ITV announces three new drama commissions for 2011

ITV today announced three major new drama commissions for 2011, written and created by three of the UK’s leading screenwriters Peter Morgan, Anthony Horowitz and Sally Wainwright.

Injustice stars James Purefoy as William Travers, a criminal barrister who is recovering from a traumatic series of events that have shaken his belief in the legal system.  Injustice is Anthony Horowitz’s next project for ITV1 following the huge success of stripped drama Collision which screened to excellent reviews and ratings. 

Scott and Bailey will star Suranne Jones and Lesley Sharp in the title roles of two homicide detectives from Greater Manchester Police’s prestigious Major Incident Team.  The series is scripted by Sally Wainwright whose drama Unforgiven won the coveted RTS Award for Best Drama earlier this year. 

The Jury is a compelling series which focuses on the everyday people who find themselves at the centre of one of the most controversial criminal re-trials of their time. Written by BAFTA winner and Oscar nominated Peter Morgan, the drama goes into production early next year.

The Jury, Injustice and Scott and Bailey have been commissioned for ITV1 by Director of Drama Commissioning Laura Mackie and Controller of Drama Commissioning Sally Haynes.  All three dramas will be produced in high definition.

ITV Director of Television, Peter Fincham, said: “ITV is increasingly building a reputation for working with the very best writing and acting talent.  These three new commissions, written by three of the UK’s most acclaimed screenwriters, join an impressive and varied range of drama for 2011, alongside the likes of The Oaks, Monroe, Kidnap and Ransom, and the return of Primeval.

“We are continuing to reinvigorate the ITV1 schedule, and continued investment in high quality original drama is at the very heart of that transformation.”

ITV Director of Drama Commissioning, Laura Mackie said: “Peter, Sally and Anthony are three of the finest British screenwriters and the quality of their scripts are attracting top flight acting talent.  We’re totally committed to original, authored drama and these commissions are brilliant additions to our slate for 2011”  

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“I’m delighted to be working with ITV again after the success of Collision. Laura Mackie asked me to come up with a psychological thriller that would keep audiences guessing to the end and I hope that with Injustice I’ve done just that,” said Anthony Horowitz.

“We’re going to be shooting in Suffolk, my favourite part of Britain, and after working closely with the director, Colm McCarthy – and with James Purefoy already cast in the lead – I think we’re on course to provide a very striking, very cinematic five-part drama.”

The central character, William Travers, is the opposite of what he seems – a successful criminal barrister still recovering from a traumatic series of events that have shaken his belief in the legal system. Reluctantly, he is drawn into a case that involves conspiracy and murder while at the same time being investigated by a vicious and vengeful detective.

The five part series is a story of friendship, conspiracy, betrayal and murder as well as a critical look at the way the legal system operates. Injustice will be produced by Anthony’s own production company, Injustice Films Limited.

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Scott and Bailey is Sally Wainwright’s next project for ITV. The series will be produced by the Red Production Company in Manchester headed up by Executive Producer, Nicola Shindler – and filming will begin in November 2010. 

The series explores the personal and professional lives of DC Janet Scott (Lesley Sharp) and DC Cathy Bailey (Suranne Jones), both members of Greater Manchester Police’s prestigious Major Incident Team. Cathy is 30, down-to-earth, noisy, argumentative and single whilst Janet is 40, a diplomat and a thinker, as well as being a wife and mother. Despite the obvious differences between them, the fact that they are often thrown together in difficult situations means they have developed a robust friendship.

Sally is currently writing the series which will feature 6 x 60 minute episodes.  She has co-created Scott and Bailey with ex-Detective Inspector Diane Taylor formerly of the Major Incident Team, Greater Manchester Police. 

“Primarily Scott and Bailey is about ordinary women who do an extraordinary job. Cathy and Janet are detectives who investigate homicide. They find themselves in extreme and challenging situations every day of their lives,” said Sally.

“I’ve worked closely with Diane and she’s been an absolute inspiration to me.  Consequently, we’ve written some of the most amazing material.  Everything I’ve written I’ve sent to Diane and she’s come up with some great ideas and suggestions.  With her background in homicide detection, it’ll be an incredibly accurate series.  I’m also thrilled to be working with Nicola Shindler and Suranne once again,” added Sally.

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ITV can also confirm that BAFTA winner and writer of acclaimed feature films Frost/Nixon and The Queen, Peter Morgan, is writing a five part series, The Jury for ITV1.  Peter, who created the original The Jury produced by ITV Studios in 2002 to great critical acclaim, is writing a compelling, character based series which focuses on the everyday people who find themselves at the centre of one of the most controversial criminal re-trials of their time.

It is gripping, dark and emotionally charged and will deal with the story of a prisoner who has served five years of a sentence for a violent triple murder. New evidence has come to light which calls his conviction into question and the jurors are forced to face their prejudices as they come to grips with the complexities and unwanted attention of being a key player in such a high profile Old Bailey trial.   The Jury will be produced once again by ITV Studios and executive produced by the company’s Drama Creative Director Kate Bartlett and co-executive produced by Peter Morgan.

“I am delighted to be writing a new series of The Jury for ITV having so enjoyed creating the first series ten years ago,” said Peter Morgan. “The format always appealed to me as a way to tell both a contemporary crime story and yet interweave it with something more – a snapshot of modern Britain, an assessment of where we are, how we live, who we’ve become. A jury is selected at random, twelve people of all ages, from all walks of life with a view to representing us. By telling their stories it allows us to turn the gaze back on them and to sit in judgement on them, and by implication on ourselves, too,” added Peter.

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