EXCLUSIVE: Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, a man who knows a thing or two about writing about the wealthy, has set his sights on the richest family in history for his next project.

I hear that Fellowes is developing a TV series about the Rothschild banking dynasty, who, in one generation, rose from the deprivation of the ghetto to become the richest and most powerful family in history. Fellowes is collaborating on the script with Ian Kelly (Mr Foote’s Other Leg).

The drama series is understood to be in development with Sky Atlantic.

The family saga is one of the ultimate rags-to-riches tales, set against the backdrop of war and revolution. It tells the story of how the family became to possess the largest private fortune in the world during the 19th century.

The family gained pre-eminence in the bullion trade during the Napoleonic Wars between 1803 and 1815 and Nathan Mayer Rothschild almost single-handedly financed the British war effort. It will also tell the story of European Jewry and the triumph over antisemitism as well as portray a story about human relationships, fraternal struggles for dominance, of brilliant but disenfranchised women, of generational conflict, of incestuous alliances and of forbidden love with outsiders.

Khan also knows a thing or two about dynastic families, having been born Jemima Khan, the eldest child of Lady Annabel Vane-Tempest-Stewart and banker Sir James Goldsmith, whose family made its money in merchant banking in the 16th century.  The European editor-at-large of Vanity Fair and associate editor of the New Statesman launched Instinct Productions with Princess Productions founder Henrietta Conrad this year and Five Arrows is its first project.

Khan was previously the exec producer of the BAFTA-nominated documentary We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks by Alex Gibney and co-produced Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars & Making A Killing: Guns, Greed and the NRA and the play, Drones, Baby, Drones at The Arcola Theatre.

 

Serial is finally coming to TV… HBO and Sky have partnered on a four-part documentary – The Case Against Adnan Syed about the disappearance of high school student Hae Min Lee and the subsequent conviction of her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed.

The series will be directed by Deliver Us From Evil and West of Memphis director Amy Berg and will explore the case that prompted the podcast phenomenon.

It will be produced by Jemima Khan’s production company Instinct Productions, which she runs with former Princess chief Henrietta Conrad, and Working Title TV. Nick Cave will provide original music and it will be exec produced by Khan, Conrad, Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan and Andrew Stearn.

It is the latest co-pro between the two companies following nuclear drama Chernobyland Julia David comedy Sally4Ever.

Director of Programming, Sky Entertainment UK & Ireland, Zai Bennett said, “We’re excited to partner with our friends at HBO to bring this fascinating and gripping case to television screens worldwide. We’ll be offering viewers a compelling window into one of the most talked about murder cases in recent years. The hugely talented Amy Berg has unprecedented access to those closest to the investigation, which is sure to make unmissable viewing.”

Sky and HBO are teaming again, this time for a documentary series about the Adnan Syed case, which inspired the popular ‘Serial’ podcast. Academy Award nominee Amy Berg (“Deliver Us from Evil”) will direct.

“The Case Against Adnan Syed” will run to four hours. Working Title TV and Instinct Productions are producing, and NBC Universal International Studios are distributing the follow-up to the case, which will play on the Sky Atlantic channel in the U.K. and in the U.S. on HBO.

The series will explore the 1999 disappearance and murder of 18-year-old Baltimore County high school student Hae Min Lee and the subsequent conviction of her ex-boyfriend, Syed. In production since 2015, the series will re-examine the events leading up to Hae Min Lee’s disappearance, the original police investigation, and the present day, when Syed awaits a new trial.

Sky said the series will present new discoveries and “ground-breaking revelations that challenge the state’s case.”

“We’ll be offering viewers a compelling window into one of the most talked about murder cases in recent years,” said Sky’s director of programming Zai Bennett. “The hugely talented Amy Berg has unprecedented access to those closest to the investigation, which is sure to make unmissable viewing.”

Nick Cave will provide original music for the series. It will be exec-produced by Henrietta Conrad and Jemima Khan for Instinct Productions and Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan and Andrew Stearn for Working Title TV.

Sky, Europe’s largest pay TV operator, and HBO have a $250 million co-production deal and are working together on various projects. The pair recently announced Julia Davis comedy “Sally4Ever,” nuclear disaster drama “Chernobyl” is in production.

Adnan Syed, whose murder conviction was the focus of the popular Serial podcast, will be profiled in a forthcoming four-part investigative docuseries from HBO Documentary Films and European network Sky.

Directed by Academy Award nominee Amy Berg, The Case Against Adnan Syed explores the 1999 disappearance and murder of 18-year-old Baltimore County high school student Hae Min Lee, and the subsequent conviction of her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed.

Featured in the docuseries are interviews with Syed; the defense team; Syed’s family, friends and former teachers; and members of City of Baltimore law enforcement.

Instinct’s Henrietta Conrad and Jemima Khan serve as executive producers alongside Working Title’s Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan and Andrew Stearn.

NBCUniversal International Distribution will distribute The Case Against Adnan Syed internationally.

In June 2016, a Baltimore Circuit Court Judge vacated Syed’s conviction and granted him a new trial after new evidence challenged the reliability of cell phone data linking Syed to the crime scene, and a long-awaited alibi witness took the stand. On March 29, 2018, the Court of Special Appeals also ruled to vacate Syed’s conviction and granted him a retrial 18 years after first being convicted.

Produced by Working Title TV and Instinct Productions, the project will re-examine Lee’s disappearance and murder, the original police investigation, and the present day while Syed, 36, awaits a new trial.

Berg has been in production on The Case Against Adnan Syed since 2015 and the series will offer “new discoveries, as well as groundbreaking revelations that challenge the state’s case.”

HBO is taking on one of the most famous cases in America with The Case Against Adnan Syed. The cable channel is partnering with Sky for a four-hour documentary series directed by Oscar nominee Amy Berg.

The series will explore the 1999 disappearance and murder of Hae Min Lee and the conviction of her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed. The case gripped the nation when it became the subject of the popular podcast Serial. The documentary has been in production since 2015. According to HBO, The Case Against Adnan Syed re-examines the events leading up to Hae Min Lee’s disappearance, including the high school romance, cultural conflict and then the aftermath of her disappearance.

Syed is currently awaiting a new trial. According to HBO, the documentary will present new discoveries, “as well as groundbreaking revelations that challenge the state’s case” and will include “exclusive access to Syed, the defense team, the Syed family, friends and teachers of Hae Min Lee and Adnan Syed, and members of City of Baltimore law enforcement.”

A judge vacated Syed’s conviction and granted him a new trial in 2016 after evidence challenged the cell phone data linking Syed to the crime scene. The vacate order was appealed, but in March 2018 the Court of Special Appeals also ruled to vacate Syed’s conviction and granted the retrial.
Look for original music by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. No premiere date for The Cast Against Adnan Syed was announced.

During the fall of 2014, it seemed nearly impossible to go anywhere without falling into a conversation about the enthralling podcast “Serial,” which debuted in October of that year to a seemingly immediate (and obsessed) audience. Now the series is getting a small screen followup, thanks to HBOand Sky. The cable giants have now announced “The Case Against Adnan Syed,” a four-hour documentary series directed by Academy Award nominee Amy Berg (best known for her other crime documentaries “Deliver Us from Evil” and “West of Memphis”).

Per its official synopsis, the series “will offer a cinematic look at the life and 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee and conviction of Adnan Syed, from the genesis of their high school relationship, to the original police investigation and trial, through to the current day, when Syed faces a new trial after serving 18 years in jail.” The series also includes “exclusive access to Adnan Syed, his family and his lawyers,” as Berg “has been closely following their efforts to obtain justice, with the outcome still to be determined — and possibly shaped by the investigation pursued within the series itself.”

The new series will reportedly include “new discoveries, as well as groundbreaking revelations that challenge the state’s case.”

Per its official synopsis, the series “will offer a cinematic look at the life and 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee and conviction of Adnan Syed, from the genesis of their high school relationship, to the original police investigation and trial, through to the current day, when Syed faces a new trial after serving 18 years in jail.” The series also includes “exclusive access to Adnan Syed, his family and his lawyers,” as Berg “has been closely following their efforts to obtain justice, with the outcome still to be determined — and possibly shaped by the investigation pursued within the series itself.”

Berg has been in production on the series since 2015, charting the various machinations and breakthroughs that have marked the case, including the latest twist.

Per an official press release, “In June 2016, Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Martin P. Welch vacated Adnan Syed’s conviction and granted him a new trial after new evidence challenged the reliability of cell phone data linking Syed to the crime scene, and a long-awaited alibi witness finally had her day in court. The State of Maryland appealed the lower court judge’s ruling, but on March 29, 2018, the Court of Special Appeals also ruled to vacate Syed’s conviction and granted him the retrial he has been waiting for.”

The series will also include original music by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. An official air date has not yet been announced.

Instinct Productions
© INSTINCT PRODUCTIONS 2018
DESIGN BY PIXELATED ORANGE