ITV Studios takes distribution rights to BBC crime thriller ‘Line Of Duty’

Line Of Duty

ITV Studios (ITVS) has picked up distribution rights to the sixth season of UK drama Line Of Duty, the Jed Mercurio thriller previously sold by the now defunct Kew Media Distribution (KMD).

Line Of Duty is produced by ITVS-owned World Productions and follows the exploits of AC-12, a police division exploring corruption within the force. The deal, confirming TBI’s report earlier this year, comes as execs explore ways to return the show to production, after its sixth run was paused in March following the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK.

It also remains to be seen whether ITVS can secure sales rights to the first five seasons of the drama, after Jeff Sackman and Berry Meyerowitz’s Quiver Entertainment struck a deal to acquire the library of KMD last month. ITVS declined to comment on discussions.

Other parts of the KMD catalogue were picked up by Abacus Media Rights, the new distribution outfit launched by former KMD EVP of sales Jonathan Ford.

The sixth season of Line Of Duty guest stars Kelly McDonald (Trainspotting) in a new lead role as a senior investigating officer on an unsolved murder, whose unconventional conduct raises suspicions at AC-12. Vicky McClure, Martin Compston and Adrian Dunbar will also return to the show, which has become one of the highest rated dramas for UK commissioner BBC.

Ruth Berry, MD of global distribution at ITVS, said: “I’m so pleased that we can take the upcoming season of the hugely addictive and hotly anticipated Line Of Duty series to market.

“It’s a formidable show that has grown from strength to strength and really is ‘must-see’ drama. We are thrilled to represent another Jed Mercurio and World Productions masterpiece on the global stage.”

ITVS also sells Mercurio and World Productions drama Bodyguard, which recently secured a raft of second window sales.

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