SundanceTV’s 2016 Premiere Dates Announced: “Hap and Leonard,” “The Last Panthers,” “Rebellion”
SundanceTV announced at the Television Critics’ Association (TCA) Press Tour the premiere dates for its spring 2016 programming slate, designating Wednesdays at 10/9c as the network’s yearlong destination for original programming.
“Coming off a year in which SundanceTV was the fastest-growing entertainment network in adults 25-54, we could not be more excited about the quantity and quality we are bringing viewers in 2016,” said Joel Stillerman, president of original programming and development for AMC and SundanceTV. “All of our new shows fit the network’s signature brand of unique storytelling, and together will make Wednesday night the new destination for SundanceTV originals.”
HAP AND LEONARD
HAP AND LEONARD, featuring James Purefoy (Rome, The Following), Michael Kenneth Williams (The Wire, Boardwalk Empire) and Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), will premiere Wed., Mar. 2 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. Set in the late 1980s, HAP AND LEONARD is a darkly comic swamp noir story of two best friends, one femme fatale, a crew of washed-up revolutionaries, a pair of murderous psycho-killers, some lost loot and the fuzz. Based on the novels by Joe Lansdale, the six-hour series event follows Hap Collins (Purefoy), an East Texas white boy with a weakness for Southern women, and Leonard Pine (Williams), a gay, black Vietnam vet with a hot temper. When Hap’s seductive ex-wife Trudy (Hendricks) resurfaces with a deal they can’t refuse, a simple get-rich-quick scheme snowballs into bloody mayhem. Chock full of eccentric characters, HAP AND LEONARD provides a country twist on the classic mystery thriller.
Produced by AMC Studios, the six-episode event series was developed by director/writer Jim Mickle (Cold in July, We Are What We Are and Stakeland) and writer Nick Damici (Cold in July, We Are What We Are and Stakeland). The project is executive produced by Jim Mickle, Nick Damici, Jeremy Platt and Nick Shumaker, along with co-executive producers Joe Lansdale, Linda Moran and Lowell Northrop. This project marks Mickle’s and Damici’s second major collaboration with Lansdale, as the pair previously collaborated on the film adaptation of Lansdale’s novel Cold in July, which was selected to premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Additional HAP AND LEONARD cast members include Jimmi Simpson (“House of Cards”), Bill Sage (American Psycho), Pollyanna McIntosh, Neil Sandilands and Jeff Pope.
“It’s been a blast working with the great Joe Lansdale again to bring more of his iconic characters to the screen,” said director, writer and executive producer Jim Mickle. “Hap and Leonard demanded their own show, and we gave it to them. SundanceTV is the perfect home for our boys and everyone we’ve come to love in their unique universe. After premiering Cold in July at the Sundance Film Festival and now expanding to something equally one-of-a-kind on SundanceTV, it feels like we’ve come deliciously full circle.”
THE LAST PANTHERS
The Sky Atlantic/CANAL+/SundanceTV co-production THE LAST PANTHERS which bowed in Nov. to rave reviews internationally, will premiere Wed., Apr. 13 at 10/9c. The six-episode limited series stars two-time Academy Award® nominee Samantha Morton (Sweet and Lowdown, In America), French César Award winner Tahar Rahim (A Prophet), Croatian-born actor Goran Bogdan (Number 55) and BAFTA and Golden Globe® winner and two-time Academy Award® nominee John Hurt (The Elephant Man, Midnight Express).
The series opens with a daring diamond heist bearing all the hallmarks of a gang known as the Pink Panthers. But the tragic death of a little girl during the raid sets a collision course in motion involving a British insurance agent (Morton), a French-Algerian cop (Rahim) and a Serbian diamond thief (Bogdan). THE LAST PANTHERS will plunge its audience into a modern-day Europe gripped by new forms of crime on an epic scale. As the plot follows its players across the continent from France to Serbia to the UK, the interplay between traffickers in jewels and drugs, European officials, war criminals and city bankers reveals shocking conspiracies connecting those in power to even the lowliest criminals.
With opening title music by the legendary David Bowie, THE LAST PANTHERS is based on the work of French journalist Jérôme Pierrat, who has investigated organized crime in France for years, and co-created and written by the award-winning writer Jack Thorne (The Fades, This Is England). The series, shot in four countries — the UK, France, Serbia and Montenegro — in three languages, is directed by Johan Renck ( Bloodline, Breaking Bad) and executive produced by Caroline Benjo (The Returned) and Jimmy Desmarais (The Returned) of Haut et Court, Peter Carlton (This Is England) of Warp Films, Johan Renck and Jack Thorne.
“THE LAST PANTHERS is a complex dive into the labyrinthine underworld of Europe,” said executive producer Peter Carlton. “SundanceTV’s dedication to challenging, international storytelling is unparalleled in the U.S. market, so we knew it was the perfect home for this project and were so happy to have the network on board as a co-producer. With production spanning across Europe — from Marseilles to Belgrade to London — this mini-series takes viewers on a thrilling adventure, and we expect SundanceTV viewers to respond enthusiastically.”
In honor of the 100th anniversary of when the Easter Uprising began on Apr. 24, 1916, SundanceTV will premiere Irish drama REBELLION as a special three-night miniseries event beginning Sun., Apr. 24 through Tue., Apr. 26 at 9/8c. The five-part miniseries charts the birth of modern Ireland during one of the most tumultuous and dangerous periods in history.
REBELLION begins with the outbreak of World War I. As expectations of a short and glorious campaign are dashed, social stability is eroded, and Irish nationalism comes to the fore. The tumultuous events that follow are seen through the eyes of three young women and their families, lovers and friends from Belfast, Dublin and London as they play vital and conflicting roles in the narrative of Ireland’s independence. Some prioritize family loyalties; some are motivated by the noblest of ideals, some by opportunism; others take up arms, prepared to sacrifice everything for the dream of a better society and true independence.
REBELLION is produced by Touchpaper Television and Zodiak Media Ireland for RTÉ, in co-production with SundanceTV, and is written by Colin Teevan (Silk, Vera), directed by Aku Louhimies (Frozen Land) and produced by Catherine Magee. The cast includes Brian Gleeson (Snow White and the Huntsman, The Bachelor Weekend), Charlie Murphy (Philomena), Michelle Fairley (Game of Thrones), Ruth Bradley (Humans, Best Actress IFTA for Grabbers) and Sarah Greene (Penny Dreadful). The executive producers are Rob Pursey, Jane Gogan, Colin Teevan, David Crean and Clare Alan.
“REBELLION is a character-driven drama that follows three very different women and the role each one plays in the Easter Rising of 1916, a defining moment in Irish and British history,” said executive producer and writer Colin Teevan. “Stories about the struggle for Irish independence have typically been told from a male and Nationalist point-of-view, so we’re excited to explore this pivotal time from multiple and largely female perspectives. As can be seen from recent uprisings in the Middle East, women are often the first to the barricades to demand change, but also the first to be banished back to their homes and to the footnotes of history once their cause has been successful. We’re so proud that REBELLION will be seen on SundanceTV, the home of many captivating and original international stories, and we feel certain that audiences will relate to each of our heroines, who are simultaneously flawed yet inspiring, guileful yet honest, and foolhardy yet brave.”
SUNDANCE TV’S 2016 SLATE
HAP AND LEONARD, THE LAST PANTHERS and REBELLION will be the first three original series airing in 2016 on SundanceTV, followed by family drama series THE A WORD. Later in the year, SundanceTV will premiere the fourth and final season of the Peabody Award-winning RECTIFY, as well as CLEVERMAN, co-produced with Red Arrow International, Goalpost Pictures Australia and Pukeko Pictures in New Zealand. The epic genre drama is set in the near future and sees a group of non-humans battling for survival in a world where humans feel increasingly inferior to them, and want to silence, exploit and kill them. Central to the drama is the story of two estranged Indigenous brothers who are forced together to fight for their own survival. Otherworldly creatures also emerge into this fragile and dangerous place, in this action-packed new series.