Production company Playground is soon to start filming the new series based on CL Skelton’s best-selling series novels forming The Hardacre Saga, a sweeping rags to riches story of a working class family in 1890s Yorkshire.
The series follows the lives, loves and fortunes of the Hardacre family as they move from a grimy fish dock to a vast country estate. When an accident at work on the docks lands Sam and Mary Hardacre – along with their three children Joe, Liza and Harry, and Mary’s inimitable mother Ma – unemployed and destitute, they have to think fast.
In a bid to avoid the workhouse, the driven and determined Hardacres put their last penny into a radical business venture they hope will free them from their harsh existence on the quays of the North Yorkshire coast.
Playground describes The Hardacres as “a bold, gutsy ensemble family drama full of heart”, adding: “The Hardacres places an ordinary family in an extraordinary position and explores the age-old question – can money ever buy true happiness?”
However, The Hardacres will not be filmed on location in Yorkshire, as All Creatures is, but in Ireland later this year. Casting will be announced in the coming weeks.
The Hardacres has been created for television by Amy Roberts and Loren McLaughlan (The Winter King, Call the Midwife) who will serve as lead writers and Executive Producers.
They are joined by Emma Reeves (The Worst Witch) who will write episode 3, and Liz Lake (Waterloo Road) who will write episode 4. Rachel Carey (Deadly Cuts) is lead director.
The series is produced by Playground (Wolf Hall, Howards End) in association with Screen Ireland, Red Berry Productions, and Newgrange Pictures. Global partners Banijay Rights will handle international distribution.
The series, commissioned by Deputy Chief Content Officer, Paramount UK, Sebastian Cardwell, alongside Paul Testar, Commissioning Editor, Drama, Channel 5 and Paramount+, will be produced by Alex Jones (Witness Number 3, Penance) and co-produced by Jackie Larkin (Strike, Mrs Wilson); Executive Producers are Sir Colin Callender CBE (All Creatures Great and Small, The Undeclared War) and David Stern (Howards End, The Last Tycoon) for Playground, Lesley McKimm (My Name is Emily, Sunlight) for Red Berry Productions,
Cathy Payne and Simon Cox for Banijay Rights and Andrew Byrne for Screen Ireland. Sebastian Cardwell, deputy chief content officer, Paramount UK says: “Playground have a stellar reputation for bringing wonderful stories to life on Channel 5 and we are sure that The Hardacres will continue that success. Our viewers will love being transported back to 1890s Yorkshire, for this gutsy, heartwarming tale following the family through stories of love,
ambition and the quest for happiness.”
Clement Lister Skelton (“Clem”) was born in Northumberland in 1919. His father was an equerry to George V.
David Stern, executive producer, says: “We’re thrilled to be further extending our fantastic partnership with Channel 5 to bring CL Skelton’s glorious novels to the screen. The Hardacres is a life affirming rags to riches story about a family overcoming all odds, but in their quest for financial success they rediscover that community, friendship and family are the most precious things in life.”