HBO joins BBC’s sexual consent drama from Michaela Coel, moves from BBC Two

Michaela Coel

HBO has joined the BBC’s forthcoming Michaela Coel-starring drama that explores sexual consent in contemporary life, with the UK pubcaster shifting the channel on which it will now air.

January 22nd is being written by Coel and is described as a “fearless, frank and provocative” show that explores dating and relationships, as well as “the distinction between liberation and exploitation”.

The 12 x 30 minute series, set in London and about a woman whose drink is spiked with a date-rape drug, was ordered in August by drama chief Piers Wenger and Patrick Holland, controller of BBC Two, with the broadcaster then describing the programme as “a brand-new landmark drama for BBC Two”.

However the show, which is being produced by Various Artists Ltd and Coel’s Falkna Productions, will now air on BBC One, the UK pubcaster said, with HBO coming onboard as co-producer.

Black Earth Rising star Coel will exec produce through Falkna alongside Phil Clarke and Roberto Troni for Various Artists and Piers Wenger and Jo McClellan for BBC One. Warner Bros. International Television Distribution sells worldwide excluding the UK and Ireland, where BBC Studios will handle deals. BBCS brokered the agreement with HBO for US, Canada and international distribution.

Simon Maloney (Peaky Blinders) will produce episodes one to six and Simon Meyers (No Offence) will produce episodes seven to 12. Coel and Sam Miller (Luther) direct, with filming now underway in London.

Wenger described Coel’s drama as “an ultra-contemporary show which explores the issues of her generation with huge compassion, humour and a raw truthfulness. It’s an incredibly urgent story which the BBC are proud to be telling.”

Amy Gravitt, EVP of HBO programming, added: “[Coel] writes with such intimacy and immediacy about how we treat one another, while always surprising us with moments of levity.”

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