Hot Off the Press Release: All Go for New Rom-Com Co-Pro

Rebecca Gibney and The Crown’s Charles Edwards will star in a new romantic-comedy set in Central Otago’s vineyards.

Under the Vines, a six-part TVNZ-Acorn TV co-production, will start filming in February.

Here’s the media release:

New York, NY; December 8, 2020 / Auckland, NZ; December 9, 2020 – AMC Networks’ Acorn TVand TVNZ are excited to announce the commissioning of New Zealand romantic comedy Under the Vines with Acorn Media Enterprises from production company Libertine Pictures (Daffodils, Mystic) and EQ Media Group (At Home with Julia, Wednesday Night Fever, Timothy and previously in association with Ian Collie, Rake, Jack Irish and Doctor Doctor).

Created and co-written by Erin White, the six-part series stars Rebecca Gibney (Wanted, Packed to the Rafters, Winter) and Charles Edwards (The Crown, The Terror, Downton Abbey) as two unlikely city slickers who inherit a failing vineyard in rural New Zealand. Despite neither having ever done a hard day’s work in their lives and both literally despising the other, they must somehow make the vineyard successful so they can sell up, split up, and get out of there.

Production will begin in early February in picturesque Central Otago, New Zealand.  Acorn TV has all rights worldwide with the exception of TVNZ in New Zealand. Acorn TV will feature its world premiere on Acorn TV in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Latin America, Australia, Spain, Portugal, among others in 2021, followed by TVNZ with its New Zealand premiere.

The excellent ensemble cast includes Dean O’Gorman (One Lane Bridge, The Hobbit trilogy), Sara Wiseman (A Place to Call Home), John Bach (The Sounds, Janet King), Matt Whelan (The Sounds), Simon Mead (Nothing Trivial), Sarah Peirse (Poor Boy), Cohen Holloway (Top of the Lake), Carrie Green (Mystic), Catherine Wilkin (Stateless), Robbie Magasiva (Wentworth) and newcomer Trae Te Wiki.

A gregarious, single-and-ready-to-mingle socialite from Sydney, Daisy Munroe (Rebecca Gibney) leads a charmed life that changes unexpectedly when a monthly allowance graciously supplied by her estranged and recently deceased stepfather, dries up. She’s never had to work a day in her life, but now there is only one bit of his fortune left…a vineyard in New Zealand.

Daisy decides she has no choice but to travel there for a little relaxing holiday to partake in its wines and then get a real estate agent to quickly sell the property. Meanwhile, little does she know that the vineyard has a co-owner:  a grumpy UK born lawyer, Louis Oakley (Charles Edwards), who has been on a massive bender after a spiralling series of unfortunate events.

When Louis’ uncle unexpectedly dies and leaves him the owner of this vineyard, Louis feels the need to disappear and makes haste to New Zealand to quickly sell the property in the hopes of getting his life back on track…

Catherine Mackin, Managing Director, Acorn Media Enterprises, said: “Acorn Media Enterprises is thrilled to work with TVNZ, Libertine Pictures and EQ Media Group to commission a fun romantic comedy in picturesque New Zealand. Featuring an incredible cast led by Rebecca Gibney and Charles Edwards, Under the Vines is sure to entice Acorn TV subscribers around the world.”

Cate Slater, TVNZ Director of Content said: “Under the Vines is an exciting TVNZ co-production that will showcase New Zealand’s stunning scenery, a fabulously talented cast and crew, and great scripts. Co-productions give us the ability to tell our stories on a global stage and we’re excited to bring viewers a premium drama that will feel distinctly Kiwi.”

Richard Fletcher, Managing Director, Libertine Pictures, said: “Under the Vines offers the perfect opportunity to escape to beautiful Central Otago wine country.  The scripts are great fun and brimming with humour and emotion. We are really proud of the extremely talented cast we have assembled and combined with the creative talent in New Zealand, as well as our beautiful locations, it enables us to deliver this series on an epic scale for our broadcasting partners Acorn TV and TVNZ.”

Brendan Dahill, General Manager, EQ Media, said: “We are thrilled to be working with such a stellar team both in front of and behind the camera. The combination of Rebecca and Charles alongside the stunning landscapes of the South Island and New Zealand’s wine region will have audiences all over the world falling in love with Under the Vines.”

Rebecca Gibney said: “I am beyond excited to be home and about to start shooting Under the Vines in the spectacular Otago region. I’m a sucker for romantic comedies and the scripts are wonderful – there is so much humour and heart. Erin and the team have done a fabulous job and given the state of the world at the moment I think the timing is perfect. We all could do with some cheering up!

“The character of Daisy is totally unlike anything I have done before and I can’t wait to work with the fabulous Charles, our extraordinary cast and a world class team of New Zealand creatives. A massive thank you to Acorn and TVNZ for their support.

The series’ writers are Tim Balme (The Sounds, The Brokenwood Mysteries) for the first episode with other episodes written by Nick Ward, J C Stewart-Te Whiu, Kathryn Burnett, Harry McNaughton, and creator Erin White. Under the Vines will be produced by Carmen J Leonard and executive produced by Rebecca Gibney, Richard Fletcher for Libertine Pictures and Brendan Dahill for EQ Media Group.

AMC Networks’ Acorn TV is the leading streaming service specialising in British and international television with subscribers worldwide in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Latin America, Spain, Portugal, among other areas. Acorn TV adds exclusive new programmes every week to a deep library of mysteries, dramas, and comedies with no commercials. In 2020, Acorn TV U.S. has featured the Irish period mystery series Dead Still, British dramas Deadwater Fell starring David Tennant and Cush Jumbo, Gold Digger starring Julia Ormond, highly-rated BBC One drama The Nest, BBC One sitcom The Other One, and New Zealand thriller The Sounds; as well as several returning favourites including Acorn TV’s first feature film with Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears, and award-winning Australian drama Mystery Road, Series 2. This week, Acorn TV has the U.S. Premiere of groundbreaking BBC Studios’ period drama A Suitable Boy from award-winning director Mira Nair (Dec. 7).  Website: Acorn.TV

Acorn Media Enterprises is Acorn TV’s UK-based development arm which works with producers, distributors, writers and broadcasters in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and beyond to commission, co-produce and co-finance the best international, English-language scripted shows. AME has commissioned Agatha Raisin Series 2 and 3, Queens of Mystery, London Kills Series 1 and 2, as well as Keeping Faith, among several other productions.

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