Boris Johnson Sky Drama ‘This England,’ Starring Kenneth Branagh, Sells Wide for Fremantle

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Fremantle has scored a raft of sales on “The Trip” director Michael Winterbottom’s drama on outgoing U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, “This England.”

The 88 territories closed for “This England” include Movistar+ (Spain), Viaplay (Nordics and Baltics, Poland and the Netherlands), Cosmote (Greece), OSN TV and OSN+ (MENA), M-Net (South Africa), BBC First (Australia) and TVNZ (New Zealand). Further deals are due to be revealed in the coming weeks.

The Sky original drama series stars Kenneth Branagh (“Death on the Nile”) as Johnson. Despite Johnson’s dramatic resignation, the series will stick to the early part of his tenure. Produced by Richard Brown’s Passenger (“True Detective”) and Revolution Films, the six-part series is based on Boris Johnson’s tumultuous first months as Prime Minister, tracing the impact on the country of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The events in government are interwoven with stories from around the country, from the experts and scientists racing against time; the doctors, nurses and care-home workers working tirelessly and heroically on the frontline; and ordinary people whose lives were thrown into turmoil.

Commissioning broadcaster Sky will debut the series this fall across the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy.

Jens Richter, CEO International, Fremantle said: “’This England’ is a truly unique drama that combines Michael Winterbottom’s talent for conveying powerful real-world stories with a stunning performance from Kenneth Branagh as U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson. This dramatic behind the scenes dramatization of how the government, the scientists, the medical community and ordinary people around England faced these extraordinary events will fascinate and compel viewers. We are honoured to partner with such a fantastic array of buyers to bring this incredible story to audiences around the world.”

“This England” was commissioned by Gabriel Silver, director of drama commissioning at Sky Studios for Zai Bennett, Sky U.K.’s managing director of content. In the U.K., “This England” will launch on Sky Atlantic and streaming service Now on Sept. 21.

Boris Johnson Sky Drama ‘This England,’ Starring Kenneth Branagh, Sells Wide for Fremantle

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