EXCLUSIVE: ITV has commissioned Greenacre Films, the producer behind Michaela Coel’s Netflix feature Been So Long, to make a six-part series about a wealthy family forced to confront their past and future after a terrible event.
Self-made Stephen Richards has built a cosmetics empire and become a powerful advocate for Black-owned business, but when he suffers a stroke, his family’s secrets and lies rise to the surface and the future of his multi-million-pound company is at stake.
Stephen abandoned his first wife and two older children, settling down with a younger woman and having another three children. His stroke forces his two worlds to collide, with his two older children learning of their father’s illness from their home in New York, where they have become successful business people in their own right.
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The Riches story has echoes of Succession, in which patriarch Logan Roy suffers a stroke, leaving his children tussling for control of his media empire. The New York-set HBO drama has cleaned up at recent awards and is poised to enter its third season.
Ajayi called her Richards family “brash, complicated and indefatigable,” and said they had been a “joy” to write. As well as penning and story editing a number of episodes of ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder, her other credits include Hulu’s Four Weddings And A Funeral and the BBC’s Hetty Feather.
Commenting on Riches, ITV drama head Polly Hill added: “It’s aspirational, entertaining storytelling about power and success, but it’s also a brilliant family drama. I think it will be a compelling and addictive show to watch.”
Greenacre Films, which made ITV’s Unsaid Stories and has a remit to work with diverse voices, will shoot Riches in New York and London in early 2021. Greenacre founders Nadine Marsh-Edwards and Amanda Jenks executive produce. Banijay Rights is distributing the series internationally.