BBC America will roll out two new limited drama series in 2016 and has a half-dozen series in its development pipeline, including an adaptation of Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently. The network announced Undercover, a six-part political thriller starring Sophie Okonedo and Adrian Lester, and Thirteen, a five-part mystery starring Jodie Comer, to coincide with its presentation at the Television Critics Association Press Tour.
Undercover, from creator Peter Moffat, features Okonedo as Maya, who’s poised to become the first black woman to serve as the highest ranking public prosecutor in England only to find out her husband Nick (Lester) has been concealing a secret that could derail her chances. In Thirteen, Comer plays Ivy, a woman who returns to her family after being imprisoned in a cellar for 13 years.
BBCA also announced the first tranche of its scripted development slate, which includes the Dirk Gently adaptation written by Max Landis, who penned 2012’s sci-fi thriller Chronicle. From Dana Shapiro, Academy Award-nominated co-director of Murderball, comes The Greater Good, the fictionalized story of Cora Jones, the sole survivor of the Jonestown massacre. Cora rises to fame as an atheist preacher only to find herself in the same position of unchecked power as the deranged cult leader she escaped. Moths is a crime-thriller set in Tokyo’s Shibuya sub-culture, with Tony Wood (The Only Way Is Essex) attached to produce.
Three untitled series are also vying for slots on BBCA, including a project in which Chilean director Sebastian Silva uses real people alongside actors to explore the “humorous, absurd, and uncomfortably raw stories of 21st-century dating in our impulsive era of swiping and liking.” Screenwriter Anders August is working on a 1950s-set “comic-noir thriller” that follows a sociopathic young woman who infiltrates the upper-crust social circles at a resort. A project from Anna Winger, creator of Deutschland ‘83, will be “a family drama, an amped up adventure, and a celebration of the city of Berlin today.”