Disney+ announces first four UK-produced series

Tom Butler
·Senior Editor
·3 min read
Disney+ logo (Disney)
Disney+ logo (Disney)

Disney+ has announced its first wave of UK-produced titles.

Gentleman Jack and Happy Valley writer Sally Wainwright will pen a “swashbuckling adventure series” about a highway robber for Disney+.

Set in the 18th century, The Ballad of Renegade Nell will be produced by Lookout Point, the company behind her hit show about Anne Lister.

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The show will follow Nell Jackson, who is framed for murder and forced into a life of highway robbery, along with her two orphaned sisters Roxanne and George.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 17: Sally Wainwright (L) and Suranne Jones attend the
Sally Wainwright (L) and Suranne Jones attend the "Gentleman Jack" New York premiere, 2019 (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Disney said: “Aided by a plucky little spirit called Billy Blind, Nell realises that fate has put her on the wrong side of the law for a reason, a reason much bigger than she could’ve ever imagined, a reason that goes right up to Queen Anne and beyond, to the struggle for power raging across the battlefields of Europe.”

The show is one of a trio of UK original series announced by Disney+ following the news David Beckham will front Save Our Squad, a new unscripted football docuseries for the streaming service. The factual entertainment series sees the sporting icon going back to his roots to mentor a struggling young grassroots team.

David Beckham speaks with the media as he visits the Inter Miami CF team at Inter Miami Stadium and Training Complex in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. (Photo by Al Diaz/Miami Herald/TNS/Sipa USA)
David Beckham speaks with the media as he visits the Inter Miami CF team, Feb. 25, 2020. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald/TNS/Sipa USA)

Joining it under the Disney+ Star banner will be Culprits, a dark and funny series created and directed by J Blakeson (I Care A Lot/The Disappearance of Alice Creed), following what happens after a heist when members of the crew have gone their separate ways but are being targeted by a killer one by one.

Also announced for Star is Extraordinary, written by Emma Moran, a comedy about a young, self-aware woman who lives in a world where everyone has a superpower except her.

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Liam Keelan, vice president of original content at Disney+, said: “These three outstanding titles represent exactly where we want to be with our commissioning strategy for Disney and Star – projects of scale, originality and with top talent attached.

(L-R): John Walker (Wyatt Russell) and Lemar Hoskins (Clé Bennett) in Marvel Studios' THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Julie Vrabelová. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.
The new titles will join hits like The Falcon and The Winter Soldier on the streaming platform (Disney+)

“This is just the beginning of a concerted push to bring the best ideas and storytellers to the service, appealing to audiences both here in the UK and across the globe.”

Johanna Devereaux, director of scripted content, added: “It is a pleasure and a privilege to be working with these exceptional writers and producers.

“The Walt Disney Company is deeply committed to supporting diverse, ambitious storytelling from renowned creators and brand new voices, and we are thrilled to welcome Sally, J, Emma, and their outstanding producing teams to Disney+.”

Watch: David Beckham Disney+ show announced