Two Rivers Media to Co-Produce New Channel 5 Drama

Two Rivers Media and Awesome Media & Entertainment have joined forces to bring Susan Hill’s The Small Hand: A Ghost Story to Channel 5 in the UK. This heralds Two Rivers’ move into drama and is also Awesome’s first book-to-screen commission.

Susan Hill is the best-selling ‘queen of horror’, whose titles include blockbuster, The Woman in Black, now a major film and West End stage play. Based on the book The Small Hand: A Ghost Story, the 2-hour single drama The Small Hand (w/t) comes to Channel 5 in a haunting, modern adaptation by writer Barbara Machin, creator of BBC’s long-running crime drama, Waking the Dead.  It will be directed by Justin Molotnikov, whose credits include: Doctor Who for the BBC; Stan Lee’s Lucky Man for Sky; and Merlin and Atlantis, both BBC.

Susan Hill, author of “The Small Hand: A Ghost Story”

Susan Hill, author of “The Small Hand: A Ghost Story”

Jeff Norton, Founder of Awesome Media & Entertainment Limited

Jeff Norton, Founder of Awesome Media & Entertainment Limited

Jeff Norton, Awesome’s Founder, optioned Susan Hill’s The Small Hand: A Ghost Story and has partnered with Two Rivers Media to mount production in Scotland. Once completed KEW Media Distribution will distribute the drama internationally. In addition to backing from Channel 5, the project has secured major investment from Screen Scotland. 

 Jeff Norton, Founder, Awesome, says: “Susan Hill’s The Small Hand: A Ghost Story exemplifies our book-to-screen creative strategy; a perfect alchemy of brilliant source material, inspired adaptation, and great production partners. Between Susan Hill’s iconic novel and Barbara Machin’s inspired screenplay, we have developed a haunting, nuanced ghost story that is destined to become a future classic.”

Alan Clements, Managing Director of Two Rivers Media, adds: “Drama is very important to the development of Two Rivers. We are delighted to be partnering with Awesome on this, our first drama project. Bringing such a high-profile project to Glasgow, one which should not only excite UK audiences but those around the world, reflects our vision for Two Rivers’ drama. This is a fantastic project and one we cannot wait to start work on.”

Steven Silver, Co-Founder and CEO of KEW MEDIA GROUP said “This is exactly the kind of cross-company collaboration we envisioned when building Kew. With three of our companies working together on a new scripted project, we are seeing creative, international, and strategic partnership at its best.”

The Small Hand (w/t) has been commissioned by Sebastian Cardwell, Commissioning Editor at Channel 5.  It tells the story of Adam Snow, an antique book dealer who finds himself haunted by the ghost of a young boy. As Adam investigates the strange occurrences, he suffers nightmares as he receives further, increasingly sinister visits from the ghost, ultimately revealing a haunting secret from his own childhood.

This is the first adaptation of a Susan Hill book since her iconic ghost story, The Woman In Black, was adapted into a huge feature film in 2012 starring Daniel Radcliffe. The stage adaption of that title continues to run in the West End.

Mark Thomas from Screen Scotland adds: “This project presents a great opportunity for Scotland, not only for Two Rivers but also for the wider crew and talent base who will benefit from this exciting production. As a new company, Two Rivers have already shown their drive and ambition to work across genres to create high-quality content for international markets and this co-production underlines that. Screen Scotland’s support through the Broadcast Content Fund recognises the importance of creating Scottish IP and supporting our sector to develop productions of scale.”

The Small Hand (w/t) is written by Barbara Machin, directed by Justin Molotnikov and produced by Jane Steventon. It is Executive Produced by Jeff Norton for Awesome, Alan Clements for Two Rivers Media, and Mark Thomas for Screen Scotland, with author Susan Hill and writer Barbara Machin also serving as executive producers. KEW Media Distribution is handling international distribution, under the title Susan Hill’s The Small Hand: A Ghost Story.


Nancy Taggart