START’s Sherlock: The Russian Chronicles has been bought by NHK Enterprises, Inc (NEP), the business arm of NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster.

The 8×52’ series airs on AXN Mystery in Japan on Sunday, 14th February 2021, following its online and linear success in Russia. The series premiered on START, the number one streaming platform in Russia that produces a record amount of original high-end drama series. TNT, the Russian entertainment TV channel, broadcasted the series on the 1st of February, and the linear premier has increased the channel’s average share by 25%. 

Sherlock: The Russian Chronicles is a brand-new TV series adaption of the tale following the world’s most famous private investigator. Set in 19th Century St. Petersburg, the story unfolds against a backdrop of the country’s most famous sites and landmarks as Sherlock Holmes attempts to track down Jack the Ripper, who has fled to Russia.

To help him navigate this unfamiliar country, Mr. Holmes (Maxim Matveyev) is joined by new sidekicks, Dr. Kartsev (Vladimir Mishukov) and Sophia (Irina Starshenbaum). The pair bring vital local knowledge and contacts to help solve a series of mysterious crimes whilst facing conflict and interference from the local police force. 

The series was produced by Yellow, Black and White’s local production arm and streamer START, in co-production with Sreda. It is directed by Nurbek Egen and written by Oleg Malovichko.

Operated by Sony Pictures Entertainment, AXN Mystery is a Japanese entertainment channel specializing in the genre of mystery. AXN Mystery delivers a trove of quality mystery dramas from all over the globe. 

A multiple-year exclusive deal for AXN MYSTERY adds Sherlock: The Russian Chronicles to the channel’s recent broadcast selection of the world’s most premium drama content, including Miss Scarlet and The Duke (A&E); Van Der Valk, Midsomer Murders (All3Media International); POIROTMcDonald & Dodds, (ITV); Art of Crime (Gaumont Television); and Death in Paradise (BBC Studios).

Daria Bondarenko, EVP International Sales and Acquisitions of Yellow, Black and White, says: The vision we had for Sherlock: The Russian Chronicles was to give the most famous British detective a completely new take. We did this by placing him in an entirely new location, complete with beautiful St Petersburg backdrops, fantastic set design, wonderful costumes, and a brilliant cast. To debut it internationally with AXN Mystery of Japan is such an honour. Its a channel with a perfect audience who will appreciate the careful fusion of classic and new IP, in a country with a flourishing market for drama and television. Our new partners were quick to understand the appeal of the series and we cannot wait to see what audiences make of it.”

Yukiko Akiyama, Senior Manager of Programming Division at AXN Mystery, comments: “As we, AXN Mystery, specialize in the genre of mystery, it is our principal objective to acquire and broadcast tent-pole mystery-based IP such as Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie. However, that doesn’t mean that we broadcast every single series available – we carefully select only those that we believe mystery fans will enjoy.

“We selected Sherlock: The Russian Chronicles because Yellow, Black and White and START have made a version so unique and different from previous adaptations. This can be seen in terms of the magnificence of the pictures captured in Russia and can be felt throughout the series, giving a notable distinction to the character. I’ve come across many Sherlock Holmes interpretations around the world, but I believe that Maxim’s Holmes is one of the most beautiful Holmes I’ve seen – and for him to be chasing the infamous Ripper is truly extraordinary and will have mystery fans drooling.