TWC takes US rights to British drama starring Cillian Murphy.

The Weinstein Company (TWC) has acquired the television and SVOD distribution rights for the US to British drama series Peaky Blinders.

The deal includes the first three seasons with an option to acquire further seasons.

The gangster drama is set in 1920s Birmingham and its volative boss Tommy Shelby, played Cillian Murphy, best known for roles in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy and Inception.

Other cast include Sam Neill, Helen McCrory, Joe Cole, Annabelle Wallis, Paul Anderson, Iddo Goldberg and Charlie Creed-Miles.

Commissioned by the BBC, the series was created by Stephen Knight and is produced by Caryn Mandabach Productions and Tiger Aspect Productions.

Knight wrote the screenplays for Stephen Frears’ Dirty Pretty Things and David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises, and also wrote and directed thrillers Redemption (aka Hummingbird), starring Jason Statham, and the upcoming Locke, starring Tom Hardy.

TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein said: “We have always been big fans of Steven Knight’s work and are extremely excited to bring this show stateside, where it’s sure to thrill audiences just as much as it did in the UK.”

The deal was negotiated by Matt Creasey, Endemol’s svp sales and acquisitions, Americas, Asia, Australia and New Zealand with David Glasser, COO; Robert Walak, president and managing director Europe; and Negeen Yazdi, evp, acquisitions and co-productions; and Rick Brull for TWC.

The series debuted on BBC2 in September and averaged 2.4 million across its six-part run - an increase of more than 13% on the channel’s slot average.

A second 6 x 60-minute series was recently ordered, which will commence production in January 2014. It will feature the Shelby family expanding their empire south and north, while maintaining their stronghold in central Birmingham.  

Peaky Blinders was the first recipient of finance from the new £7.5m Yorkshire Content Fund, which is managed by Screen Yorkshire.

The acquisition marks a further move into high quality British drama by TWC. Last month, the company signed a deal with UK production company Lookout Point and BBC Worldwide, to partner on the upcoming 6 x 6-minute production of War and Peace made by BBC Cymru Wales Drama.

TWC will handle distribution of the miniseries, based on Tolstoy’s epic, in the US, Canada and China.