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AMC in league with BBC’s McMafia

Scripted-logo-460_2US cable channel AMC has joined BBC One on an organised crime drama series.

The latest collaboration between the networks is on drama McMafia and comes after AMC closed a coproduction agreement with BBC Worldwide North America.

AMC, the BBC and Cuba Pictures (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell) are coproducing the drama in association with Twickenham Studios, with production already underway in London. The BBC commissioned the show in October last year.

McMafia will star James Norton (Happy Valley) as an English-raised son of Russian exiles with a mafia history past who is drawn into the life of crime when his family’s murderous past returns to threaten them.

Academy Award-nominated writer Hossein Amini (Drive, Snow White and the Huntsman) and James Watkins (The Woman in Black) are leading a writing team that includes David Farr (The Night Manager), Peter Harness (Doctor Who) and Laurence Coriat (Wonderland).

Watkins also directs all eight episodes, which will be based on Misha Glenny’s 2008 novel of the same name.

The series stars Norton alongside David Strathairn (The Bourne Ultimatum), Juliet Rylance (The Knick), Aleksey Serebryakov (The Method), and Maria Shukshina (Yolki 3).

McMafia is simply one of those shows that comes along at exactly the right moment,” said Joel Stillerman, president of original programming and development for AMC and SundanceTV.

“Misha Glenny’s book reminds us that underneath the headlines of today what we used to think of as organised crime is something completely different. It’s a global operation, with tentacles in every corner of our world.”

McMafia is the latest coproduction between AMC and BBC, coming after The Night Manager, The Honourable Woman and One Child.

BBCWW, the BBC’s commercial arm, will see McMafia internationally. It owns 10% of Original Talent, which is the parent company of coproducer Cuba’s parent, literary agency Curtis Brown. It has been selling Cuba shows since 2014.

AMC Networks, meanwhile, acquired 49.9% of the BBC America cable channel last year, and is now in operational control.