Juliet Stevenson has joined the cast of crime drama “Professor T,” production partners Eagle Eye and Beta Film announced at MipTV in Cannes Sunday. The companies also said that they have greenlit a second season of period drama “Hotel Portofino.” Eagle Eye’s Walter Iuzzolino said his firm was working on two further shows with Beta, yet to be revealed.
Stevenson will play the therapist to the titular character, played by Ben Miller, in “Professor T,” which is shooting its second season in Cambridge and Belgium. Beta sold the show to more than 100 territories worldwide, most recently to Brazil (Globo TV), South Korea (BBC Studios), Switzerland (CH Media TV) and Iceland (Syn), among others.
“Professor T” plays in numerous European countries, including Italy (RAI), France (France Television) and Spain (Movistar Plus+), and beyond in Latin America (HBO Max), Australia (BritBox) and Japan (NHK).
“Hotel Portofino” is one of Britbox U.K.’s highest streaming launch originals and the second most watched VOD series on Foxtel Australia. The series also became the second highest debut for an international drama on Sky Italia’s Sky Serie channel. Season 1 has already sold to more than 55 territories and will be available in five continents.
“Hotel Portofino’s” Season 2 cast and crew will travel back to Portofino, Italy, and along the Croatian coastline. Natascha McElhone (“Ronin,” “Californication,” “Halo”) will again head up the cast as Bella Ainsworth, the daughter of a wealthy industrialist who has moved to Italy to set up a quintessentially British hotel in the beautiful town of Portofino.
Mark Umbers (“Home Fires”) plays her charming but dangerous aristocratic husband, Cecil, and Lily Fraser (“Saint Maud,” “Motherland”) will return as the hotel’s most famous guest singer turned movie star, Claudine Pascal.
All six episodes in season two will be written by Matt Baker, who created the original “Hotel Portofino” series. Adam Wimpenny (“Blackwood”) also returns to direct all episodes with Jo McGrath and Iuzzolino overseeing as executive producers.
Season 2 sees Ainsworth family relations at breaking point and the future of the hotel itself is threatened when Cecil does business with the sort of people you just can’t afford to double cross. The series follows the long-established literary tradition of comic and idiosyncratic British “innocents abroad,” but also reveals darker, more serious storylines, set against the historical backdrop of the rise of Fascism in Mussolini’s Italy.
PBS Distribution holds the North American rights to “Hotel Portofino.” Season one will launch in the U.S. on June 19 on PBS and will be available to stream on the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel.
The series is produced in cooperation with the Beta Film Group, which also handles the world sales. Production service is provided by Drugiplan.
Jo McGrath, CCO of Eagle Eye Drama, said: “ ‘Hotel Portofino’ became an instant hit with audiences worldwide and the second season will feature another heady mix of romance, intrigue, and dangerous ambitions. The setting and fashions will continue to be a sumptuous feast for the eyes, and next season the stakes get even higher for both the guests and the hotel’s owners.”
Oliver Bachert, exec VP, international sales and acquisitions, Beta Film, added: “We can’t wait to embark on new journeys with all-time favorite genius Professor T, and dive with our stellar cast of ‘Hotel Portofino’ into their Mediterranean adventures. Both really feel like the bright drama we need these days.”
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