EXCLUSIVE: The BBC is the network behind Rise Films’ drama on the phone hacking scandal that rocked Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. The Salisbury Poisonings writers Declan Lawn and Adam Patterson and director Saul Dibb are attached and U.S. buyers are understood to be circling.
Deadline revealed Thank You & Goodbye was in development with Oscar and Emmy-winning British production company Rise in early 2021 and we now understand the show is in an advanced development stage with the British public broadcaster.
Lawn and Patterson replace Des scribe Luke Neal as writers and hook back up with Dibb, who directed The Salisbury Poisonings, which was one of the most-watched British shows of 2020. Lawn and Patterson have just written another BBC drama, Blue Lights, about three rookie Police Officers in Belfast.
U.S. buyers are already understood to be circling Thank You & Goodbye and producers are gearing up for casting.
The British phone-hacking scandal was one of the most high-profile and controversial of the past decades and Rise gained access to journalists, private investigators and perpetrators that were involved for the show, which started life as a doc.
Thank You & Goodbye examines the newsroom of the News of the World, the British tabloid that was forced to close due to the scandal, and how journalists hacked the private messages and voicemails of the likes of Steve Coogan, Hugh Grant and Sienna Miller.
The ensuing fallout led to a highly-publicized inquiry that sparked 100 arrests and changed the UK’s relationship with the tabloid press forever.
Thank You & Goodbye, a nod to the headline on the News of the World’s final edition before Murdoch shut it down, is Rise’s debut drama and the first drama to portray the scandal. The ordeal has been spotlighted in numerous documentaries including, most recently, the BBC’s Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty from Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story producer 72 Films.
Rise has gained a solid reputation for producing a wealth of complex and high-profile docs over the years including Oscar-winning Netflix feature Icarus and, most recently, highly-rated Sky documentary series Once Upon a Time In Londongrad.
The BBC and Rise declined to comment.