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Acorn Media Enterprises Partners on New ITV Drama Series with Hillbilly Television - The Level - Broadcasting & Cable

Acorn Media Enterprises Partners on New ITV Drama Series with Hillbilly Television - The Level

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Acorn TV will feature the U.S. Premiere of the six part crime drama later this year

SILVER SPRING, MD, April 19, 2016 – Acorn Media Enterprises (AME), the development division for the Acorn brand of RLJ Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: RLJE), have partnered with Hillbilly Television and DRG on the new ITV1 drama, The Level. The thrilling six part drama series follows a reputable cop with a secret that is about to unravel. In a deal brokered by Noel Hedges for DRG and Shane Murphy for Acorn Media Enterprises, AME will be the co-producing partner for North America, as well as acquiring the UK DVD and secondary rights. The series will make its U.S. Premiere on Acorn TV, the premier North American streaming service for world-class TV from Britain and beyond, later this year.

The Level will begin filming in London and Brighton in April 2016 and stars Karla Crome (You, Me & The Apocalypse, Under The Dome, Prisoners’ Wives), Philip Glenister (Prey, Life on Mars), Laura Haddock (Guardians Of The Galaxy), Noel Clarke (Chasing Shadows, Star Trek Into Darkness, Doctor Who), Robert James Collier (Downton Abbey), Lindsey Coulson (EastEnders), Gary Lewis (Outlander), Jo Absolom (Doc Martin), Amanda Burton (Waterloo Road, The Commander) and Ruth Madeley (Don’t Take My Baby).

Shane Murphy, Managing Director, Acorn Media Enterprises, said, “After an exciting 2015 with our first Emmy® nomination and launching Acorn Media Enterprises, we are thrilled to bring our next high-quality production to North American audiences. With a taut, tense script, an incredible cast, and partners like BAFTA award-winning Hillbilly Television, DRG and ITV, The Level is a perfect example of the caliber of productions Acorn Media Enterprises will be co-producing or co-funding.”

Noel Hedges, EVP Content & Acquisitions at DRG, noted “We’ve worked with Acorn a great deal over the years but it’s great to be collaborating with them at such on early stage on such a dynamic and thrilling drama.”

Polly Leys and Kate Norrish, the joint MDs of Hillbilly Television said, “A high stakes, high intensity thriller, The Level has a stellar cast and exceptional scripts so we’re delighted that Acorn will introduce it to US audiences. We can’t wait to get going on bringing the story to life.”

Detective Sergeant Nancy Devlin (Karla Crome) has a secret double life. Her exemplary police career masks a covert attachment to shady businessman and drugs trafficker, Frank Le Saux (Philip Glenister). Inextricably linked to Frank from childhood as the father of her best friend, Hayley (Laura Haddock) and the father figure she herself craved, Nancy has been playing a dangerous game to ensure that Frank always remains off the police radar.

However, Nancy soon finds herself at the centre of an investigation which puts her at risk of exposure and sees her stalked by a killer intent on destroying her.  Nancy’s complicated love life and relationships with colleagues creates further tension as she doesn’t know who she can trust - literally with her life.

Written by Gaby Chiappe (Shetland, Vera, Lark Rise to Candleford) and Alex Perrin (Leonardo, Shetland), the series will be executive produced by Hillbilly Television joint Managing Directors, Polly Leys (Second Coming, Random, Holy Flying Circus, The Full Monty) and Kate Norrish (Second Coming, Random, Holy Flying Circus). Jane Dauncey (The Trial of Jimmy Rose, Law & Order: UK, Stella) will produce the series and Andy Goddard (Dracula, Downton Abbey, Law & Order: UK) is lead director. Leading content distributor DRG is selling The Level internationally.

RLJ Entertainment’s Acorn, named the “chief curators of the best Brit TV” by TIME magazine, holds exclusive United Kingdom, Australian, and North American distribution rights to many of the top British and international programs, which are available for broadcast television, digital download, digital streaming, and in lavishly packaged DVDs/Blu-rays.

The Acorn brand received its first Emmy® nomination this year for the final episode of Agatha Christie’s Poirot. Acorn co-produced the final episodes through its majority ownership of Agatha Christie’s literary estate and premiered them on its streaming service Acorn TV. Acorn also co-produced the BBC mystery series, Agatha Christie’s Partners in Crime starring David Walliams (Britain’s Got Talent) and Jessica Raine (Call the Midwife), and the final two series of the beloved mystery series Foyle’s War.

Acorn TV features the U.S. Premieres of excellent international programs every week. Coming soon, Acorn TV features the complete Season 9 U.S. Premiere of MURDOCH MYSTERIES (aka The Artful Detective) on Monday, April 25; Guy Pearce’s return as Peter Temple’s charismatic antihero in JACK IRISH, Season 1 beginning Monday, May 2; Season 2 of intense, award-winning Canadian cop drama 19-2 on Monday, May 16; and new Irish crime drama CLEAN BREAK on Monday, May 23. To watch Acorn TV’s upcoming premieres, media can register at the online watch site: http://press.rlje.net

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RLJ Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: RLJE) is an entertainment content distribution company in primarily North America, the United Kingdom, and Australia. RLJE’s titles are distributed in multiple formats including broadcast television (including satellite and cable), theatrical and non-theatrical, DVD, Blu-Ray, digital download, and digital streaming.

With its popular OTT branded channels, Acorn TV (British TV) and UMC (Urban Movie Channel), RLJE targets distinct, premium audiences and Urban niche audiences. The company grows its proprietary digital channels through development, acquisition, and distribution of exclusive rights of program franchises and feature film content.

Through Acorn Media Enterprises, its UK development arm, RLJE owns all rights to the hit UK mystery series Foyle’s War and is developing new programs. RLJE owns 64% of Agatha Christie Limited, which manages the intellectual property and publishing rights to some of the greatest works of mystery fiction, including stories of the iconic sleuths Miss Marple and Poirot. Through its proprietary e-commerce web sites for the Acorn brand in North America and the UK, the company also has direct contacts and billing relationships with millions of consumers.

For more information, please visit RLJEntertainment.com, Acorn.TV, and UrbanMovieChannel.com.

RLJE/Acorn: Chad Campbell, 3301.830.6203, ccampbell@rljentertainment.com

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