ITV commissions six-part contemporary drama Finding Alice, starring Keeley Hawes


ITV Press Centre

ITV commissions Finding Alice, written by Roger Goldby and Simon Nye, starring Keeley Hawes and produced by Red Production Company, in association with Bright Pictures TV, Buddy Club Productions and Genial Productions

ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill, has commissioned six-part contemporary drama, Finding Alice, created by Roger Goldby, Keeley Hawes and Simon Nye and produced by Red Production Company in association with Bright Pictures TV, Buddy Club Productions and Genial Productions.

The series (6 x 60’) focuses upon Alice’s honest, raw, blackly comic journey of grief, love and life after the death of her husband Harry. His accidental sudden death kicks up a storm of secrets and mess, debt, suspicion and criminality which Alice is forced to confront in order to survive.

Harry dies after falling down the stairs when they move into their newly finished dream house. Harry designed it, so it’s weird and wonderful, and impractical, and one more disorientation for Alice, to go with her sense of loss and abandonment. Her beloved partner of 20 years is no more, and now she can’t open the garage doors.

If that were her only problem…

Men have a habit of hiding stuff that they don’t want to deal with, and Alice discovers that Harry was worse than most.

Commented Polly Hill:

“This is a brilliant script - emotionally truthful and darkly funny. It’s about family and grief and introduces us to the wonderfully original character of Alice. The show has been developed with Keeley Hawes, and Alice was written for her, and she is going to be unmissable in the role. I'm delighted to be working with Simon Nye, Roger Goldby and Nicola Shindler to bring Finding Alice to ITV next year.”

Finding Alice will be produced by Red Production Company, with founder Nicola Shindler (Butterfly, Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax, Scott & Bailey) taking the role of executive producer alongside Roger Goldby (The Durrells, The Musketeers, Call The Midwife as Director), Simon Nye (The Durrells, Tommy Cooper: Not Like That Like This, How Do You Want Me?) and Keeley Hawes (Bodyguard, The Durrells, Line of Duty, Honour).

Commented Nicola Shindler:

“When Keeley, Roger and Simon came to me with Finding Alice I was so excited to find a project about a complex, flawed and funny woman in such extreme circumstances who I felt an audience would fall in love with. This is exactly the kind of drama I love to make at Red and look forward to starting shooting.”

Red will produce Finding Alice in association with Bright Pictures TV, Buddy Club Productions and Genial Productions, which has a minority investment from ITV Studios. The drama will be produced by Margot Gavan Duffy (The Queen and I, Two Doors Down, Boy Meets Girl as Executive Producer) with Roger Goldby directing episodes 1 to 3 and Juliet May (Motherland, Last Tango in Halifax, Call the Midwife) directing episodes 4 to 6.

Commented Roger Goldby:

“I think there is something so particular and compelling about watching a strong female led drama, we are so lucky to have Keeley playing Alice, she has an incredible depth of performance combined with a pitch perfect instinct for comedy. Keeley will bring Alice to life beautifully to make Finding Alice heartfelt, moving and funny.”

Commented Simon Nye:

“I am relishing tackling a big, emotional, contemporary subject. And who better to do it with than the amazing Keeley and legendary director/writer Roger Goldby, having survived working with them on The Durrells."

Commented Keeley Hawes:

“I am absolutely delighted to be working with the brilliant Simon Nye and the hugely talented Roger Goldby on a project that means so much to all of us. I have been a huge fan of Nicola Shindler for many years and I’m thrilled to be working with her at last on Finding Alice.”

Studiocanal will be responsible for the international distribution of the drama.

Filming for Finding Alice will commence in January 2020.

Note to Editors:

RED Production Company was set up by Nicola Shindler in 1998 to work with the best writers on modern, innovative and entertaining programming. The Manchester-based indie has since produced some of the UK’s most popular drama series working with critically acclaimed writers including Russell T Davies, Bill Gallagher, Sally Wainwright, Danny Brocklehurst, Dan Sefton and Sean Conway.

RED Production Company has produced some of the UK’s most successful and award-winning dramas, including Russell T Davies’ Cucumber and Queer As Folk, Sally Wainwright’s Happy Valley and Last Tango in Halifax, Danny Brocklehurst’s Come Home and Ordinary Lies, Lenny Henry’s Danny and the Human Zoo, Dan Sefton’s Trust Me, Tony Marchant’s Butterfly, Harlan Coben’s Safe written by Danny Brocklehurst and Russell T Davies’ Years and Years for BBC One. Forthcoming series include Sarah Solemani’s Ridley Road for BBC One, Harlan Coben’s The Stranger for Netflix, Traces written by Amelia Bullmore for UKTV and Boys (w/t) by Russell T Davies for Channel 4.

RED Production Company is part of STUDIOCANAL’s international production network, which includes TANDEM Productions in Germany, STUDIOCANAL Original in France and BAMBÚ PRODUCCIONES in Spain.

STUDIOCANAL, a 100% affiliate of CANAL+ Group held by Vivendi, is Europe’s leader in production, rights acquisition, distribution and international sales of feature films and TV series, and operates directly in all three major European markets, France, the United Kingdom and Germany, as well as in Australia and New Zealand. STUDIOCANAL is actively developing and distributing high-end TV series through its network of award-winning subsidiary production companies, which includes Germany’s TANDEM Productions (Take Two) and the UK’s RED Production Company (Safe).

Bright Pictures TV was set up in 2019 by Roger Goldby as a home for his writing and directing for television. Finding Alice is the company’s first commission.

Finding Alice will be the second project for Keeley Hawes’ production company Buddy Club Productions. The first, ITV’s new two-part drama Honour, will see Keeley star as well as executive produce.

Keeley herself was twice nominated at this year’s British Academy Television Awards for her leading role in Netflix and the BBC’s Bodyguard. She was also in consideration for her supporting role in Mrs Wilson as well as for her much-loved role of Louisa Durrell in the hugely popular ITV series The Durrells, also for PBS Masterpiece.
She has completed filming Working Title and Ben Wheatley’s Rebecca as well as Philippa Lowthorpe’s film dramedy Misbehaviour.

Genial Productions was set up by Simon Nye and Sophie Clarke-Jervoise in 2018 to produce television series across all UK channels and platforms. Between them they have created, written and produced hundreds of hours of prime-time comedy and drama for BBC, ITV, C4, Sky and Amazon Prime, and have worked together on several hit series.

Genial are focusing on the comedy drama genre that has proved so popular in both the UK and US markets - typified by The Durrells (its four series on ITV all written by Simon Nye), and Benidorm (which Sophie developed from the first script and exec produced up to series 10). Genial’s first major production - The Trouble With Maggie Cole, 6 x 60m, starring Dawn French - will be broadcast early next year on ITV.

October 16, 2019 4:20am ET by ITV Press Centre  

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