Jed Mercurio & Jimmy Mulville ink a deal with 20th Television

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The Line of Duty creator’s company HTM Television eyes the US TV market with its multi-year first look deal. 

Jed Mercurio and his partner at HTM Jimmy Mulville have struck a ‘first-look’ deal with 20th Television. With hit shows such as Bodyguard and the all-conquering Line of Duty behind him, Mercurio is seemingly looking to expand his horizons.

Speaking to Deadline, he said: “There are opportunities worldwide; in that period between Bodies and Line of Duty, I struggled to get original ideas away, I wrote a number of U.S. pilots that never got picked up and now with Line of Duty, it’s not ending but we’ve been doing it a long time and I’m beginning to look at the future and where that lies. I’m always led by the creative opportunity”

Richard Madden and Keeley Hawes in ‘Bodyguard’

For his part, Jimmy Mulville has been behind a string of hits, including Episodes and Derry Girls, stretching back to the 1980s. He was one of the founders of Hat Trick Productions; basically, if you’ve watched comedy over the last thirty years you’ve have seen a show that Mulville has executive produced.

HTM Television

Working together at HTM Television, a ’boutique drama producer’, the pair have been behind Bloodlands for the BBC and itv’s Trigger Point. They’re also producing DI Ray starring ER’s Parminder Nagra and written by Line of Duty’s Maya Sondhi, plus Stephen for itv too.

For 20th Television, president Karey Burke said: “We are huge fans of Jed and Jimmy’s work at this studio, from Jed’s Line of Duty and Bodyguard to Jimmy’s Episodes and Whose Line…?, so we jumped at the chance to be in business with their prolific HTM Television. These guys are artists at the top of their games and their projects are always as successful artistically as they are commercially. We’re thrilled to have them at 20th.”

With these two British television giants hooking up to a major American company, it can surely only be a good thing for us viewers!

Science Fiction

Interestingly, that same Deadline piece mentions a science fiction thriller named Transmissions, which Mercurio sold to the now defunct short-form video subscription service Quibi. Set at a remote radio observatory, it was about a lone scientist who begins receiving eerie signals from deep space.

Sci-fi is not an area we particularly know Mercurio for, though he did try with a BBC/Sci-Fi Channel co-production named Invasion: Earth in the mid-90s. Given his talent for creating high-profile, tense shows that attract the headlines, we would love him to give the genre another try!