‘After Life’ Star Kerry Godliman To Headline Acorn TV Thriller ‘Whitstable Pearl’ From ‘Marcella’ Producer

EXCLUSIVE: Acorn TV’s push into originals is continuing at pace after the AMC Networks streamer commissioned Buccaneer Media, the producer behind ITV/Netflix’s Anna Friel hit Marcella, to adapt Julie Wassmer’s The Whitstable Pearl Mystery novels into a series.

Deadline hears that Buccaneer has been developing a six-part series for a number of months and has signed up Kerry Godliman, the star of Ricky Gervais’ Netflix comedy After Life, to headline the show.

Whitstable Pearl will be adapted by Norwegian filmmaker Øystein Karlsen, whose credits include Lilyhammer and Exit, and production will begin in the English seaside town of Whitstable on October 26.

The series follows big-hearted local restaurant owner Pearl Nolan who sets up a local detective agency after undergoing police training in an earlier career. She is soon embroiled in her first case when she discovers the body of close friend, Vinnie.

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Pearl forms an unlikely partnership with DCI Mike McGuire, a new local police chief who has transferred from London to escape his past. And when a second body shows up, Pearl finds herself pulled into the dark underbelly of the picturesque town she calls home.

Acorn TV commissioned the series with its UK-based development arm, Acorn Media Enterprises. It will stream across North America, New Zealand, Australia, and the UK in 2021. Cineflix Rights will handle sales internationally.

Karlsen’s Whitstable Pearl writing team also includes Mike Walden (Marcella), Rachel Flowerday (Malory Towers) and Alastair Galbraith (Strike Back). David Caffrey (Peaky Blinders) is lead director and will helm the first two episodes.

Executive producers are Tony Wood, Anna Burns, Richard Tulk-Hart and Nadia Jaynes for Buccaneer, as well as Karlsen and Wassmer. Guy Hescott is the producer.

Acorn TV originals include Agatha Raisin and Queens of Mystery, while other recent orders include Cannes Confidential, penned by Midsomer Murders and Van der Valk writer Chris Murray, and Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries.

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