Friday 24 January 2020

Crime does pay for TV3 - as 'Red Rock' bought by BBC in 'historic' deal

A scene from TV3 crime drama 'Red Rock'
A scene from TV3 crime drama 'Red Rock'
Richard Flood as Garda James McKay
Cathy Belton as Patricia Hennessy and Pandora McCormick as Claire Hennessy
Darragh O'Toole as Conor Tyrell and Andrea Irvine as Angela Tyrell

Jane O'Faherty and Kirsty Blake Knox

TV3 boss Pat Kiely has described the BBC's acquisition of garda drama 'Red Rock' as "one of the biggest export deals in the history of Irish broadcasting".

Kiely, who was appointed managing director of TV3 in January, described the deal - which is worth a reported €500,000 - as "a ringing endorsement for the show".

The BBC will air 80 episodes of 'Red Rock' during a coveted daytime slot.

The episodes will be shown in one-hour packages over the course of the summer.

News of the deal comes after US on-demand site Amazon Prime revealed they had snapped up the series for €1.5m.

"It is a huge endorsement for 'Red Rock' and a fantastic vindication of TV3's programming strategy and investment," Kiely told the Irish Independent.

"To sell 40 hours of programming is a huge achievement.

"The BBC deal and our deal with Amazon Prime make this one of the biggest export deals in the history of Irish broadcasting."

Widely acclaimed by audiences and critics, 'Red Rock' first aired in January 2015 and attracted an audience of 323,000.

The drama centres around two feuding families, the Hennessys and the Kielys, and is produced by Oscar-winning production company Element Pictures.

'Red Rock' won three Iftas and a People's Choice award after its first series.

Ed Guiney, series executive producer, hopes the success of 'Red Rock' will encourage Irish stations to continue investing in home-produced drama. "It's the first Irish soap in a generation - the last one we had was 'Ros na Rún'," he said.

"We are a nation of storytellers, and the world wants content," he added.

"I hope it would encourage TV3, RTÉ and Sky to put more eggs in that basket."

'Red Rock' creator Peter McKenna has a proven track record when it comes to writing successful soaps.

He has worked on hit series 'EastEnders', 'Casualty', and 'Holby City'. McKenna has cited 1958 film 'The Big Country' starring Gregory Peck as the inspiration behind 'Red Rock'.

Dan McGolpin, controller of BBC Daytime, described the drama as "compelling" with plenty of "twists and turns".

The soap, which is set in a fictional seaside town just outside of Dublin, costs €65,000 per episode to make and is now in its second series.

The first episode kicked off with members of An Garda Siochana discovering a lifeless body on a pier.

The show stars Cathy Belton, Adam Weafer, and Sean Mahon.

Irish Independent

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