Road trip mystery series Darby and Joan coming to Acorn TV

AMC Networks’ Acorn TV and Screen Australia have announced a new, eight-episode Australian romantic mystery series Darby and Joan from CJZ.

This bold, irreverent series stars Emmy®-nominated and Logie-winning actor Bryan Brown (Bloom) and Emmy-winning actress Greta Scacchi (War & Peace) as two lone strangers trekking on the road – a retired Australian policeman with a dog as his only company and widowed English nurse – who meet each other and embark together on an epic odyssey in the outback of northern Australia. Acorn Media International is the international distributor of the series, which will begin production in Queensland this month. Darby and Joan will world premiere exclusively on Acorn TV in Australia, the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Latin America, Spain, Portugal, among others in 2022. The series will be produced by CJZ, with major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Screen Queensland.

Darby and Joan shines a light on isolated, fascinating and often unseen areas of regional Australia, and a myriad of fascinating characters moving through a world where everyone seems to be searching for something – or trying to escape it. Mysteries and secrets lurk for those who bother to look. Retired Australian detective Jack Darby (Brown) is fleeing his past mistakes, while English widow Joan Kirkhope (Scacchi) is attempting to outrun her grief. Their worlds collide on a remote backroad. They couldn’t be more different: the directionless, blunt Aussie and the sharp-tongued Englishwoman. But thrown together and drawn into the intriguing mysteries lurking in the isolated, tropical corners of a vast continent, it quickly becomes clear the most fascinating mystery they face is each other. Thus begins an epic love story; a non-stop road movie; a mystery series; an Outback odyssey. Darby and Joan asks: can you find yourself in the middle of nowhere?

Darby and Joan will be executive produced by Claire Tonkin (My Life is Murder), David Hannam (Secret Bridesmaid’s Business), Matt Campbell, Bea Tammer and Catherine Mackin, with series producer Pino Amenta (Five Bedrooms). Created by Glenys Rowe and Phillip Gwynne, the series’ writers include David Hannam, Beck Cole, Andrew Anastasios, Giula Sandler, Ainslie Clouston, Adam Zwar and Paul Bennett. Set-up director is David Caesar (Dirty Deeds).

Catherine Mackin, Managing Director of Acorn Media Enterprises, said, “Acorn TV is thrilled to work with CJZ on this rollicking road trip adventure series featuring an unlikely pair solving crimes in the Outback. We feel the series’ mix of intrigue, adventure and mystery will greatly resonate with our viewers, and the characters’ pursuit of love is a universal touchstone for all ages.”

Matt Campbell, CEO of CJZ, said, “From its embryonic state some 10 years ago we always believed Darby and Joan would become a favourite crime solving couple. We are so pleased Acorn could see what we were trying to say with the series and have backed it every inch of the way since the pitch. We couldn’t want for a better partner. Also Screen Australia and Screen Queensland for their invaluable support as always.”

Sally Caplan, Head of Content of Screen Australia, said, “There is so much to like about this series from the experienced team at CJZ. With well-written scripts and a fantastic cast, Darby and Joan will offer audiences a chance to laugh and cry with the engaging characters as they navigate love, mystery, and the striking outback in Queensland.”

Kylie Munnich, Screen Queensland CEO, said, “Central to the storyline is the vast and spectacular beauty of rural and regional Queensland, set to light up screens around the world. In the true tradition of an odyssey, landscape and the challenges it presents to Darby and Joan will shape their journeys and their discoveries. The Queensland Government via Screen Queensland is proud to support a production that will be filmed in Queensland, benefiting our economy and creating jobs for Queensland cast and crew.”

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