ThreeNow Locks Up New Crime Drama

An Australian crime drama about a priest’s mass shooting, which stars Kiwi Jay Ryan, will stream on ThreeNow three weeks after its premiere on Stan.

It’s the second co-commission between Nine Network and Stan, following Bali 2002, and comes from the producer of Jack Irish and Rake.

The series also has been picked up by the BBC. “With its enigmatic central protagonist and atmospheric depiction of rural Australia, the compelling and complex narrative of Scrublands will keep BBC viewers guessing until the very end,” Sue Deeks, Head of BBC Programme Acquisition, says.

Here’s the media release:

Thursday, 26 October 2023 – Warner Bros. Discovery ANZ today announced the premiere for Aussie crime series Scrublands, a TV adaptation based on the best-selling crime novel by Chris Hammer.

Premiering 2 December, the four-part thriller will drop exclusively, only on ThreeNow.

Starring Luke Arnold (Black Sails) and Bella Heathcote (Relic) with Jay Ryan (Top of the Lake), the series is set in Riversend, an isolated and struggling country town in rural Victoria, where charismatic and dedicated young priest Byron Swift (Jay Ryan) calmly opens fire on his congregation, killing five parishioners.

One year later investigative journalist Martin Scarsden (Luke Arnold) arrives in Riversend to write what should be a simple feature story on the anniversary of the tragedy.

But Martin finds a town deeply scarred and hostile to journalists – local bookstore owner Mandy Bond (Bella Heathcote), Constable Robbie Haus-Jones (Adam Zwar) and widow of one of the massacre victims, Fran Landers (Victoria Thaine) give him short shrift.

When Martin’s investigative instincts kick in and he digs beneath the surface, the previously accepted narrative begins to fall apart, and he finds himself in a life and death race to uncover the truth.

The cast also includes Robert Taylor (The Newsreader), Adam Zwar (Squinters), Zane Ciarma (Neighbours), Victoria Thaine (Nowhere Boys), Stacy Clausen (True Spirit), Genevieve Morris (No Activity) and newcomer Ella Ferris.

Scrublands is directed by Greg McLean, written by Felicity Packard, Kelsey Munro and Jock Serong, produced by Ian Collie, Rob Gibson, David Redman, Felicity Packard for Easy Tiger Productions.

International sales of the series are handled by Abacus Media Rights.

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