Original Series Based on L.R. Wright’s Acclaimed Novels Reflects FOX Entertainment’s
Ongoing Strategy to Identify Premium Programming Via Original Productions
from International Studios
Continuing to deploy its strategy to identify premium content by working with international studios on creating new and innovative business models, FOX has commissioned the psychological crime drama, Murder in a Small Town, from Executive Producer/Head Writer Ian Weir (Arctic Air, Edgemont) and Sepia Films in association with FOX Entertainment and Jeff Wachtel’s Future Shack Entertainment, for the 2024-25 season.
Based on the Edgar Award-winning, nine-book “Karl Alberg” series by acclaimed novelist L.R. Wright, and starring Rossif Sutherland (Reign, The Handmaid’s Tale) and Kristin Kreuk (Smallville, Beauty & the Beast), Murder in a Small Town will be produced in British Columbia, with Milan Cheylov (24, The Cleaning Lady) executive producing and directing multiple episodes of the program. FOX has acquired all U.S. rights of Murder in a Small Town, which will be executive produced by Nick Orchard (Soapbox Productions), Morris Ruskin and Sharon Wisnia (Mojo Global Arts) and Jon Cotton.
Murder in a Small Town follows Karl Alberg (Sutherland), who moves to a quiet coastal town to soothe a psyche that has been battered by big-city police work. But this gentle paradise has more than its share of secrets, and Karl will need to call upon all the skills that made him a world-class detective in solving the murders that, even in this seemingly idyllic setting, continue to wash up on his shore. Kreuk stars as Cassandra, a local librarian who becomes Alberg’s muse, foil and romantic interest.
“Ian has done a masterful job bringing L.R. Wright’s seminal detective Karl Alberg to life, finding his perfect alter ego, Rossif Sutherland, to star on screen alongside Kristin Kreuk,” said Michael Thorn, President, Scripted Programming, of FOX Entertainment. “Murder in a Small Town illustrates our ongoing strategy to identify and commission impactful global content in a smart and effective manner with proven creative partners, all of which we have found in Ian, Milan, Sepia Films and Future Shack.”
Wachtel added, “It’s a joy to be doing this wonderful show with my old friends at FOX. Ian, Milan, Rossif and Kristin form the core of a world-class creative team that will bring this unique detective show to life.”
“We are thrilled to be collaborating with FOX Entertainment and Future Shack on an innovative production model that will bring the internationally acclaimed Karl Alberg mystery novels by Edgar Award-winning novelist L.R. Wright to the screen,” said Tina Pehme and Kim Roberts, Co-CEOs/Producers of Sepia Films.
The Vancouver-born bi-lingual son of Donald Sutherland and half-brother of Kiefer Sutherland, Rossif Sutherland recently finished shooting the feature entitled Shadowless Horse, opposite Tatiana Malany and season two of the gripping Apple+ series Plan B. Sutherland was recently seen in Stan Brooks’ romantic action caper (based on the true story) Bad Romance: The Vicky White Story.
On the big screen, you can find Sutherland in director William Brent Bell’s Orphan: First Kill, opposite Julia Stiles; and in director Darlene Naponse’s Stellar, which premiered at TIFF in 2022. He can also be seen in Atom Egoyan’s Guest of Honour, which played at both Cannes and TIFF in 2019. That same year he shot the WWI film, A Call to Spy, for director Lydia Dean Pilcher; the Sundance premiere film Possessor Uncut, for writer/director Brandon Cronenberg; The Middle Man, for director Bent Hammer; and The Retreat, for director Pat Mills.
For television, Sutherland was a lead in the hilarious French remake of the hit Amazon/Channel 4 British comedy series, Catastrophe; had series regular roles in Amazon’s Three Pines, opposite Alfred Molina; the period drama Reign, for The CW; and important recurring roles on shows such as The Handmaid’s Tale for Hulu, Covert Affairs for USA among others.
Sutherland received a 2020 CSA nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his very dark performance in the TV movie Believe Me, about the true story of the horrifying abduction of Lisa McVey. Multiple other nominations for High Life, Hyena Road, River and Flashpoint can be added to his list of accolades.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Kreuk began acting in plays in high school, but mostly focused on her schoolwork rather than the stage. Fate came calling at the beginning of her senior year when a casting director looking for new talent for the Canadian series Edgemont tapped Kreuk for a starring role. It was her first professional audition.
The next year, she not only scored the title role of the television movie Snow White for ABC, opposite Miranda Richardson, she landed the lead role of Lana Lang on the WB series Smallville and managed to continue her role on Edgemont.
In addition to being a face of Neutrogena for six years, Kreuk performed a cameo in the film Eurotrip, opposite Matt Damon, starred in the Sci-Fi miniseries Earthsea, opposite Isabella Rossellini, and starred in the Canadian feature Partition, opposite Jimi Mistry as well as the Fox feature Streetfighter: The Legend of Chun Li and the independent Vampire.
She’s traveled to Morocco to star in the BBC retelling of Ben Hur and appeared in a well-received arc on NBC’s hit Chuck, showing off her lighter side, and starred in the features Ecstasy (based on Irvine Welsh’s follow up to his bestseller Trainspotting) and Space Milkshake. She starred in (four seasons) and executive produced the final season of Beauty & The Beast for The CW, as well as four seasons as the star and Executive Producer of Burden of Truth for the CBC and The CW. Most recently, she’s seen in season one of Amazon’s series Reacher. Kristin currently resides in Vancouver, and when she is not working has a passion for traveling.
ABOUT SEPIA FILMS
Vancouver based Sepia Films has been creating quality film and television for global audiences for over 20 years. With a specialty in international co-production, Tina Pehme and Kim Roberts have produced a diverse slate of productions, including the recently wrapped Canada/Ireland co-production Cry from the Sea, Anthem of a Teenage Prophet, In their Skin, Civic Duty and multi award winning festival favourites The Games Maker and A Shine of Rainbows, amongst others.
Sepia Films’ features have debuted and received accolades at TIFF, Sundance, Tribeca, Stockholm, Zlin, London, Chicago and dozens of other renowned festivals worldwide. In 2012, Roberts and Pehme brought their co-production approach to the small screen by creating a robust television division that focuses on international markets. Sepia’s mandate is to collaborate with like-minded creators to bring elevated content across multiple genres and platforms.
ABOUT FUTURE SHACK ENTERTAINMENT
Future Shack Entertainment focuses on making shows for global audiences. Future Shack CEO Jeff Wachtel was President of USA Network during its programming heyday, supervising and launching series like Monk, Burn Notice, Suits, Mr. Robot and The Sinner. He also founded NBCU’s cable studio, Universal Content Productions, and most recently, was president of NBCU’s international television studio.
ABOUT FOX ENTERTAINMENT
With a legacy spanning more than 35 years, FOX Entertainment is one of the world’s most recognizable media brands and a prolific content producer across its iconic broadcast network and both owned and third-party streaming platforms. Known for its independent, innovative spirit and provocative, groundbreaking storytelling, the company was reinvented in 2019 with the formation of FOX Entertainment. While maintaining its leadership in broadcast television (9-1-1: Lone Star, The Simpsons, The Cleaning Lady, Hell’s Kitchen, LEGO Masters), the company is actively building a portfolio of businesses and library of owned original content. To date, FOX Entertainment’s long-term growth strategy has included the acquisitions of award-winning animation studio Bento Box Entertainment (Bob’s Burgers, The Great North, Krapopolis, Grimsburg), entertainment platform TMZ, and global production studio MarVista Entertainment (The Way Home), as well as the formation of the culinary and lifestyle content venture Studio Ramsay Global (Next Level Chef, Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars) in partnership with Gordon Ramsay. The company also established its in-house unscripted studio FOX Alternative Entertainment (The Masked Singer, Snake Oil, I Can See Your Voice, Name That Tune), FOX Entertainment Studios (Animal Control) to develop scripted content, and worldwide content sales unit FOX Entertainment Global.