The Salisbury Poisonings heads to the US

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AMC today announced that The Salisbury Poisonings, the limited series from BBC One and Dancing Ledge which was the biggest overnight launch of a new drama in the UK in six years, will make its exclusive U.S. debut on the network this fall, following a deal with global producer and distributor Fremantle.

Based on the incredible true story of the 2018 Novichok poisonings and the impact it had on a local community, the four-part drama stars Anne-Marie Duff (Sex Education, His Dark Materials), Rafe Spall (Trying), MyAnna Buring (The Witcher, Ripper Street) and Johnny Harris (Jawbone).

The Salisbury Poisonings tells the remarkable story of how ordinary people and public services reacted to a crisis on their doorstep, displaying extraordinary heroism as their city became the focus of an unprecedented national emergency. In March 2018, the eyes of the world turned to the British city of Salisbury when it became the epicenter of what has been described as one of the biggest political events of the 21st century – but until now, the heroic acts behind the headlines have not been told. Within three days of the assassination attempt on double agent and spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, key agencies discovered that a lethal nerve agent called Novichok was used, just half a teaspoon of which could kill 20,000 people. Within four days, hundreds of traces were found across the city, and, just when things were finally thought to be under control, a perfume bottle containing the nerve agent was discovered, throwing the investigation into renewed chaos.

The Salisbury Poisonings is a riveting story about the bravery and resilience of a small town under siege by a silent killer,” said Dan McDermott, president of original programming for AMC and co-president of AMC Studios. “With mysterious twists and turns and an array of complex, heroic characters, it’s exactly the type of captivating, high-end scripted drama that our audience craves, and we’re thrilled to share it with them this fall.”

Lisa Honig, SEVP Distribution North America, International, Fremantle, who brokered the deal with AMC, said: “The events that took place in 2018 in Salisbury truly shocked the world. Dancing Ledge have created a sensitive and authentic telling of this event in The Salisbury Poisonings, bringing together a brilliant cast who portray the real people affected in such a compelling way. We are proud to partner with AMC to bring this important and poignant story to US audiences.”

Laurence Bowen, CEO, Dancing Ledge Productions said “We couldn’t be more delighted to have AMC as a partner and to share the series with a US audience. We’ve always felt this is a universal story of a community coming together to face an invisible threat – with ordinary people rising to an incredible challenge with bravery and resilience. And the truth is that an attack like this could happen anywhere in the world.”

The central characters affected by the attack — including Tracy Daszkiewicz (Marie-Anne Duff), who was the Director of Public Health of Wiltshire Council, the Sturgess family, who lost their daughter Dawn (MyAnna Buring), Charlie Rowley (Johnny Harris), Dawn’s boyfriend, and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey (Rafe Spall), who was contaminated during the course of his work — have worked closely with the producers to tell their stories amidst the ongoing investigation. Capturing the fear, uncertainty and immense heroism of a community in turmoil, this is the real human story of how Salisbury rose to the challenge of fighting a lethal contagion.

The Salisbury Poisonings is executive produced by Laurence Bowen and Chris Carey for Dancing Ledge Productions, Lucy Richer for the BBC and by the writers of the drama, Adam Patterson and Declan Lawn. It is directed by Saul Dibb (Journey’s End, The Duchess, Bullet Boy), who also executive produces, and produced by Karen Lewis (Years And Years, Happy Valley, Last Tango In Halifax). Dancing Ledge Productions works internationally with Fremantle, which has a minority stake in the company, with Fremantle handling global distribution for the drama series.

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