UK broadcasters collar ‘My Life is Murder’ and ‘The Hunting’

‘My Life is Murder.’

CJZ’s private investigator series My Life is Murder and Closer Productions’ four-part drama The Hunting have been acquired by UK broadcasters.

Multi-channel operator UKTV will screen the 10-part CJZ production, which follows Lucy Lawless as former homicide cop Alexa Crowe as she investigates baffling and bizarre murders, on its crime drama channel Alibi.

Directed by Leah Purcell, Mat King and Jovita O’Shaugnessy and produced by Elisa Argenzio and CJZ head of development Claire Tonkin, the series premiered on Network 10 on Wednesday night.

The first episode drew 482,000 viewers in the mainland capitals, trailing Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell’s 495,000, despite the fact the ABC mistakenly put to air the previous week’s episode of Micallef.

However the 7-day and 28-day figures for 10’s murder-mystery are bound to be a lot higher. The consolidated total for Five Bedrooms, for example, was 642,000 in the five metros, nearly 48 per cent up on the overnight.

Created by Closer Productions’ Sophie Hyde and Matthew Cormack, The Hunting, which looks at four teenagers, their teachers and families who get caught up in a nude teenage photo scandal, will screen in prime-time on the Viacom-owned terrestrial Channel 5 after it premieres on SBS at 8.30 pm on August 1.

Both deals were negotiated by the UK-based DCD Rights, whose CEO Nicky Davies Williams said: “Australian drama has had somewhat of a renaissance lately and The Hunting and My Life Is Murder are prime examples of how the Australian content industry is still in its ascendancy.”

Bernard Curry co-stars in My Life as Murder as Alexa’s former colleague and long-time friend Detective Inspector Kieran Hussey, with Ebony Vagulans as the sarcastic, ambitious Madison, who works as a data analyst for the police.

As IF reported, the series backed by Screen Australia and Film Victoria was pre-sold to Acorn TV in the US by DCD Rights. It was developed in-house at CJZ and scripted by Tim Pye, Tonkin, Peter Gawler, Ainslie Clouston, Matt Ford, Monica Zanetti, Chris Hawkshaw and Paul Bennett.

‘The Hunting.’

Directed by Hyde and Ana Kokkinos, The Hunting stars Asher Keddie, Richard Roxburgh and an ensemble cast including Sam Reid, Jessica De Gouw, Luca Sardelis, Yazeed Daher, Pamela Rabe, Leah Vandenberg, Rodney Afif, Sachin Joab, Elena Carapetis, Anni Lindner and newcomers Kavitha Anandasivam and Alex Cusack.

Scripted by Cormack and Niki Aken, the plot follows two high school teachers who discover students are sharing explicit photos of their underage friends and peers online, a revelation which has terrible consequences for the students and their families.

The series tackles the themes of misogyny, privacy, sexuality and sexualisation, online exploitation, toxic masculinity and gender. Hyde produced with Rebecca Summerton and Lisa Scott.