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ITV commission major drama slate from SMG TV Productions

Nick Elliot, Controller of Drama, ITV1 has commissioned SMG TV Productions to produce 12 hours of drama for ITV1’s 2004/5 schedule.
‘Missing’ (2 x 90mins) reunites the BAFTA-award-winning writer Jimmy Gardner and producer Eric Coulter, the team behind BBC Two’s ‘The Cops’.
Missing tells the story of 24-year-old Sibyl Foster. Homeless for several years, Sibyl regularly scams rooms from unwitting hotel residents – until one of her marks is violently murdered. When a second murder is committed, there is evidence that unmistakably links Sibyl as the prime suspect. But as they begin to investigate her, the police turn up more than they anticipate – including close links to a prominent public figure and a spell in a psychiatric hospital. As more and more skeletons are discovered in Sibyl's closet, even she can no longer be sure that she is innocent.
Missing is adapted by Jimmy Gardner (This Life, The Cops, Buried) from the book by Karin Alvtegen, published by Canongate Press. Eric Coulter is the Executive Producer and the show will be broadcast on ITV1 in 2005.
ITV1 has also commissioned a new run of ‘Taggart’, now Britain’s longest-running detective series. The commission of six new 90-minute films takes the number of Taggart stories to more than 70 – and sees ABC Australia placing a preproduction sale order for the new films.
Blythe Duff, John Michie, Alex Norton and Colin McCredie return as the men and women of Maryhill CID, whose investigations into the sleazy underbelly of Glasgow has propelled the series into the record books.
Regularly watched by more than 6.5 million British viewers and broadcast in over 70 countries around the world, Taggart is a major success story at home and abroad. It has become one of Scotland’s biggest exports, generating over £10 million in sales revenue since it began in 1983.
The six new films, now in production in Glasgow for broadcast on ITV1 in 2004/5, are series produced by Graeme Gordon and executive produced by Eric Coulter.
Elizabeth Partyka, Managing Director, SMG TV Productions, said: “This commission of 12 hours of drama demonstrates our ability to produce top quality drama that works well at home or abroad.”
From the ITV Network Centre, Nick Elliott, Controller of Drama, said: "It's great that we are getting so much good drama from Scotland, in the shape of SMG TV Productions. Taggart is one of the pillars of the ITV1 schedule and Missing is a very welcome two-part event that we're really looking forward to."
Both Missing and Taggart are distributed internationally by Minotaur International.

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