March 24, 2021

Acorn TV Commission in Co Production with ZDF Expectation’s New UK Mystery Drama The Chelsea Detective Starring Adrian Scarborough (Gavin & Stacey, Killing Eve)

BBC Studios to Distribute Series Worldwide


London, UK – AMC Networks’ Acorn TV and ZDF are excited to announce the commissioning of UK drama The Chelsea Detective with Acorn Media Enterprises from Expectation (In My Skin, Guilt).

Created by Peter Fincham, the 4 x 90-minute series stars Adrian Scarborough (Gavin & Stacey, Killing Eve) as Detective Inspector Max Arnold, who lives on a battered houseboat at the end of Cheyne Walk. Max is the son of a local bookshop owner and was born and bred in Chelsea, but he’s a far cry from the affluent elite whose crimes he’ll help solve. Recently separated from his art dealer wife Astrid (Anamaria Marinca4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days; Sex Traffic) Max still hopes one day to move back into their apartment in nearby Cadogan Square.

Each episode sees Max and Streatham-born D.C. Priya Shamsie played by Sonita Henry (Luther, Krypton) investigate a wide range of crimes. Storylines in the first series feature a stonemasons’ workshop at Brompton Cemetery; a fashionable school for international students; a family-owned Italian restaurant which is on the brink of expansion; and a local garden centre linked to the unsavoury past of Chelsea FC football hooliganism.

The feature-length episodes are written by Glen Laker (Vera, Prime Suspect), Peter Fincham and Liz Lake (Riviera; Call the Midwife). Production will begin in April 2021.

Acorn TV will feature its world premiere in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, among others in 2022. BBC Studios is distributing the series internationally.

Catherine Mackin, Managing Director, Acorn Media Enterprises, noted: “We’re thrilled to work with ZDF, Expectation and BBC Studios on this riveting UK mystery series set in and around picturesque Chelsea as we follow this fascinating detective both on the clock during his investigations and at home on his houseboat. Acorn TV is thrilled to have Adrian Scarborough in the lead role and we’re confident that our subscribers worldwide will be captivated by this charismatic drama.”

ZDF, Dr. Simone Emmelius, SVP International Fiction Coproduction and Acquisition said: “As a first outcome of our joint development activities with BBC Studios, The Chelsea Detective coincidently is our first coproduction with Acorn, too. This promising show perfectly expands our portfolio of high quality international crime series, and I´m confident, it will find an enthusiastic audience in Germany.”

Peter Fincham, executive producer, commented: “Working with Acorn, ZDF and BBC Studios to realise the vision for the series has been truly exciting. Chelsea is the perfect precinct for a long-running crime series – it’s known for its wealth and history, but there’s so much more to it than that. Our brilliant cast will be taking the viewers to unexpected places and meeting some unlikely characters.”

The series producer is Ella Kelly (Death in Paradise; Midsomer Murders). The directors are Richard Signy (Death in Paradise; Silent Witness) and Darcia Martin (Call the Midwife; Judge John Deed).

AMC Networks’ Acorn TV is the leading streaming service specializing in British and international television with subscribers worldwide in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Latin America, Spain, Portugal, among other areas. Acorn TV adds exclusive new programs every week to a deep library of mysteries, dramas, and comedies with no commercials.

In 2021, Acorn TV will feature commissioned original series including British crime drama Whitstable Pearl starring Kerry Godliman (After Life), Kiwi romantic comedy Under the Vines, British detective drama Dalgleish starring Bertie Carvel, the second season of Miss Fisher spinoff Ms. Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries, as well as Irish crime thriller Bloodlands starring James Nesbitt and co-executive produced by Jed Mercurio, the return of Australian detective series My Life Is Murder starring Lucy Lawless, and a growing catalog of popular bingeable dramas that include A Place to Call Home, Detectorists, Jack Irish and Foyle’s War. Recent Acorn TV Original series include Deadwater Fell starring David Tennant and Cush Jumbo, highly-rated BBC One drama The Nest starring Martin Compston and Sophie Rundle; and groundbreaking BBC One period drama A Suitable Boy from Mira Nair. Website: Acorn.TV

Acorn Media Enterprises is Acorn TV’s UK-based development arm which works with producers, distributors, writers and broadcasters in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and beyond to commission, co-produce and co-finance the best international, English-language scripted shows. AME has commissioned Agatha Raisin Series 2, 3, and 4, Queens of Mystery, London Kills Series 1 and 2, Keeping Faith, Whitstable Pearl, Ms. Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries Series 2, among several other productions.

Press Contact:

Acorn TV, Chad Campbell,

About AMC Networks

AMC Networks is a global entertainment company known for its popular and critically-acclaimed content. Its portfolio of brands includes AMC, BBC AMERICA (operated through a joint venture with BBC Studios), IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv, IFC Films, and a number of fast-growing streaming services, including the AMC+ premium streaming bundle, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and ALLBLK (formerly branded “UMC”). AMC Studios, the Company’s in-house studio, production and distribution operation, is behind award-winning owned series and franchises, including The Walking Dead, the highest-rated series in cable history. The Company also operates AMC Networks International, its international programming business, and Levity Entertainment Group, its production services and comedy venues business.

About Expectation

Expectation is an award-winning, multi-genre, independent production company covering both scripted and non-scripted programming. Formed in 2017 by Peter Fincham and Tim Hincks, Expectation is one of the fastest growing companies in the indie sector and has built an enviable reputation for creating new drama, comedy and entertainment formats as well as breaking new talent.

Under its drama division Expectation produced multi-award winning BBC drama, Guilt which is currently filming it’s second series; secured two commissions of Sky One’s Intelligence which has been an international sales hit including Peacock in US and territories from Australia to Asia, and Europe; whilst Welsh-based drama In My Skin was last week recognised as Best Drama in the RTS Programme Awards, has won four BAFTA Cymru awards for Best Television Drama and Best Actress and premiered in the US on Hulu last year; and Expectation’s recent comedy pilot with Sophie Willan, Alma’s Not Normal for BBC Two has been commissioned for a further five episodes.

About ZDF

ZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen) is Germany’s national public television broadcaster. It is run as an independent non-profit corporation under the authority of the Länder, the sixteen states that constitute the Federal Republic of Germany.

The nationwide channel ZDF has been broadcasting since 1st April 1963 and remains one of the country’s leading sources of information. Today, ZDF also operates the two thematic channels ZDFneo and ZDFinfo. In partnership with other public broadcasters, ZDF jointly operates the internet-only offer funk, the German channels PHOENIX and KiKA, and the European channels 3sat and ARTE.

About BBC Studios

BBC Studios, a global content company with bold British creativity at its heart, is a commercial subsidiary of the BBC Group. Able to take an idea seamlessly from thought to screen and beyond, its activities span content financing, development, production, sales, branded services, and ancillaries across both its own productions, and programmes and formats made by high-quality UK independents. Award-winning British programmes made by the business are internationally recognised across a broad range of genres and specialisms, with brands like Strictly Come Dancing/Dancing with the Stars, Top Gear, Doctor Who and Bluey. BBC Studios has offices in 22 markets globally, including ten production bases in the UK and production bases or partnerships in a further nine countries around the world. The company, which ordinarily makes around 2500 hours of content a year for both the BBC and third parties including Apple, Amazon and China Mobile, is a champion for British creativity around the world. It is also a committed partner for the UK’s independent sector through a mix of equity partnerships, content investment and international distribution for programme titles. To the BBC, BBC Studios contributes both cash dividends and funds for programme-making, supporting the licence fee and enhancing programmes for UK audiences.