Ovation TV has announced its acquisition of eleven mystery titles from DCD Rights, of which seven are television series and movies from Australia and New Zealand.
Ovation has acquired the non-exclusive US broadcast rights for the following Aussie and Kiwi titles, which will air as part of the network’s “Mystery Mornings” programming block in 2020.
This true-crime telefilm stars Mark Mitchinson (The Gulf, Dear Murderer) as South African Dr. Colin Bouwer, the Head of Psychiatry at Otago Hospital in Dunedin, New Zealand, who, in November 1999, put a murderous plan into action. Over the course of three months, he poisoned his wife Annette (Nathalie Boltt, Riverdale) with prescription medication, causing her a slow and painful death. It was going to be the perfect crime, until Andrew Bowers (Craig Hall, A Place to Call Home, The Doctor Blake Mysteries), a young consultant physician, stumbled upon the murder in progess.
The Code: Season 1 (AU)
Dan Spielman (Sisters, Deep Water) and Ashley Zukerman (Succession, Designated Survivor) play brothers Ned and Jesse Banks, a journalist and a tech wiz/hacker, respectively, in this thriller with multiple, interconnected storylines. Following the disappearance of two Aboriginal teens involved in a collision, the brothers discover information about the crash that people at the highest levels of political power would kill to keep secret. The six-episode season costars Lucy Lawless (My Life Is Murder), Adam Garcia (Agatha Raisin), and Dan Wyllie (Secret City).
A Model Daughter: The Story Of Caroline Byrne (AU)
This made-for-TV true-crime movie centers on the investigation into the death of Australian model Caroline Byrne (Cariba Heine, Home and Away, H2O: Just Add Water), whose body was found in the early hours of June 8, 1995, on the rocky shore below the sheer cliffs of the Gap, a notorious suicide location in Sydney. Her boyfriend, Gordon Wood (David Lyons, Revolution, ER), says she took her own life due to depression — a claim Caroline’s father, Tony (Garry McDonald, Offspring, Rake), doesn’t believe for a second. As the investigation continues, the police don’t buy it, either.
The Mystery of a Hansom Cab (AU)
Adapted from Fergus Hume‘s internationally best-selling novel of the same name, this telefilm revolves around a murder mystery: Late one night in late-1880s Melbourne, two gentlemen climb into a hansom cab; one man gets out, the other travels on and is found dead upon arrival in St Kilda. The victim’s romantic rival, Brian Fitzgerald (Oliver Ackland, The Originals, Party Tricks), is arrested for the murder but refuses to provide an alibi. His lawyer, Duncan Calton (Marco Chiappi, The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries), and his wealthy fiancée, Madge Frettlby (Jessica De Gouw, Vienna Blood, Underground), are forced to search for the truth themselves in order to save Brian’s life. Not only does their investigation uncover a trail of secrets and scandal — from opium dens and brothels, to the cream of society — their revelation threatens to tear Madge’s family apart.
Safe House (NZ)
In this true-crime made-for-TV movie set in 1985 Auckland, Morgana O’Reilly (Neighbours, Nothing Trivial) plays Carole Taylor, a single mum of two young children, whose ex-boyfriend, Tony Michaels (Erroll Shand, Harrow, Rake), is the prime suspect in the murder of a heroin dealer. In order to nab him, Detective Inspector Andrew Hunter (Peter Elliott, Westside, 800 Words) takes drastic measures — forcing the Taylors into New Zealand’s nascent witness protection program and using them as bait. As events unfold, Carole finds herself without police protection while Tony is hellbent on getting rid of the evidence and the witnesses against him — namely Carole and her kids.
The Strange Calls (AU)
This comedy miniseries follows Toby Banks (Toby Truslove, Ms. Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries, Dreamland), a disgraced city cop who’s been transferred to the Coolum Beach night duty desk. His office is a derelict caravan on the outskirts of town, and his job is to answer the late night phone calls from locals. These moments of midnight madness reveal the bizarre truth of the town: it’s where people turn into chickens, mermen go to the school dance, and a mysterious radio jingle can transform you into a lawn-mowing zombie. With the help of Gregor (Barry Crocker, Housos, Rake), Coolum’s night security man, Banks wearily sets out to investigate the Strange Calls.
Venus & Mars (NZ)
Based on one of the most shocking crimes in contemporary New Zealand history, this true-crime telefilm follows the case that sparked Operation Venus/Mars. Detective Brent Garner (Ande Cunningham, Spartacus, Packed to the Rafters) is viciously attacked and his house is torched in October 1996. It appears to be the work of a crazed Satanic Avenger, still on the loose and terrifying residents of the Palmerston North community. But as the police investigation leaves the cops with more questions than answers, Detective Grant Nicholls (Craig Hall, Underbelly, Outrageous Fortune), working on instinct, begins to see through the lies and risks his career to bring the truth to light.
Stay tuned for updates, including air dates.
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