Chalkboard scripted sister lands C5 series

Clapperboard Studios to debut with four-part Intruder

Channel 5 has ordered a four-part crime drama from Clapperboard Studios, a new scripted indie led by Chalkboard TV’s Mike Benson.

The 4 x 60-minute Intruder follows the likes of The Deceived, Penance and Cold Call, the latter of which Chalkboard produced as the broadcaster’s first original scripted series. It gripped an average audience of 2.6m (10%) - C5’s best-performing series of 2019.

Intruder follows an affluent, high-flying couple (Elaine Cassidy and Tom Meetan), whose lives are shattered when two local youths break into their luxurious coastal home.

Benson will executive produce along with Cold Call collaborator Gareth Tunley, who is also writer and director. Julie Ryan is producer.

Filming has begun in Dublin and will continue until November. The series will air next year.

“Drama has increasingly become an important part of Channel 5’s programming slate,” said C5 deputy director of programmes Sebastian Cardwell. “Intruder demonstrates our continued ambition to collaborate with talented indies such as Clapperboard to deliver punchy prime time drama.”

Production group expands

Clapperboard will sit alongside Chalkboard and the Scotland-based Storyboard Studios as part of international production group iZen.

Benson will run the unscripted-focused Chalkboard and Clapperboard as managing director and remains in charge of iZen’s overall UK operations.

Clapperboard will ape the ethos of the iZen Group, which aims to offer writers and directors enhanced commercial terms that are akin to a co-producer.

“iZen is all about creative collaboration and with the launch of Clapperboard we want to approach drama differently and recognise the central role played by writers and directors in creating brilliant drama,” said Benson.

“We want to offer a platform to help creators in the complex process of bringing their ideas to life, by giving them the necessary production and financial support, and the backing of a reliable international group with experience in the production of all scripted genres.”

Along with its UK subsidiaries, iZen also owns several production companies in Spain and the Middle East’s Imagic TV.

ITV Studios has international distribution rights to Intruder.

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