BBC America was once best known as a chief importer of British programming for American audiences — and still is to some degree, if only as the U.S. linear broadcast home of Doctor Who. However, the rise of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon, with their expansive libraries and significant acquisition budgets capable of buying the rights to all manner of U.K. shows, has meant that the cable network has struggled to keep up.
As a result, over the last decade (both during and after its acquisition by AMC Networks), BBC America has tried to make up the difference with original content by commissioning its own programming or teaming up with co-production partners. And several, like Orphan Black and Killing Eve, went on to smash successes in their rights. (Others did not, such as Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency or the Terry Pratchett-based The Watch.)
Its latest effort, Mood, is produced in partnership with BBC Three and feels like it could go either way. The show's feminist bonafides and offbeat vibes mean it's precisely the sort of series that the network has found success with in the past. But it's less than conventional subject matter may mean the show will have trouble finding an audience. Only time will tell.
Set to arrive on our screens this November, Mood is the highly anticipated first drama series from actor, writer, and singer-songwriter Nicôle Lecky and is based on her critically acclaimed Royal Court play, Superhoe. The series, which was written and executive produced by Lecky, follows the story of Sasha Clayton, who dreams of becoming a major recording artist, but whose life is having some trouble getting off the ground.
When her family kicks her out for trying to burn an ex's house down, Sasha finds herself homeless and forced to fend for herself. (Often badly.) All that changes when she meets Cathy (Lara Peake), an Instagram influencer and party girl who introduces her to the money-making perks of being famous on social media. But as her online presence grows, can Sasha hang on to her dream?
The story of the six-part series will be partly told through Sasha's song and will feature an "innovative" soundtrack performed by Lecky herself.
Here's the show's synopsis:
Sasha wants to be a major recording artist, but right now, she's a bedroom artist: spending her days smoking weed and stalking her ex-boyfriend on Instagram and avoiding her mum, her stepdad, and sister Megan. When she is kicked out of her family home, Sasha is forced to fend for herself, sofa-surfing with local dealer Saleem, until she moves in with party girl Carly, who introduces her to the exciting world of social media influencing. But as the gap between her online presence and her dream of being a singer continues to grow, Sasha finds herself struggling to escape a world that is more complex and darker than she could have imagined.
The series' ensemble cast features Jordan Duvigneau (My Mum Tracy Beaker), Jessica Hynes (Years and Years), Paul Kaye (Game of Thrones), and Mia Jenkins (Hanna), who all play various members of Sasha's family. Other co-stars include Lara Peake (Brave New World), Flo Wilson (Death in Paradise), and Jordan Myrie (Stephen). Plus, there's Jason York (Sliced), Chantelle Alle (We Are Lady Parts), Ebony Aboagye (The Lost Girls), and newcomer Mohammad Dalmar.
Mood premieres on BBC America on Sunday, November 6, with the first two episodes available to stream for AMC+ subscribers that day. Subsequent episodes will be available one week before broadcast on the streaming platform.