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‘Miss Scarlet & The Duke’: PBS Boards A+E Networks International’s Period Drama Co-Pro

Deadline — Peter White

PBS has boarded Miss Scarlet and the Duke – the first international co-production from A+E Networks International.

The drama, which features The Crown star Kate Phillips as the first-ever female detective in 19th century London, will air on the U.S. public broadcaster in 2020 as part of the Masterpiece strand.

Other international broadcasters to board the six-part series include UKTV’s Alibi in the UK, Seven Network (Australia), CBC (Canada), Lightbox (New Zealand), RTL Germany, Yandex (CIS) and OTE Cosmote TV (Greece).

The crime series is a co-production between A+E’s international division and Element 8 Entertainment.

Created by Grantchester and The Mallorca Files writer Rachael New, who also showruns, the six-episode series stars Phillips as Eliza Scarlet. When Eliza’s father dies, he leaves her penniless in a time where marriage is her only option for financial security. But the headstrong Eliza is determined to find another way. Luckily, she has an ace up her bonnet – her father’s business – a private detective agency. Eliza knows all the tricks of the trade but as a genteel 19th century lady she’s never been allowed to put them into practice. To operate in this man’s world, she needs a partner. Step forward Detective Inspector William Wellington of Scotland Yard, played by Stuart Martin (Medici), who is also known as “The Duke;” drinker, gambler and womaniser. Eliza and The Duke strike up a mismatched, fiery relationship that will crackle and smoulder with sexual tension as they team up to solve crime in the murkiest depths of 1880’s London.

Kevin Doyle (Downton Abbey) plays Eliza Scarlet’s late father, Henry Scarlet. Andrew Gower (Carnival Row) plays Rupert Parker, Eliza’s business partner and friend. At the start of the series he invests in Eliza’s new detective agency and is one of the few encouraging voices on her side. Ansu Kabia (Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw) plays Moses, a well-known crook from Jamaica who, despite the Duke’s objections, Eliza sometimes hires for a variety of jobs, making use of his skills and knowledge of the world.

Produced in Dublin, Ben Edwards (Trollied) is a contributing writer. The series is directed by Declan O’Dwyer (Free Rein) and also features Helen Norton (Raw), Cathy Belton (Philomena) and Danny Midwinter (From Hell). Todd Berger, Patrick Irwin, Jin Ishimoto, Patricia Lenahan Ishimoto, Harvey Myman, Rachael New and Declan O’Dwyer are executive producers.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the global momentum for this new series, built on a strong line-up of top tier international broadcasters and kicking off under the auspices of the world renowned, multi-award-winning Masterpiece franchise,” said Patrick Vien, Group Managing Director, International, A+E Networks International. “It is also extremely gratifying that our co-pro division has taken flight in a such short time with this series and a number of other scripted and unscripted projects already in the works.”

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