The crown

Source: Netflix

‘The Crown’

YouTube Red has commissioned its first high-end drama from a UK indie – ordering a sci-fi series from The Crown producer Left Bank Pictures (reports Broadcast).

Broadcast understands that the Google-owned giant is on the brink of a deal for Origin, a 10 x 60-minute sci-fi thriller, to feature as part of its fledgling SVoD service.

The show was created and written by Mika Watkins, who has written episodes of Carnival Films’ Sky 1 drama Stan Lee’s Lucky Man and Kudos’ BBC1 period drama Troy.

Former Broadcast Hotshot Watkins will write the series alongside a team which also includes Joe Murtagh.

Origin was understood to have been originally developed in association with Chinese state-owned broadcaster CITVC as part of a wider Left Bank deal, but the project did not move forward.

It will be the latest groundbreaking deal struck by Andy Harries’ firm, which was the first UK drama indie to score a Netflix order, with The Crown, and the first British producer to secure a major Amazon order with sci-fi drama Oasis.

The deal comes as YouTube Red, which launched in the US in October 2015 for $10 (£7) per month, prepares to roll out internationally.

Google is expected to launch the SVoD service in the UK early in 2018.

It comes a year after YouTube Red reached out to UK producers as part of a multimillion-pound push for original content.

Princess Productions produced travelogue format Dan & Phil’s Amazing Tour Is Not On Fire for the service, but Origin marks the first scripted series to emerge from the UK.

Left Bank Pictures and YouTube Red declined to comment.