UKTV’s network Drama has entered the original production game.
The channel’s first original scripted series will be Outrageous, a six-part show from BBC Studios-owned Firebird Pictures, written by Sarah Williams (Small Island, Flesh and Blood, The Long Song).
The series will look at the famous British socialite sisters the Mitfords, whose antics in the 1930s made their family one of the most well known in the UK, and what drove them in various directions and to very different end points. Several infamously support fascism and the Nazis, though two became staunch opponents of the ideology. Two became well known authors.
Cast and crew will be announced over the coming months, with production kicking off next summer.
According to UK, Outrageous will “bring the full, uncensored story of the Mitford sisters to the screen for the first time – a story of family betrayals, public scandal, political extremism, personal heartache and even imprisonment.”
“I’ve been intrigued by these notorious sisters for many years and am thrilled to finally be bringing their stories to the screen,” said Williams. “We’ve seen many fictionalised versions of their lives before, but in this family’s case, the truth really is far stranger and more astonishing than anything you could invent.
“These six headstrong women have often been accused of being mad, bad and dangerous to know – and a couple of them were – but what they all had was the absolute courage of their convictions and to hell with the consequences. And that makes for a cracking good story.”
The show was commissioned by UKTV’s Senior Commissioning Editor Philippa Collie Cousins and Head of Scripted Pete Thornton and ordered by Drama Channel Director Emma Ayech. Firebird’s Elizabeth Kilgarriff and Matthew Mosley will executive produce alongside Collie Cousins.
For Firebird, the order comes soon after BBC Studios, which owns UKTV, acquired the shares in drama company it didn’t already own.
UKTV CEO Marcus Arthur revealed Drama would begin commissioning its own original scripted series earlier this year at the Edinburgh TV Festival. Then in November, long-serving exec Hilary Rosen was upped to head all commissioning, adding scripted among her new duties.
Drama channel chief Ayech said Outrageous was “the next step” in a “continued ambition to be the destination channel for fans of quality British drama.”