Paramount+, the major American streaming service that will be coming soon to the UK, has announced six original UK shows, both scripted and unscripted, which will be exclusive to its platform.
The announcement is in line with Paramount’s plan to feature premium local content from the UK, alongside the wide catalogue of American (and international) shows and films.
Among the new shows announced today: a series based on the hit psychological thriller The Ex-Wife, The Burning Girls – a series that takes place in a village haunted by a dark and turbulent history, and an anthology series that tells the story of three of the greatest fashion houses of all time.
It’s worth noting that the UK part comes from the production houses behind these series, being from the UK – yet some of the content is not UK-based at all (such as a reality series that follows hairdressers in Los Angeles).
Paramount+ is a streaming service that started its life as CBS All Access, in the US, in 2014. From its early days, the channel also produced original shows, such as The Good Wife spin-off The Good Fight, and Star Trek: Discovery.
In March 2021, CBS All Access changed its name to Paramount+, following the merger with Viacom, bringing in content from additional partners, such as Showtime, Comedy Central and Paramount Pictures.
Last August, it was announced that Paramount+ will be coming to the UK in 2022 – and while there’s no exact launch date yet, it’s expected to reach our shores “by summer”.
Paramoumt+ New UK Shows
As part of its global expansion, Paramount+ plans to greenlight 50 new international scripted originals in 2022.
The original scripted UK series announced today are:
The Ex-Wife (4 Episodes)
Based on the hit psychological thriller by Jess Ryder.
Tasha is living the dream: she has the perfect house, a loving husband and a beautiful little girl. But there’s one large blot on Tasha’s marital landscape: her husband’s ex-wife won’t leave them alone and seems intent on staying in the picture.
When Tasha returns home one day to find her life turned upside down, she realises that the dream she is living may be about to turn into a nightmare.
Céline Buckens (Showtrial) takes the lead role in the series as Tasha. Further casting details will be announced in the weeks to come. The Ex-Wife is written by Catherine Steadman who will also serve as executive producer on the series.
The series is co-produced by Clapperboard Studios, BlackBox Multimedia and Night Train Media.
The Burning Girls (6 Episodes)
Based on the novel of the same name by CJ Tudor.
Chapel Croft is a village haunted by a dark and turbulent history. Five hundred years ago, Protestant martyrs – including two young girls – were betrayed and burned at the stake.
Thirty years ago, two teenage girls disappeared without a trace. And a few weeks ago, the vicar of the local parish hanged himself in the nave of the church.
Now, Jack Brooks, a female vicar and single mum to 15-year-old daughter Flo, arrives in Chapel Croft in the hope of a fresh start. However, instead of finding peace in their new home, Jack finds the village rife with conspiracies and secrets, and uncovering the truth can be deadly in a community with a bloody past, where everyone has something to hide.
Hans Rosenfeldt (Marcella, The Bridge) serves as the lead writer of The Burning Girls, with Camilla Ahlgren (The Bridge) joining Hans in the writing team.
The series is produced by Buccaneer Media in association with VIS – the international studio division of Paramount.
LA Hairdressers (8 Episodes)
Produced by Emmy Award-winning production company Fulwell 73, in association with Endeavor Content, Hairdressers of Los Angeles will follow two legendary LA establishments, with their talented teams of stylists that make them destinations for the Hollywood elite.
The series will look behind the glossy facade and into the stylists’ lives – both personal and professional.
With access at all levels, from board meetings to salon floors, to rigorous training programs, the series lifts the curtain on the beauty secrets of Los Angeles and the demands of operating a Beverly Hills salon to the stars.
Fashion House (3 Episodes)
Produced by BAFTA Award-winning production company Lambent, in association with All3Media International and Night Train Media, this anthology series tells the story of three of the greatest fashion houses of all time – Gucci, Versace and Burberry.
Each episode charts the very distinctive journey of each house, told by fashion insiders at the heart of each story.
Pervert: Catching the Strip Search Caller (3 Episodes)
Produced by Wag Entertainment, the series follows the shocking true crime story of a hoax caller who targeted fast-food restaurants across America, convincing managers to obey his instructions, resulting in the terrifying abuse of staff.
The caller posed as a police officer investigating a theft and instructed managers to strip-search the young women, he said were suspects. For many victims, what began as a humiliating strip search escalated into sexual abuse.
When the hoax caller hit McDonald’s in Mount Washington, Kentucky, a rookie detective made it his mission to catch him – what he uncovered was extraordinary.
With testimonies from investigators, victims and the people who were duped into committing strip-search crimes, this limited series tells the story of the hunt for the strip search hoaxer, and his victims’ search for justice.
Produced by Soilsiú Films, in association with Screen Ireland, M-Net and Abacus Media Rights, this feature-length film follows the story of Celeste and Morne Nurse, whose baby daughter Zephany was stolen from hospital two days after her birth in Cape Town, April 1997.
For 17 years, the devastated couple searched for Zephany, regularly making media appeals, hiring private detectives and following false leads.
Then in 2015, their second daughter, Cassidy, enrolled in a new school, where other pupils pointed out an older pupil, Miche Solomon, who looked much like her.
DNA samples confirmed that Miche was Zephany, and, incredibly, she had grown up only a few miles from the Nurse’s home. The Nurses were overjoyed, and the story saw them becoming media darlings around the world.
However, the arrest and trial of the seamstress whom Miche knew as her loving mother devastated her and ultimately, she chose to remain with the kidnapper’s family. The Nurses, against all expectations, lost their daughter a second time.
This film follows the process of two broken families climbing the difficult path towards forgiveness and wholeness.
These newly announced original series will each be exclusively available on Paramount+ in the UK following the launch of the service.
They join previously announced UK originals – A Gentleman in Moscow, Sexy Beast, Flatshare and The Blue, as well as the streamer’s international slate of originals around the world, including Simon Beckett’s Chemistry of Death (Germany), The Signal (France), Cecilia (Mexico), Bosé (Spain), Miss Fallaci (Italy), At Midnight (Mexico),and more.
Unscripted series previously announced in the UK are Haunted, Rise of the Tech Titans, The Box, MH370: The Lost Flight and Chalet Girls.