Leading independent distributor All3Media International has signed a raft of worldwide acquisitions for All Creatures Great and Small, Playground’s highly acclaimed new television adaptation of James Herriot’s bestselling novels. The deals cover the Americas, Europe and Asia.
Commissioned by the UK’s Channel 5 with PBS Masterpiece in the USA, All Creatures Great and Small chronicles the adventures of a young country vet in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1930s. The seven-part drama, which premiered as Channel 5’s highest rated drama of 2020, offers a delightful co-viewing opportunity for audiences seeking top quality drama entertainment with family values, warmth and humour – as well as a cast of accomplished animals and actors.
The drama has secured sales in South and Central America to Acorn Media for their SVOD/AVOD platform, whilst in Europe Acorn has taken SVOD and DVD rights for UK, Eire and Malta. Sky Deutschland has taken broadcast rights in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and deals have also been signed with leading PSB broadcasters including DR (Denmark), NRK (Norway), SVT (Sweden) and YLEISRADIO OY-TV1 (Finland). In addition, Filmin are aboard in Spain and Viasat World have taken rights in CEE for their Epic Drama Channel, whilst MTVA is taking rights in Hungary.
SVOD deals have been confirmed in Asia with BBC Global Channels for Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, and BBC Studios for their Taiwanese and Africa feeds. Sky in New Zealand has acquired rights whilst an SVOD service has picked up first window in Australia.
All Creatures Great and Small is already set to air on the PBS Masterpiece strand in the US and Canada through the previously announced co-production agreement.
Executive Produced by acclaimed producer and CEO of Playground, Colin Callender (Angels in America, Wolf Hall) and Playground Creative Director Melissa Gallant (Peaky Blinders), All Creatures Great and Small will consist of a six-part series and a Christmas special. The drama features newcomer Nicholas Ralph in the lead role as James Herriot, alongside an all-star ensemble cast including Samuel West (Howards End), Callum Woodhouse (The Durrells), Anna Madeley (The Child in Time), Maimie McCoy (Van der Valk) and Academy Award winner Rachel Shenton (The Silent Child). The cast also includes Nigel Havers (Chariots of Fire), and BAFTA and Primetime Emmy winner Diana Rigg (Game of Thrones).
All Creatures Great and Small, which is produced in association with All3Media International and Screen Yorkshire, is written by Ben Vanstone (The Last Kingdom), directed by Primetime Emmy and BAFTA winner Brian Percival (Downton Abbey) and produced by Richard Burrell (Silent Witness).
Louise Pedersen, CEO at All3Media International, commented, “We’re thrilled to be off to such a strong start across three continents for sales for All Creatures Great and Small. The team at Playground Entertainment have produced a wonderful series that delivers perfect primetime family viewing and truly embraces the spirit of James Herriot’s iconic stories and beloved characters. The books’ over-arching themes of community and compassion are as relatable and important today as they were when first published 50 years ago, and we can’t wait to see this warm, charming and joyful adaptation captivating a whole new generation of viewers worldwide.”
All Creatures Great and Small centres on the story of James Herriot (Nicholas Ralph), a young country veterinarian who, fresh out of Glasgow Veterinary College, follows his dream to become a vet in the magnificent Yorkshire Dales. He soon discovers that treating the animals is as much about treating their owners, and the Dales’ farmers are a tough crowd to please. At Skeldale House, James gets to know his newly formed dysfunctional family: his chaotic and erratic boss Siegfried Farnon (Samuel West), his wayward brother Tristan (Callum Woodhouse) and the shrewd Mrs Hall (Anna Madeley) who is endlessly steering the ship. When local beauty Helen Alderson (Rachel Shenton) attracts James’ attention he finds another, more enduring reason to stay in the Dales.
All Creatures Great and Small is a Playground Production for Masterpiece and Channel 5 in association with All3Media International and Screen Yorkshire.