Final Poirot episodes reach U.S. via on-demand service

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Three of the five final episodes in the Hercule Poirot detective series, a longtime favorite on Masterpiece Mystery!, will debut in the U.S. next month as an on-demand series available exclusively through online British content distributor Acorn TV.

David Suchet as Hercule Poirot

David Suchet portrays Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. The popular mystery series is ending after 70 stories over 25 years. (Photo: ITV)

Masterpiece’s Mystery strand will present the broadcast debut of two detective stories, The Big Four and Deadman’s Folly, July 27 and Aug. 3, respectively. British drama fans who want to catch the series finale will have to sign up for Acorn TV, the subscription-based streaming service specializing in British drama. The distributor will provide the episodes via its website and Roku channel.

RLJ Entertainment, which owns Acorn Media Group and Acorn TV, also controls a majority share in Agatha Christie Ltd., the company that manages Christie’s literary works. Those include characters Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. It is holding the final three episodes as an Acorn TV exclusive until November, when broadcast windows open for public TV stations that acquire rights to the shows.

Elephants Can Remember, which involves an investigation of a famous psychiatrist’s murder, releases for online streaming Aug. 11. Labours of Hercules, in which the detective travels to the Swiss Alps to stalk an infamous art thief, goes up Aug. 18. And Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case, Aug. 25, finds the detective confronting not only a killer but his own conscience as he tries to stop a series of murders.

“For the last quarter of a century, David Suchet has made an indelible mark on television with his portrayal of Poirot,” said RLJ CEO Miguel Penella in an announcement, “and these final episodes feature a fitting goodbye to a beloved series.”

Masterpiece will not air the final three Poirot episodes, spokesperson Ellen Dockser said. “Individual PBS stations can license the rights to these Poirots from Acorn,” she added.

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