Distributor Hat Trick International (HTI) has closed multiple international sales on ITV series “DI Ray,” from “Line of Duty” creator Jed Mercurio’s HTM Television.
Both seasons of the crime drama, created and written by former “Line of Duty” actor Maya Sondhi, have been acquired by PBS Distribution in a multi-rights deal that will see it broadcast across PBS’s 330+ member stations in the U.S. and streaming on PBS Passport, the PBS Video app and the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel. The deal was brokered by Germaine Sweet, PBS Distribution’s managing director of content acquisitions and Jonathan South, HTI’s North American senior sales executive.
“DI Ray,” executive produced by Mercurio, debuted to strong ratings in 2022 as a 4 x 60′ series on U.K. broadcaster ITV, leading to a second season order of six episodes. Set in Birmingham, the series revolves around Rachita Ray, a Leicester-born police officer who takes on a case that forces her to confront a lifelong personal conflict between her British identity and her South Asian heritage. Parminder Nagra (“ER”) plays the title role and the cast also includes Gemma Whelan (“Games of Thrones”) and Jamie Bamber (“Marcella”).
The series was acquired by SBS Australia, VRT Belgium and NPO Netherlands ahead of its debut in 2022, and also by BritBox International, where it has streamed across multiple territories, including South Africa, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and will go to a second window in Australia. Sales have also been closed with RTP in Portugal, Cosmote TV in Greece, Virgin Media in Ireland, Yes TV in Israel and NHK in Japan, where it will air on AXN Mystery. In addition, Acorn Media has taken the DVD rights for the U.K., Australia and New Zealand, as well as the premiere rights for its SVOD platform in New Zealand.
Sweet said: “We are thrilled to bring this thoughtful and modern crime series to our U.S. audience. It’s a well-crafted narrative that delivers a fresh perspective on police drama.”
Sarah Tong, director of sales at HTI, added: “While “DI Ray” tells a very British story, the questions it raises about racism, identity and belonging are universal — as is demonstrated by these sales to territories as diverse as Israel and Greece. The fact that Maya’s brilliant, thought-provoking drama will now, thanks to PBS, be accessible to viewers across the U.S. is a source of particular pride. In a few short months, DI Rachita Ray has come a long way from Birmingham — and, judging by all the interest, I’m confident she’ll be going a lot further still.”
“DI Ray” is produced by HTM Television, the production company co-owned by Jed Mercurio and Hat Trick Productions in association with HTI and Anton Corp. Executive producers also include Jimmy Mulville (“Trigger Point”) and Madonna Baptiste (“The Stranger”).