Amy Huberman’s ‘Finding Joy’ brings laughs to Acorn TV
Striking Out actress Amy Huberman wrote and stars in Acorn TV’s latest original series, Finding Joy, debuting Dec. 3 on the streaming service.
“Finding Joy” premiered on RTÉ in Ireland in October and is the network’s highest-rated new comedy of 2018. It joins another Acorn TV original, “Blood,” as well as new seasons of “The Brokenwood Mysteries” and “Murdoch Mysteries.”
There’s a lot more. Just check out the Acorn TV December premieres calendar below. You can read my Huberman interviews by via the links.
6 episodes; Acorn TV original, exclusive U.S. premiere
Created, written and starring IFTA Award Winner Amy Huberman, Acorn TV’s new and risqué Irish comedy follows a single woman, Joy, after a painful breakup, who looks for happiness in all the wrong places. “Finding Joy” premiered on RTÉ in Ireland in October and is the network’s highest-rated new comedy of 2018. “Finding Joy” is a warm, irreverent show with a lot of heart and laughs as Joy struggles with life, her friends and her world. The series co-stars popular stand-up comedian Aisling Bea, Lochlann O’Mearain, Jenny Rainsford, Catherine Walker, Paul Reid and Mark Doherty.
Season 1, 2017; 6 episodes; exclusive U.S. premiere
Hailed as the first drama co-production of Portugal’s RTP and Spain’s TVG, this lavish, award-winning Portuguese romantic drama achieved the highest primetime ratings for RTP in three years.
In 1936 Portugal, 22-year-old Carlota de Vimieiro, a beautiful, educated heiress in one of the most highly ranked aristocratic families, must marry into a wealthy Brazilian family to keep her own from bankruptcy. But two events change Carlota’s life: She falls for Pedro, concierge at a luxury hotel and health resort in Vidago; and across the border in Spain, Civil War breaks out.
“Vidago Palace” tells the story of two young people from different classes who long to be together, but must overcome many obstacles that are thrown in their path. And it follows Carlota’s quest to conquer not only what is expected of her but what her own heart dictates.
The Brokenwood Mysteries
Series 5, Episode 1; exclusive U.S./Canada premiere
Acorn TV’s detective series is filmed amid the beautiful landscape of New Zealand’s North Island. The popular series returns with four feature-length, standalone mysteries filled with compelling characters, dry humor and piquant wit. After transferring from a big city to the small town of Brokenwood, Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Shepherd (Neill Rea) works cases alongside methodical young assistant, Detective Kristin Sims (Fern Sutherland).
“Scared to Death” — The owner of the rides at the A&P Show appears to die of fright on the Ghost Train.
Monday, Dec. 10
Series 1 & 2, 2016-2017; 12 episodes
This feel-good Australian drama focuses on part-time country pub singer Billie Carter (Jessica Mauboy), who finds herself in hot water with the local hood and pretends to be the secret daughter of a wealthy city hotelier. From a small country town to five-star city living, Billie soon finds that her decision comes with whole new set of issues.
Queen Elizabeth’s Battle for Church Music
2017 BBC Four doc
Presenter Lucy Worsley unpacks the curious history of Choral Evensong, which but for the direct intervention of Elizabeth I might have vanished forever during the turmoil of the Reformation. When Elizabeth took power she was determined to find a religious compromise: She resurrected the protestant religion of her brother but kept the music of her beloved father — music that she too adored. It was in the evocative service of choral Evensong that her ideas about religious music found their ultimate expression.
The Brokenwood Mysteries
Series 5, Episode 2; exclusive U.S./Canada premiere
“Bride Not to Be” — The detectives must unravel the mystery of how a bride to be ended up dead in the river during her hen party.
Monday, Dec. 17
Acorn TV original, exclusive U.S. premiere
New six-part psychological crime thriller starring BAFTA and IFTA nominee Adrian Dunbar and newcomer Carolina Main in the intimate family drama and psychological crime thriller about family, memory and the impact the past can have on the present. When a daughter begins to notice discrepancies in her father’s stories, she suspects he may have been involved in her mother’s death. The audience will constantly question whether Cat is paranoid or has in fact discovered a terrible truth about her father.
Lords & Ladles
Series 1, 6 episodes
Three of Ireland’s top chefs — Derry Clarke, Catherine Fulvio and Paul Flynn — gather at opulent country manors to recreate banquets of the past.
The Brokenwood Mysteries
Series 5, Episode 3; exclusive U.S./Canada premiere
“Tontine” — When Lester Nyman reaches the top of a local mountain after a grueling ride and suffers a massive coronary it doesn’t seem suspicious. But when Gina reveals his toxicology showed astronomical levels of caffeine in his system and Mike starts to look more closely.
Monday, Dec. 24
Season 12, episodes 1 & 2; U.S. premiere
Set in Toronto in the late 1890s and early 1900s during the age of invention, the popular mystery series centers on Detective William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson)`, a methodical and dashing detective, who enlists radical new forensic techniques like fingerprinting, ultraviolet light, and trace evidence to solve some of the city’s most gruesome murders.
“Mansion” — A horrific murder at the public introduction of the Murdochs’ new residence designed by Frank Lloyd Wright puts the couple on the case.
“Operation: Murder” — A post-operative death of a patient of a surgery that Dr. Ogden (Helene Joy) participated in leads her to suspect murder in the hospital.
Agatha Raisin and the Fairies of Fryfam
Series 3, 2nd of 3 feature-length episodes; exclusive world premiere
Ashley Jensen returns in the adaptations of MC Beaton’s best-selling novels. Jensen plays a London PR whizz turned amateur sleuth, who becomes entangled in mischief, mayhem and murder when she opts for early retirement in the country. In “The Fairies of Fryfam,” Agatha, in a desperate attempt to avoid her ex-lover, James Lacey (Jamie Glover), whose return to Carsely is imminent, escapes to the remote and seemingly idyllic village of Fryfam under the guise of writing “her big novel.” But it isn’t long before Agatha’s nose for trouble ensnares her in a maelstrom of jealousy and dangerous liaisons, when all is not as it seems in this eerie forgotten village. When it leads to murder, there’s only one person who can solve it.
A Moody Christmas, The Moodys
2012-14, 14 episodes
ABC Australia’s six-part comedy series “A Moody Christmas” and its follow-up eight-episode series, “The Moodys,” focuses on the loveable, yet seasonally dysfunctional, Moody family. Ian Meadows, Jane Harber, Patrick Brammall, Tina Bursill, Phil Lloyd and Sacha Horler star.
The Brokenwood Mysteries
Series 5, Episode 4 (season finale); exclusive U.S./Canada premiere
“The Dark Angel” — Now derelict, the spooky abandoned asylum Brokenwood Downes provides a great hideout for local teenagers. When one young couple stumbles upon the body of an elderly man in the old hospital wing, the detectives must work to find out who he is and why he was killed.
Monday, Dec. 31
3 episodes, 2017
This comedy tells the classic story of a 40-something man suffering a mid-life crisis and looking to escape from his current situation. It just so happens this 40-something man is the King of Great Britain and the Commonwealth. Set in the entirely fictional, but contemporary court of King Henry IX, the series sees Henry (Charles Edwards) struggle to make changes to his life in the face of centuries of tradition and members of a royal household who are fairly sure they have his — certainly their own — best interests at heart. Sally Phillips, Annette Crosbie, Don Warrington and Colin Salmon co-star.
The Real Doctor Zhivago
BBC Four doc, 2017
“Doctor Zhivago” is one of the best-known love stories of the 20th century, but the book’s setting also made it famous. It’s a tale of passion and fear, set against a backdrop of revolution and violence. The film is what most people remember, but the story of the writing of the book has more twists, intrigue and bravery than many a Hollywood blockbuster. In this documentary, Stephen Smith traces the revolutionary beginnings of the bestseller to it becoming a pawn of the CIA at the height of the Cold War. Writing his book for over 20 tumultuous years, Boris Pasternak knew it could result in his death. It did result in his mistress being sent to the Gulag twice, but he had to have his say. This is the story of the writing of perhaps the bravest book ever published. It’s the untold story of the real Dr. Zhivago — Boris Pasternak.
2009, feature-length film
In Edna O’Brien’s adaptation of her romantic novel, “Wild Decembers,” a centuries old feud flares up and threatens the happiness of two young lovers. When Michael Bugler (Matt Ryan) inherits his uncle’s farm in rural Ireland, his appearance in the community stirs up long-dead passions, changing the lives of brother and sister Joseph (Owen McDonnell) and Breege (Lara Belmonte) forever. Sean McGinley co-stars.
Season 12, Episode 3; U.S. premiere
“My Big Fat Mimico Wedding” — At the wedding of Henry Higgins and Ruth Newsome on the Newsome estate, random murder attempts on Higgens are just the beginning of the machinations happening there.