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From Playground, the award-winning production company behind the internationally acclaimed hit series All Creatures Great and Small, comes a new six-part period drama for Channel 5 based on CL Skelton’s best-selling series of novels ‘The Hardacre Saga’.

The Hardacres chronicles the sweeping rags to riches story of a working class family in 1890s Yorkshire. A sprawling family saga, the series follows the lives, loves and fortunes of the Hardacre family as they move from a grimy fish dock to a vast country estate.

When an accident at work on the docks lands Sam and Mary Hardacre – along with their three kids Joe, Liza and Harry, and Mary’s inimitable mother Ma – unemployed and destitute, they have to think fast. In a bid to avoid the workhouse, the driven and determined Hardacres put their last penny into a radical business venture they hope will free them from their harsh existence on the quays of the North Yorkshire coast.

A bold, gutsy ensemble family drama full of heart, The Hardacres places an ordinary family in an extraordinary position and explores the age-old question – can money ever buy true happiness?

The Hardacres has been created for television by Amy Roberts and Loren McLaughlan (The Winter King, Call the Midwife) who will serve as Lead Writers and Executive Producers. They are joined by Emma Reeves (The Worst Witch) who will write episode 3, and Liz Lake (Waterloo Road) who will write episode 4. Rachel Carey (Deadly Cuts) is Lead Director.

The series is produced by Playground (Wolf Hall, Howards End) in association with Screen Ireland, Red Berry Productions, and Newgrange Pictures. Global partners Banijay Rights will handle international distribution.

Sebastian Cardwell, Deputy Chief Content Officer, Paramount UK says: “Playground have a stellar reputation for bringing wonderful stories to life on Channel 5 and we are sure that The Hardacres will continue that success. Our viewers will love being transported back to 1890s Yorkshire, for this gutsy, heartwarming tale following the family through stories of love, ambition and the quest for happiness.”

David Stern, Executive Producer and Joint Managing Director of Playground says: “We’re thrilled to be further extending our fantastic partnership with Channel 5 to bring CL Skelton’s glorious novels to the screen...

"The Hardacres is a life affirming rags to riches story about a family overcoming all odds, but in their quest for financial success they rediscover that community, friendship and family are the most precious things in life. Amy and Loren have done a brilliant job adapting the novels into a television series filled with humour, poignancy and a timely spirit that will resonate greatly with today’s Channel 5 audience.”

Simon Cox, Executive Producer and EVP Content & Acquisitions, Banijay Rights, says: “We’re excited to be on this journey with Playground and Channel 5 as we enter the world of The Hardacres, a sweeping family saga that’s set to captivate and resonate with audiences around the world.”

The Hardacres will be filmed on location in Ireland later this year and casting will be announced in the coming weeks.


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