Media release: STV wins six-part drama commission from Channel 4


STV Studios announces today (27 August) that it has won a six-part drama commission from Channel 4. The prison series – SCREW – will be filmed in 2021 and is written by Rob Williams (The Victim, Killing Eve).

SCREW is prison as never seen before – the uncensored, terrifying and often darkly funny reality of life as a prison officer in an all-male prison in 21st century Britain. At the centre of our gang of embattled officers is senior officer, Leigh, and new recruit, Rose, two women who couldn’t be more different but who both carry secrets which, if discovered, could end careers and even lives.

SCREW sees the production business once again join forces with the writer of critically-acclaimed four-part thriller, The Victim, Rob Williams – a collaboration which resulted in a BAFTA nomination for Best Mini Series and saw leading actress, Kelly Macdonald, win a BAFTA Scotland Award.

The commission follows the considerable success of STV Studios’ 2019 drama, Elizabeth is Missing, which also received five-star reviews and delivered significant audiences for BBC One.

TV film, Elizabeth is Missing, featuring two-time Academy Award winner Glenda Jackson, was met with universal acclaim and has garnered numerous awards and nominations. It was shortlisted for a BAFTA TV Award in the Single Drama category in 2020, and Glenda Jackson won the prestigious leading actress BAFTA for her exceptional performance.

Writer and creator, Rob Williams, said: “SCREW is a real passion for me; I’ve wanted to write about prisons ever since teaching in that environment in a former life. I’ve maintained close links since then and the idea has grown. After the experience of working with Sarah Brown and her team at STV Studios on The Victim, I wouldn’t want to pursue a project that means so much to me with anybody else. I feel very
lucky to be working with Channel 4 on the show and I can’t wait to introduce the world of SCREW to as wide an audience as possible.”

Sarah Brown, creative director of Drama and executive producer for STV Studios, said: “Following our successful collaboration on The Victim, we’re thrilled to be teaming up again with the supremely talented Rob Williams to bring his latest series to the screen for Channel 4.

“I know audiences will fall in love with his funny, anarchic, memorable characters and be captivated once again by his brilliant storytelling. In Channel 4, we have the perfect partners to bring Rob’s bold and totally authentic portrayal of prison life to TV, and we’re also delighted to be working with the fantastic team at Banijay on distribution.”

Banijay Rights will manage global distribution of Screw. Chris Stewart, commercial director – Scripted, Banijay Rights, added: “The prison precinct has always held a special fascination for audiences everywhere and we’re excited to be partnering with STV and Channel 4 on SCREW; which promises to bring a fresh perspective to a maligned and misunderstood world through the eyes of Rob Williams’ insightfully-crafted characters.”

SCREW is an STV Studios production for Channel 4, commissioned by Caroline Hollick, Channel 4 Head of Drama and overseen by Lee Mason, Channel 4 commissioning editor and Gemma Boswell, Channel 4 head of Development. Rob Williams is creator, lead writer and executive producer, with Karla Crome (The Stranger) joining the writing team. Sarah Brown is executive producer for STV Studios (The Victim, Elizabeth is Missing) and Brian Kaczynski, producer (The Cry, Peaky Blinders).

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Contact: Kirstin Stevenson