The popular British police drama Line of Duty is returning to Netflix in the U.K. and several other European territories, after a new deal has been hashed out. Unlike the cancellation of Cops and some other delays to police-themed entertainment content, this change was not something that happened as a result of worldwide protests against police brutality, but something more mundane: financial trouble for the show's former distributor. Recently, Kew Media Group, and Kew Media Distribution, who had brought the show to Netflix previously, collapsed, leaving the streaming giant to rush to make a deal with World Productions, the series' producer.
Per a breakdown of the new deal at Deadline, it sounds like the holdup was Kew's creditors, with Netflix offering to strike a deal with FTI Consulting, who are acting as administrators for Kew, back in April. Apparently the catch was that Netflix wanted the payments to go directly to the producers,and FTI balked. After a month and change off Netflix, though, the streamer went diectly to World Productions, cutting out Quiver Entertainment, to whom FTI apparently sold Kew's library last month.
Line of Duty follows D.S. Steve Arnott (Martin Compston), an authorised firearms officer, transferred to Anti-Corruption Unit 12 after refusing to agree to cover-up an unlawful shooting by his own team. At AC-12 Arnott is partnered with D.C. Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure), a highly-commended undercover officer with a keen investigative instinct. She is swiftly promoted to D.S. in series 4 and D.I. in series 5. They work under the supervision of Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), who is one of several Senior Investigating Officers (along with D.C.S. Patricia Carmichael (Anna Maxwell Martin) of AC-3 and those of AC-9) responsible for uncovering corruption within the police force. Throughout the series, AC-12 investigate seemingly disparate cases involving seemingly-corrupt police officers such as D.C.I. Tony Gates (Lennie James), D.I. Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes), Sergeant Danny Waldron (Daniel Mays), D.C.I. Roseanne Huntley (Thandie Newton) and undercover officer D.S. John Corbett (Stephen Graham). AC-12 realise the pervasive nature of corruption and the police's deep-rooted links to an organised crime group.
The series began in 2012 and has consistently been one of BBC Two's best performers. There are five seasons/series currently, and a sixth that was in production when everything had to shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
BritBox and Acorn TV have the rights in the United States.