‘Dead Hot is irreverent and entertaining yet has the familiar pace, hooks and twists of a first-class thriller’

Distributor ITV Studios
Producer Quay Street Productions
Length 6 x 60 minutes
Broadcaster Amazon Prime Video (UK)

Set against the vibrant backdrop of present-day Liverpool, quirky dark comedy Dead Hot explores family, class, love and trauma all in one setting.

With what ITV Studios’ executive vice-president of global content Julie Meldal-Johnsen describes as a “darkly comic sensibility”, Dead Hot tells the story of two friends, Elliot and Jess, whose lives are turned upside down by the disappearance of Elliot’s ex-boyfriend Peter (who is also Jess’s twin brother).

All that is left, after what appears to be a mysterious and violent disappearance, is a pool of blood and a severed finger, leaving Elliot swearing off love.

But when he meets Will and goes on an exceptional first date, Elliot feels there may be an opportunity to move on from his past, until Will also goes missing under the exact same circumstances.

Determined to find out what’s going on – whether he’s romantically cursed, next on the hit list or if the past is coming back to haunt him – Elliot sets off with Jess to uncover the truth.

Produced by Nicola Shindler’s ITVS-backed Quay Street Productions, the story comes from the mind of emerging comic talent Charlotte Coben, the daughter of thriller writer and frequent Shindler collaborator Harlan Coben. Her credits include Coben Sr’s Netflix series The Stranger and Stay Close, and Amazon Prime original Shelter.

“It’s unique in that it manages to combine suspense, horror and humour in a really entertaining way”

“Charlotte has created a surreal, heightened world full of young, vibrant and diverse characters, all the while taking the audience on a rollercoaster ride via the mystery thriller at the heart of the story,” says Meldal-Johnsen. “It’s unique in that it manages to combine suspense, horror and humour in a really entertaining way.”

This distinctive style is something she hopes will help Dead Hot excel in the international arena, where it is aiming to capture the highly coveted 16-34 audience.

The series features a gaggle of rising stars, including Bilal Hasna (Extraordinary; Screw) and Vivian Oparah (Rye Lane; I May Destroy You), alongside established performers Penelope Wilton (After Life) and Peter Serafinowicz (Dreaming Whilst Black). Its creative team includes producer Laurie Kirkham (It’s A Sin), with Sam Arbor (Heartstopper) and David Sant (Rosie Molloy Gives Up Everything) as directors.

Meldal-Johnsen says Dead Hot has a natural home on streaming platforms, as well as linear networks looking to target young audiences for their VoD offering.

With Amazon taking a UK licence, ITVS’s key territories include the US, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, the Nordics, Spain, Italy and Benelux, as well as pan-regional streaming partners across EMEA. Though Dead Hot is set to launch at Mipcom, Meldal-Johnsen says a number of conversations are taking place.

“Dead Hot is irreverent and entertaining in a way that stands apart in the international market and yet it has all the familiar pace, hooks and twists of a first-class thriller,” she explains. “All of this, combined with Nicola’s track record for producing cutting-edge shows that mainstream audiences fall in love with, make this a very compelling proposition.”