Irish Drama Smother Sells to U.S. & Other Markets


The BBC Studios thriller Smother has notched up deals in a slew of markets, including the U.S., where NBCUniversal licensed the drama for Peacock.

ABC in Australia, Canal+ in France, RTVS in Slovenia and ETV in Estonia are also on board, adding to the previously announced acquisition by Alibi in the U.K. RTÉ has commissioned a second season of the six-part domestic noir thriller.

Star Dervla Kirwan said: “I am so excited to be back in beautiful Lahinch for the second season of Smother—particularly on the back of such a warm and enthusiastic response to season one. We are hoping for a slightly less eventful shoot this time round but delighted to be back together, exploring the complicated lives of the Ahern family.”

Michael Parke, executive producer for BBC Studios, said: “We are delighted that international broadcasters have responded so positively to Smother and to the story of Val Ahern, a matriarch who will go to any lengths to protect her family. We hope that their audiences will be equally gripped by Kate O’Riordan’s complex and captivating Irish noir thriller.”

Dermot Horan, director of acquisitions and co-productions at RTÉ, said, “Smother won its time slot convincingly every week and has done great business on RTÉ Player. The audience has really engaged with the Ahern family and the stunning landscape of Clare. We are absolutely delighted to be able to bring the series back for a second season, with all of our partners, Treasure, BBC Studios, Screen Ireland and the Wrap fund on board again.”

Rob Walpole, producer for Treasure said: “We are delighted that the international response to Smother has been so positive and are so excited to introduce the Aherns to this new audience. We are lucky enough to be back in the beautiful west of Ireland, with our talented cast and crew, filming the next installment in this compelling and thrilling drama.”

Writer and executive producer Kate O’Riordan said: “It’s been a pleasure to work with such talented and enthusiastic teams. Season one of Smother struck a chord with our audience in Ireland and now we have multiple opportunities to reach out to an international audience too.”

Andrew Byrne, television project manager for Screen Ireland, said: “We are delighted to support the second season of Smother, a creatively led Irish production filled with talent in front of and behind the camera, as well as beautiful, atmospheric landscapes shot on location in Co. Clare. Following the reaction from Irish audiences, we’re equally looking forward to seeing further twists and turns unfold in Smother’s second series.”

Sarah Dillon, development manager for WRAP Fund, said, “The WRAP Fund is delighted to support the return of Smother to County Clare for a second series working in partnership with BBC Studios, RTÉ, Screen Ireland and Treasure Entertainment. The drama will give audiences across the world the opportunity to see the rugged and wild beauty of the West of Ireland as well as showcase the talent of our strong pool of local creatives including director Dathaí Keane.”