Channel 5 Preps “’Murder She Wrote’ Meets ‘Below Deck’” Drama Series – Deadline

Paramount Global’s Channel 5 is well known for its love of luxury cruise liners and its next drama series will be set aboard one sailing the Mediterranean Seas.

The British network has ordered HMS Murder (working title), an eight-part murder mystery series from by UK indie Clapperboard, in association with Endeavor Content, that’s been billed as “Murder She Wrote meets Below Deck.”

Set aboard a luxury cruise liner touring Mediterranean holiday hotspots, it follows the ship’s new cabaret singer, Jack Grayling, who discovers there are sinister elements below the surface. After a passenger is found murdered in the first port of call, ambitious First Officer Kate Woods’ dream of her own command is thrown into jeopardy and Jack finds himself thrust back into his former life as a detective. A wave of murder mysteries follows — each set against the backdrop of a different stunning coastal destination.

The series was ordered by Paul Testar, Commissioning Executive, Drama for Channel 5 and Paramount+. Executive producers for Clapperboard are Mike Benson and lead writer Paul Matthew Thompson, with Sandra MacIver producing and Gordon Anderson joins as director. CJ ENM-owned Endeavor Content has worldwide distribution.

Producer Clapperboard has made several dramas for Channel 5 already, including Intruder and Maxine. Channel 5, meanwhile, has long been associated with popular factual shows set on cruise liners, most notably Cruising with Jane McDonald.

Testar said: “I’m really happy to work once more with the talented team at Clapperboard Studios to bring HMS Murder to screens. With a variety of gloriously sunny locations added to the classic murder mystery genre, and with a splash of music on top, Channel 5 viewers are in for a treat.”

Clapperboard Managing Director Benson added: “We’ve seen a lot of murder mystery shows in recent years – but not many featuring murder, mystery and a cruise ship cabaret singer solving crimes. HMS Murder is probably our most ambitious series to date, filmed across 8 different countries as well as a 6000 cabin luxury cruise liner sailing the med.”

Prentis Fraser, EVP of Television Distribution at Endeavor Content said: “As soon as we heard this pitch we were completely on board – this series is a genius combination of elements, a Murder She Wrote meets Below Deck with the perfect mix of glamor, charm and intrigue taking place in an abundance of gorgeous, glossy locations. With the accessibility of a procedural and a playlist of iconic tracks, HMS Murder is ideally designed to be a fan favorite returnable series.”

Filming is due to start later this year and casting details will follow in coming months.

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