07 February 2024

Press Release

Channel 5 and Acorn TV Commission Detective Drama Ellis  From Company Pictures, Starring Sharon D Clarke

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Channel 5 and Acorn TV Commission Detective Drama Ellis From Company Pictures, Starring Sharon D Clarke

London, February 6, 2024: Channel 5 and Acorn TV today announce the commission of new feature length detective series Ellis (3 x 120’) from Company Pictures, in association with All3Media International – which will also represent the show outside of the UK – and Northern Ireland Screen.

The three-part series will follow DCI Ellis, played by three-time Olivier Award winner Sharon D Clarke (Showtrial, Lost Boys & Fairies, Rocketman), a tenacious cop who is parachuted into failing investigations. Each two-hour episode sees Ellis – accompanied by her right-hand man DS Harper, played by Andrew Gower (The Winter King, Carnival Row, Outlander) – arrive at a different police station, where she will have to win over the local detectives and immerse herself in the cases she has come to solve. As a black female cop, Ellis is used to being dismissed and overlooked, but she is a first-class murder detective, with a determination for justice and a deep well of compassion for those who need it.

Ellis was ordered for Channel 5 by Sebastian Cardwell, Deputy Chief Content Officer, Paramount UK and Paul Testar, Commissioning Editor, Drama, Channel 5 and Paramount+. Both also serve as executive producers for the series. Catherine Mackin, Managing Director of Acorn Media Enterprises (AME), commissioned the series for Acorn TV and executive produces alongside Bea Tammer, AME’s Director of Development. Executive producers for Company Pictures are Michele Buck and Lucy Raffety, with producer Chris Martin and writers Paul Logue and Sian Ejiwunmi-Le Berre.

On this exciting new commission for Channel 5, Sebastian Cardwell, Deputy Chief Content Officer, Paramount UK, comments: “Ellis is a brilliant addition to our scripted slate, and we are thrilled to be working with the teams at Acorn TV and Company Pictures on this gripping new series. I can’t wait to see the incredible Sharon D Clarke bring DCI Ellis to life.”

Catherine Mackin, Managing Director, Acorn Media Enterprises (Acorn TV), shares: “Acorn TV is known for compelling, intriguing and invigorating detective dramas, and Ellis delivers on every note. We are elated to have found our ideal DCI in the incomparable Sharon D Clarke, and we are excited to work with both Channel 5 and Company Pictures again.”

Michele Buck, CEO, Company Pictures (an All3Media company), adds: “Company Pictures are proud and delighted to be creating a new detective series for Channel 5 and Acorn with funding from Northern Ireland Screen, in association with All3Media International.  Sharon D Clarke is the perfect DCI Ellis, who will bring her inimitable talents to this inventive and powerful new female-led detective series.”

David Swetman, SVP Content and Commercial Strategy at All3Media International, also comments: “We’re delighted to be distributing this new crime series from Company Pictures. Following the investigations of the enigmatic DCI Ellis will be a delight for audiences around the world.”

Ellis is set to begin filming this spring in Northern Ireland and will air on Channel 5 and Acorn TV later this year.   


For press enquiries please contact: 

Kate Killgour (Channel 5) | Kate.Killgour@paramount.com 

Amanda Browne (Channel 5) | Amanda.Browne@paramount.com 

Joy Phillips (Acorn TV) | Joy.Phillips@amcnetworks.com 

Lisa Vanoli (Company Pictures) | lisavanolipublicity@googlemail.com


About Channel 5 

Channel 5 is a multi-award-winning service broadcaster and the UK’s third largest commercial TV station. Launched in March 1997, Channel 5 has been part of Paramount Global (formerly ViacomCBS) since its acquisition in September 2014.   

Channel 5, its digital brands 5STAR, 5USA, 5SELECT, 5ACTION and on-demand platform My5 offer a diverse range of critically acclaimed, original programmes featuring well-known faces and fresh new talent – from issue-led documentaries, popular factual series and accessible history shows to premium drama and agenda-setting news & current affairs. Channel 5 is the only PSB to air children’s content daily through its much-loved programming strand Milkshake! – home to some of the world’s favourite pre-school characters.   

The free to air broadcaster’s agenda-driving commissions and distinctive British programming lead on societal issues from inequality to homelessness and mental health, aiming to tell the story of modern Britain by reflecting the lives of people across the UK.   

Channel 5’s portfolio significantly increased its share of the UK viewing audience in 2023 (+5%) - the only UK public service broadcaster to do so, marking five consecutive years of growth.   

Recent industry acclaim include: winning 2022’s Best Factual Show at the viewer voted TV Choice Awards for Springtime on the Farm and 2023’s inaugural True Crime Awards for Who Killed Billie Jo? White Nanny Black Child became the first ever documentary to win the Jury Prize at the 2023 Africa International Film Awards whilst All Creatures Great and Small took home the Stress Buster Award at the Radio Times’ Screen Test Awards.   

About Acorn TV 

AMC Networks’ Acorn TV is North America’s largest streaming service specializing in premium British and international television. Acorn TV adds exclusive programming every week to a deep library of revered mysteries, dramas, and comedies – all commercial-free. Acorn TV’s recent slate is comprised of critically acclaimed commissioned and original series including popular New Zealand detective series My Life Is Murder (Lucy Lawless), acclaimed Irish crime thriller Bloodlands (James Nesbitt, co-executive produced by Jed Mercurio), British crime drama Whitstable Pearl (Kerry Godliman), Emmy®-nominated Queens of Mystery, Kiwi romantic comedy Under the Vines and British detective drama Dalgliesh (Bertie Carvel), to name a few. Current and upcoming Acorn TV Original Series include UK detective drama Harry Wild (Jane Seymour), tasty murder mystery Mrs. Sidhu Investigates (Meera Syal), Signora Volpe (Emilia Fox), The Chelsea Detective (Adrian Scarborough) and many more. The above add to a growing catalog of popular bingeable dramas including Agatha Raisin (Ashley Jensen), Jack Irish (Guy Pearce), Doc Martin (Martin Clunes), Deadwater Fell (David Tennant, Cush Jumbo), all 23 seasons of fan-favorite Midsomer Murders and highly-rated drama The Nest, among others.   

 “glorious streaming service… an essential must-have” – The Hollywood Reporter 

“Netflix for the Anglophile” – NPR   

Acorn TV is available for $6.99/month or $69.99/year. Facebook: OfficialAcornTV – Twitter: @AcornTV – Instagram: @Acorn_tv  

About Company Pictures 

Founded in 1998, All3Media owned Company Pictures has produced hundreds of hours of critically acclaimed, award-winning drama for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky, WGBH, HBO, Starz and other leading broadcasters all over the world. It was the producer of triple Golden Globe award winning period drama Elizabeth starring Helen Mirren. Company Pictures’ credits include the Golden Globe and BAFTA-winning adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall for the BBC starring Mark Rylance and Damian Lewis, and seminal BBC dramas The Lakes, The Village, Inspector George Gently and The White Queen. Their multi award-winning drama Shameless ran for eleven series and their hugely popular teen drama Skins enjoyed a six-year run, both for Channel 4. Their much-loved long running family series Wild at Heart ran for seven years on ITV. Company Pictures continues to produce high quality, distinguished drama that attracts the best talent and global audiences including The White Princess for Starz, Series 1 of The Missing for BBC1 and Agatha Raisin for Acorn.  A re-imagined version of British detective drama Van Der Valk which is set and filmed in Amsterdam and starring Marc Warren, is currently filming Series 4, and further productions are commissioned for next year.

About All3Media 

International All3Media International distributes popular, award-winning TV programmes to over 1,000 broadcasters and media platforms around the world. The company has been celebrated for producing, marketing and distributing high-quality, ground-breaking and pioneering shows to a global audience, consistently topping the Broadcast and Televisual annual Indies Surveys and receiving the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in recognition of its growth – twice. Its catalogue contains over 30,000 hours of content across all genres.   As well as Britain’s top-selling drama series MIDSOMER MURDERS, All3Media International’s quality scripted content includes FLEABAG, ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL, IT'S A SIN, TRIGGER POINT, THE TOURIST, MYSTERY ROAD, VAN DER VALK and THE ENGLISH. Its non-scripted content slate includes premium factual documentaries such as WHO IS GHISLAINE MAXWELL? and FEVER PITCH: THE RISE OF THE PREMIER LEAGUE as well as various factual entertainment titles including ESCAPE TO THE CHATEAU, GREAT BRITISH MENU and FOUR IN A BED. The company also represents brands featuring some of television's most beloved names including Monty Don, Alan Titchmarsh, Gordon Ramsay, Mary Beard and Grayson Perry. All3Media International’s celebrated formats include THE TRAITORS, GOGGLEBOX, UNDERCOVER BOSS, THIS IS YOUR LIFE, LINGO, THE DOG HOUSE and RACE ACROSS THE WORLD, and it also represents an extensive list of successful scripted formats including LIAR, BLOOD, CHEAT and QUEER AS FOLK.

About Northern Ireland Screen 

Northern Ireland Screen is the national screen agency for Northern Ireland. It is committed to promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion in all its activities and projects. The organization supports the development of a dynamic and sustainable screen industry and provides opportunities for all communities to engage with and benefit from screen culture. For more information, please visit northernirelandscreen.co.uk.

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