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UKTV’s Watch moves into original drama with Red Planet series

UKTV-owned pay channel Watch is getting its first original scripted drama, with scriptwriter Tony Jordan’s indie attached to create a 10-part supernatural thriller.

240408_0847_tony_jordan_6_173x136Legion will tell the story of a criminologist on a global search for a cure for his 10 year-old daughter’s inoperable brain tumour who is forced to make a deal with the Devil.

Red Planet Pictures is now looking for coproduction partners and a shoot location for Legion before taking the series into production, though TBI understands Cineflix is also attached a copro partner. Red Planet will be in Cannes at MIPCOM, along with Cineflix’s Peter Smith, to talk with broadcasters about the project.

Legion is my ultimate passion project; the one that I have been working on and trying to perfect for almost fifteen years; the one that has sat in my bottom drawer just waiting for the right time and place for this story to be told,” said Jordan (pictured), who is known for is work on soap Eastenders and light-hearted BBC One procedural Death in Paradise.

“I know that something as ambitious and bold as Legion is a risky commission for Watch, but I’m so excited and honoured that they are not just cautiously dipping their toe in the UK drama pool with us; they are diving in head first,” he added.

To this point, Watch has commissioned entertainment shows such as Dynamo: Magician Impossible and factual series. Its ratings have been steadily improving as the network moves toward a full entertainment schedule.

Its parent, the BBC Worldwide- and Scripps Networks Interactive-owned UKTV, recently commissioned its first original sitcom You, Me & Them for its Gold channel.

“I’m personally delighted that we are recognising our drama aspirations with Tony and the Red Planet team and this is another bold move for UKTV in pushing forward with developing ambitious, talked about, original content,” said UKTV’s director of commissioning Jane Rogerson.