AMC Networks’ streaming platform Acorn TV and Channel 5 today announced the commission of new, feature-length detective drama series Ellis. Specializing in premium British and international television, Acorn TV also recently announced new seasons of My Life Is Murder, Recipes for Love and Murder, Harry Wild, Under the Vines, and Whitstable Pearl.

A three-part series, Ellis will follow DCI Ellis, played by three-time Olivier Award winner Sharon D. Clarke (Showtrial, Lost Boys & Faries, Rocketman), a tenacious cop who is parachuted into failing investigations. Each two-hour episode sees Ellis – accompanied by her right-hand man DS Harper, played by Andrew Gower (The Winter King, Carnival Row, Outlander) – arrive at a different police station, where she will have to win over the local detectives and immerse herself in the cases she has come to solve. As a black female cop, Ellis is used to being dismissed and overlooked, but she is a first-class murder detective, with a determination for justice and a deep well of compassion for those who need it.

From Company Pictures, in association with Northern Ireland Screen, Ellis (3 x 120’) was commissioned for Acorn TV by Catherine Mackin, Managing Director of Acorn Media Enterprises (AME), who also executive produces alongside Bea Tammer, AME’s Director of Development. The series was ordered for Channel 5 by Sebastian Cardwell, Deputy Chief Content Officer, Paramount UK and Paul Testar, Commissioning Editor, Drama, Channel 5 and Paramount+. Executive producers for Company Pictures are Michele Buck and Lucy Raffety with producer Chris Martin and writers Paul Logue and Sian Ejiwunmi-Le Berre. International distribution will be handled by All3 Media International.

Catherine Mackin, Managing Director, Acorn Media Enterprises (Acorn TV), shares: “Acorn TV is known for compelling, intriguing and invigorating detective dramas, and Ellis delivers on every note. We are elated to have found our ideal DCI in the incomparable Sharon D. Clarke, and we are excited to work with both Channel 5 and Company Pictures again.”

On this exciting new commission for Channel 5, Sebastian Cardwell, Deputy Chief Content Officer, Paramount UK, comments: “Ellis is a brilliant addition to our scripted slate, and we are thrilled to be working with the teams at Acorn TV and Company Pictures on this gripping new series. I can’t wait to see the incredible Sharon D. Clarke bring DCI Ellis to life.”

Michele Buck, CEO, Company Pictures (an All3Media company), adds: Company Pictures are proud and delighted to be creating a new detective series for Channel 5 and Acorn with funding from Northern Ireland Screen, in association with All3Media International.  Sharon D. Clarke is the perfect DCI Ellis, who will bring her inimitable talents to this inventive and powerful new female-led detective series.

David Swetman, SVP Content and Commercial Strategy at All3Media International, also comments: “We’re delighted to be distributing this new crime series from Company Pictures. Following the investigations of the enigmatic DCI Ellis will be a delight for audiences around the world.” 

Ellis is set to begin filming this spring in Northern Ireland and will air on Acorn TV and Channel 5 later this year.

In addition to Ellis, as recently announced, new seasons of the following series will debut across Acorn TV’s 2024 slate, cementing its place among niche streamers as a premium destination for revered British and international mysteries, dramas and comedies: