By Max Goldbart
International TV Co-Editor
Amazon Prime Video has unveiled a tennis drama from Line of Duty producer World Productions as part of its UK Showcase event, along with two fresh documentaries and casting news, as the streamer reveals £1BN ($1.2BN) spend since 2018.
The news was delivered at a Showcase event this morning with talent and key creative execs for some of Amazon’s biggest shows, which also saw the announcement that Get Out star Daniel Kaluuya will narrate the next edition off football doc All or Nothing, following Arsenal.
The £1BN spend has been made across the last four years on TV drama, entertainment, films and live sport, as Amazon deepens its presence in the nation.
Leading today’s slate is drama Fifteen-Love from Line of Duty producer World Productions.
The show is created by The Innocents writer Hania Elkington and is set in the elite world of tennis, portraying protagonist Justine Pearce as a one-time rising star whose sudden success at 17 took her and her coach Glenn Lapthorn to the quarter-finals of the French Open.
Also unveiled at the event, which looked to much of the streamer’s already-announced upcoming UK content, two true crime documentaries, one titled The Disappearance of Patricia Hall (working title) and the other Three Mothers (working title).
The latter, made by an all-female team, tells of the Wild West early days of the internet, when three women found themselves in an unbelievable series of events that captured the world’s attention.
The Disappearance tells the chilling, real-life story of the disappearance of Patricia Hall from a small town in Yorkshire and the subsequent investigation in which her husband, Keith Hall, appeared to admit to her murder, before questions were raised about the reliability of his “confession.”
Elsewhere, Kaluuya will narrate the latest in popular sports doc installment All or Nothing and another sports doc, Ben Stokes: Phoenix From the Ashes, about the new England cricket captain, was announced and trailer released.
Acclaimed British creator Sam Mendes will appear in this doc.
Speaking at the start of the Showcase, Amazon Studios Europe Boss Georgia Brown said the streamer wants to work with new talent who “aren’t necessarily used to working in the broadcast space,” while always retaining a quality bar.
She added: “I need my audiences in the UK and Europe to be watching something big like Lord of the Rings and then switch over to one of our European shows and feel there’s no difference in quality.”
The Amazon UK slate will “diversify over the next 12 months” to incorporate more thriller, comedy and reality, according to Brown.
The morning’s showcase featured appearances from The Boys creator Erik Kripke and cast plus comedians from new backstage comedy show Backstage with Katherine Ryan.
Speaking with season three soon to drop, Kripke said his lauded superhero drama is successful due to it being “unusually grounded.”
“We have such a deep benchmark for talent and such a heavy-hitting cast so it’s fun to write for and see how they can draw emotion. The whole thing is a blast to work on.”
Alongside three comedians who feature in the show, Ryan said her Backstage offering will show the softer side of the UK standup comedy circuit.
“Sometimes we roast each other but it’s a language of love we’re really softening each other’s hardships. To see the juxtaposition between roasting onstage and the love backstage is a great mix because we’re all friends. The dynamic is within our community.”
Other shows under discussion included Louis Theroux’s documentary with YouTuber KSI, Peter Capaldi-starring thriller The Devil’s Hour from Beryl Vertue’s Hartswood Studios, Jez Butterworth’s Mammals and Naomi Alderman’s The Power.
Butterworth said his show was a challenge in that he is used to writing plays and Hollywood movies.
“This is a relationship comedy that doesn’t really discuss relationships, it’s a whodunnit,” he said of the James Corden-starring six-parter.
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