand.
Fletcher, managing director of Libertine Pictures, said: “Under the Vines offers the perfect opportunity to escape to beautiful Central Otago wine country. The scripts are great fun and brimming with humour and emotion.”
Gibney added: “I’m a sucker for romantic comedies and the scripts are wonderful – there is so much humour and heart. Erin and the team have done a fabulous job and given the state of the world at the moment I think the timing is perfect.”