Rose Ayling-Ellis To Lead ITV Drama Code Of Silence; Mediawan Buys Africas Cote Ouest; Channel 5 Calls For The Hunted; Sky Kids Series — Global Briefs

Rose Ayling-Ellis To Lead ITV Drama ‘Code Of Silence’

Rose Ayling-Ellis will star in an ITV drama Code of Silence, playing a Deaf catering worker who is called in support a detective by lip reading the conversations of dangerous criminals. Her interpretation of a gang’s clandestine meetings lead to police unlocking a case but she becomes drawn to a main suspect and pulled into a risky situation as things threaten to spill over into her personal life. Catherine Moulton (Baptiste, Hijack) is writing the series, with ITV Studios-owned Mammoth Screen, the indie behind The Serpent and Noughts + Crosses producing. Tom Leggett and Damien Timmer executive produce alongside Moulton. Ayling-Ellis, a Deaf actress known for her role in EastEnders and winning Strictly Come Dancing, is also developing a comedy-drama about Deaf women dating in London, as Deadline revealed last August.

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Mediawan Buys African Indie Distributor Côte Ouest

Mediawan’s buying spree isn’t over yet. The French media giant has acquired Côte Ouest, which is considered one of Africa’s biggest indie content distributors. Last month, Mediawan acquired Dutch producer Submarine as the latest in a line of deals that has also included the big-ticket acquisition for Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment. Côte Ouest has a library of more than 20,000 hours and has access to content from U.S. majors and Brazil’s Grupo Globo. It has also aided development of African productions such as Les BobodioufsHospital IT and The Getaway. Mediawan already owns Kew, a Senegalese producer behind Canal+ International co-productions such as Sahko & Mangane and Terranga. Canal+ International, Mediawan’s long-term partner in Africa, will also hold a minority stake in Côte Ouest.

Channel 5 Orders ‘The Hunted’ From ‘The Thief, His Wife & The Canoe’ Producer

Channel 5 has ordered its latest psychological thriller from The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe producer Story Films. The Paramount-owned UK network has put The Hunted (working title) into production in Ireland and show will air later this year. Starring Kara Tointon (EastEnders), The Hunted follows the story of a young, single mother Rachel and her young son Liam. They’re on the poverty line, but she works all hours of the day as a cleaner to give him the best life she can. One day, her boss at the cleaning firm is approached by a businesswoman who says she’s acting for an extremely wealthy client called Elliot. Her client has observed Rachel working at a hotel where he’s a regular guest and she asks if Rachel can clean for him exclusively, but her suspicions are then aroused. The show comes from All3Media-backed Story Films, whose ITV drama The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe was nominated for a BAFTA over the weekend. Story Films also made Witness Number 3 for Channel 5.

Sky Kids Greenlights Axel Scheffler & ASMR Series

Sky Kids has greenlit an Axel Scheffler adaptation and ASMR series. In Pip and Posy Let’s Learn, young audiences will play with Pip, Posy and their friends as they use their sense of fun, imagination and rhyme to explore a range of subjects. The idea is an off-shoot from the hit show based on books by Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler. Meanwhile in Look, See, Wow!, kids will be guided through a series of immersive and sensory experiences. With a gentle narrative, each episode explores different pre-school topics including bubbles, sand, water and flying, designed to spark curiosity and encourage onward exploration. Magic Light Pictures is producing the former and Particle6 is making the latter. Lucy Murphy, Director of Kids Content at Sky UK said: “With beloved characters Pip and Posy looking at early educational concepts in their joyful way, as well as the innovative new format of Look, See, Wow! which explores the world in a sensory way, these new shows for our youngest viewers and their families will bring a sense of wonder and delight to learning.” Sky Kids recently launched a linear channel to rival the likes of CBeebies.

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