Last week we wondered where Cillian Murphy’s BBC period crime drama “Peaky Blinders” would end up in the United States. Now we’re closer to an answer — The Weinstein Company has acquired the U.S. television and subscription VOD distribution rights for seasons one through three of the series, with an option to acquire further seasons from the production and distribution company Endemol. The show, which was created by Steven Knight (writer of “Eastern Promises”), was just recommissioned for a second season by BBC Two.
“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.” said TWC Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein.
“Peaky Blinders” takes place in 1919 Birmingham, England, and follows the Shelby family, who lead the title group — a feared gang named for their practice of sewing razor blades into the peaks of their caps. Until now they have made money from illegal bookmaking, protection and the black market, but when a crate of guns goes missing from the local arms factory, Thomas Shelby (Murphy) recognizes an opportunity to move up in the world. As rival gangs, communist revolutionaries and IRA Fenians descend on the city in pursuit of the weapons, Winston Churchill dispatches a ruthless police chief (Sam Neil) from Belfast to impose order on an increasingly lawless city.
What TWC will do with the series has yet to be unveiled — the company does have a multi-year exclusive licensing agreement with Netflix for first-run films set up to start in 2016, so perhaps we’ll see it on the streaming service soon. On the TV side, the Weinsteins are responsible for “Project Runway,” “Mob Wives” and “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.” Netflix recently snagged the rights to another TWC production, “Marco Polo,” from former home Starz.