BBC Studios and ITV joint-venture streamer BritBox in North America has made its biggest US commission to date with an order for a limited series based on the Agatha Christie novel Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? to be adapted by Hugh Laurie.
House and Roadkill star Laurie will write, direct and executive produce the adaptation, which is being produced by Agatha Christie Ltd and Mammoth Screen, who have previously collaborated on screen versions of Christie stories including And Then There Were None, The Pale Horse and The ABC Murders.
Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? will be adapted into a three-part series which will debut on BritBox in the US and Canada next year, with Endeavour Content, which brokered the commission, to handle international distribution outside of the UK, Ireland and the Americas.
The story follows a pair of amateur sleuths who set out to solve a man’s death with only the mysterious question in the title and a photograph of a woman as clues.
The commission comes after BritBox struck a far-reaching deal last year to see it offer the largest overall collection of Agatha Christie adaptations in the US, including numerous TV shows as well as audio plays and films.
“I loved this book as a nipper and still do,” said Laurie. “The hairs on the back of my neck haven’t properly settled down from the first time I grasped the beauty of the essential mystery. Since then, I have fallen deeper and deeper in love with the characters, and feel immensely honoured to have been given the chance to retell their story in this form. I will wear a tie on set and give it everything I have.”