Television Business International

Canadian drama first for BBC Four

Scripted-logo-460_2CardinalBBC Four has acquired Cardinal marking the first time it has picked up a Canadian drama.

The arts and culture-skewed channel has been acquiring a range of international drama in recent times, buying scripted series from Spain, Iceland and France among others.

The move into Canadian drama with Cardinal sees the channel land a six-part detective series set in a small town in Ontario. The serialised drama follows John Cardinal (Billy Campbell, The Killing) and Lise Delorme (Karine Vanasse, Revenge) as they hunt down a serial killer.

The series is based on the Giles Blunt detective novels and specifically Forty Words for Sorrow, the first in that series. Orphan Black writer and producer Aubrey Nealon is the showrunner on the series, which is produced by eOne and Sienna Films for Canadian free TV net CTV.

The show is distributed by eOne, which struck the BBC deal. It has also shopped the series to pay TV platform C More in Scandinavia and the Calle 13 channel in Spain.

Cassian Harrison, Controller of BBC Four, said“I’m delighted to expand BBC Four’s hugely popular international drama range with our first Canadian drama series, Cardinal.

“Further to the recently announced Spanish drama I Know Who You Are and returning hits such as Follow The Money, Inspector Montalbano and Spiral, BBC Four remains the home of high quality, high stakes international drama on British television in 2017.”

Stuart Baxter, president eOne Television International, added: “BBC Four’s programming is ambitious and compelling which makes a perfect fit for this dark and haunting, edge-of-your-seat serialised crime drama.”