Acorn TV Acquires Paul Abbott’s Outrageous British Police Procedural NO OFFENCE, Series 1 & 2 from FremantleMedia International

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Deal follows recent content deal for popular classic series Reilly, Ace of Spies starring Sam Neill as well as BBC’s Goodnight Sweetheart and ITV’s After Henry

Silver Spring, MD – Featuring “the most robust, reliable selection of European, British, Canadian and Australian shows” (The New York Times), Acorn TV, North America’s largest streaming service specializing in British and international television, acquires exclusive digital and home video rights in North America from FremantleMedia International for the first two series of BAFTA-nominated crime drama No Offence from award-winning screenwriter Paul Abbott (Shameless, State of Play). Called “an irresistible feast for all the senses” (The Telegraph) and winner of the Best Drama Series from the Royal Television Society, No Offence is the outrageous police procedural series, produced by AbbottVision for Channel 4 (UK) and executively produced by Paul Abbott and Martin Carr. The eight-part Series 1 makes its exclusive North American debut on Monday, April 16, 2018. Additionally from FremantleMedia International, Acorn TV has acquired North American digital rights for several popular classic series, including BAFTA-winning and Emmy®-nominated, true spy ITV miniseries Reilly, Ace of Spies (12 episodes) starring Sam Neill (Jurassic Park) in a Golden Globe nominated role; 1990s BBC sitcom Goodnight Sweetheart, Series 1-6 (58 episodes), which hasn’t been available in the U.S. before and stars Nicholas Lyndhurst (New Tricks, Only Fools and Horses) as an accidental time traveler; and ITV comedy After Henry, Series 1-4 (38 episodes) starring Prunella Scales (Fawlty Towers) and Joan Sanderson.

Don Klees, Vice President of Programming for Acorn brands at RLJ Entertainment, says, “FremantleMedia International continues to be a valued partner for Acorn TV with the success of shows like Aussie medical dramedy The Heart Guy, so we’re thrilled to partner with them again for several more high-quality programs our subscribers are sure to enjoy. Acorn TV continues to lead the way in curating the very best in new and contemporary British dramas and No Offence is another high caliber addition with its fresh take on police procedurals mixed with cutting edge humor. Additionally, we love to provide our subscribers classic, hidden gems, so Reilly, Ace of Spies and the U.S. debut of Goodnight Sweetheart will make excellent additions to our constantly growing catalog.”

Caroline Kusser, SVP, Sales & Distribution for FremantleMedia International in North America says, “Unconventional and captivating, No Offence’s unique mix of drama and comedy is not your typical police procedural. With an incredible script by Paul Abbott, fantastic cast and excellent critical acclaim in the UK, I have no doubt that the series will be well received by US audiences. We are happy to be partnering with Acorn TV once again to bring this world class British series to America.”

The Guardian said about No Offence that a “comedy drama is a rare thing – both gripping and funny, with a central team of characters who breathe real life into the police procedural.” The series stars Joanna Scanlan (Requiem, Notes on a Scandal) and Elaine Cassidy, who is well-known to Acorn TV subscribers from last year’s Acorn TV Original Irish thriller Acceptable Risk. No Offence is a police procedural with a difference. Set in a crumbling cop shop on the wrong side of Manchester, the series follows a group of police on the front line, wondering what they did to end up here, in this force, on this side of town. Keeping these streets clean is a Herculean task, enough to demoralize even the keenest rookie – but there’s a reason why this hotchpotch of committed cops are on this force, on this side of town. Drug labs, arsonists, neo-Nazis and notorious murderers are all in a day’s work for this close-knit team, led by the dizzyingly capable but unquestionably unhinged DI Vivienne Deering (Scanlan). Acorn TV will premiere the eight-episode Series 1 on Monday, April 16, the seven-episode Series 2 premieres in Fall 2018, and Series 3 is currently in production.

No Offence is written and created by Paul Abbott and produced by his company AbbottVision. Executive Producers are Paul Abbott, Martin Carr and Paul Coe for AbbottVision; with Simon Meyers as Producer. The series is distributed internationally by FremantleMedia International (FMI).

This news follows Acorn TV’s recent commission announcement for Series 2 of Agatha Raisin and co-production announcement for Aussie comedy Sando. Acorn TV will feature ten Acorn TV Originals in 2018 plus more than 30 licensed premieres of first-rate international content. Read recent announcements at https://www.rljentertainment.com/press-room/

Acorn TV premiere dates:

  • Goodnight Sweetheart, Series 1-2 premieres Monday, March 12 with additional seasons (3-6) added on consecutive Mondays
  • Reilly, Ace of Spies (12 episodes) on Monday, April 2
  • No Offence, Series 1 (8 episodes) exclusive U.S Premiere on Monday, April 16
  • After Henry, Series 1 added on Monday, April 23 with additional seasons (2-4) added on consecutive Mondays
  • No Offence, Series 2 (7 episodes) premieres in Fall 2018

Called a “glorious streaming service… an essential must-have” (The Hollywood Reporter) and “Netflix for the Anglophile” (NPR), Acorn TV exclusively premieres several new international series and/or seasons every month from Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, and other European countries with no commercials. A division of RLJ Entertainment (NASDAQ: RLJE), Acorn TV offers a free trial and is the greatest value in streaming at only $4.99 a month or $49.99 a year.

Acorn TV currently features the exclusive North American premieres of universally adored BBC comedy Detectorists, Series 3; Kay Mellor’s ITV drama Girlfriends (Jan 29) starring Phyllis Logan (Downton Abbey), Miranda Richardson (Stronger, And Then There Were None), and Zoe Wanamaker (Agatha Christie’s Poirot); British school dramedy Ackley Bridge, Series 1 (Feb. 26); and British drama Delicious, Series 2 (Mar. 5). Coming soon, Acorn TV premieres Irish legal drama Striking Out, Series 2 (Mar. 16) starring IFTA winner for Best Drama Actress Amy Huberman and ITV’s heartwarming medical drama The Good Karma Hospital, Series 2 (Apr. 2). Upcoming Acorn TV Originals include fast-paced Wales thriller Keeping Faith starring Eve Myles (Torchwood, Broadchurch, Victoria), international crime drama Straight Forward, and the return of Ashley Jensen in Agatha Raisin, Series 2, among others.

Website: Acorn.TV

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About RLJ Entertainment

RLJ Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: RLJE) is a premium digital channel company serving distinct audiences primarily through its popular OTT branded channels, Acorn TV (British TV) and UMC (Urban Movie Channel), which have rapidly grown through development, acquisition, and distribution of its exclusive rights to a large library of international and British dramas, independent feature films and urban content. RLJE’s titles are also distributed in multiple formats including broadcast and pay television, theatrical and non-theatrical, DVD, Blu-ray, and a variety of digital distribution models (including EST, VOD, SVOD and AVOD) in North America, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Additionally, through Acorn Media Enterprises, its UK development arm, RLJE co-produces and develops new programs and owns 64% of Agatha Christie Limited. For more information, please visit RLJEntertainment.com, Acorn.tv, and UMC.tv.

ABOUT FREMANTLEMEDIA

FremantleMedia creates, produces and distributes some of the best known and loved content in the world including: American Gods, The Young Pope, Deutschland 83,Got Talent (co-produced with Syco in the UK and the US), The X Factor (co-produced with Syco in the UK), Take Me Out,Family Feud, Match Game, Gute Zeiten Schlechte Zeiten, Wentworth, Neighbours,Grand Designs, Jamie Oliver, Munchies (with VICE Media). We have an outstanding global network with operations in 31 countries, producing over 11,000 hours of programming a year, rolling out more than 60 formats and airing more than 420 programmes a year worldwide. The company also distributes more than 20,000 hours of content in over 200 territories. We are part of RTL Group, a global leader across broadcast, content and digital, and a division of the international media company Bertelsmann. For more information, visit www.fremantlemedia.com, follow us @FremantleMedia and visit our LinkedIn and Facebook pages.

Acorn TV Press Contact: Chad Campbell, ccampbell@acorn.tv

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