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British drama features on expanded Masterpiece

Julie-Walters_Indian_SummerPBS will launch several new scripted series from the UK in its winter/spring schedules.

The US public service channel, which has enjoyed great success with UK drama Downton Abbey as well as the likes of Call the Midwife, is coproducing some of the drama for its expanded Masterpiece strand and has acquired several other titles.

Shine-distributed period detective show Grantchester (below right) will launch on Masterpiece in January.

Later in the year it will show All3Media period drama Indian Summers (pictured), which counts PBS as a coprp partner. Another new UK period drama for Masterpiece will be Mammoth Screen’s remake of smuggling tale Poldark, which is distributed by ITVSGE.

With the BBC, Masterpiece is coproducing Wolf Hall, the six-episode period drama based on the Hilary Mantel novel. All3Media’s Company Pictures and Playground Entertainment are also copro partners, along with BBC Worldwide, which is handling international sales.

GrantchesterReturning UK-produced series include ITV Studios Mr Selfridge, BBC Worldwide’s Call the Midwife and Shine-distributed comedy Vicious.

Masterpiece has effectively become the home of UK drama – and particularly period drama – in the US. Its expanded Masterpiece line-up is the most extensive yet in terms of the number of British titles.

Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville will also appear as a celebrity host in the second season of PBS’s arts show Shakepeare Uncovered.