Channel 4 drama “Help,” starring Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham, has been picked up by Acorn TV for the U.S., Variety can reveal.
The critically acclaimed single drama, written by “His Dark Materials” and “Enola Holmes” writer Jack Thorne, will premiere on the service in the U.S. and Canada in early 2022.
“Help” is a searing commentary on the U.K. government’s response to care homes during the worst of the country’s COVID-19 crisis in 2020. Comer plays a new nurse at a care facility, where Graham’s character Tony is a patient with early onset Alzheimer’s.
When the pandemic hits, the home is bereft of personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff, and overloaded with ill patients from hospitals without any available beds. What unravels is an oftentimes infuriating examination of the under-funded care sector and the people who fall between the cracks.
The drama, produced by “The Virtues” producer The Forge, premiered on Channel 4 in September to rave reviews from critics. The Guardian called the 90-minute drama “one of the most evocative and harrowing depictions of recent history we have yet seen.”
Matthew Graham, general manager for Acorn TV, said, “‘Help’ is an extremely powerful and timely film led by heartbreaking performances from Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham. We’re honored to partner with All3Media International to bring this must-see film to U.S. audiences.”
Sally Habbershaw, executive VP for Americas at All3Media International, said, “Poignant and considered, Acorn TV has acquired an important piece of television that reflects our times in ‘Help.’ Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham’s performances are faultless under Marc Munden’s direction and Jack Thorne’s script; this is a remarkable show which Acorn TV viewers will genuinely appreciate.”
“Help” is another high-profile acquisition for Acorn TV, which last year swooped for the BBC’s “A Suitable Boy.”
The SVOD, which was acquired by AMC Networks in 2018 via the company’s purchase of RLJ Entertainment, specializes in British and international television and has more than 1 million subscribers in the U.S and Canada, as well as viewership in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and Latin America. Recent originals include “Whitstable Pearl,” “Agatha Raisin” and “Queens of Mystery.”
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