DIRECTV's Audience Network Expands Its Programming Slate With the Addition of Two Critically-Acclaimed Drama Series, The Slap and The Shadow Line. EL SEGUNDO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- DIRECTV's Audience Network continues to provide viewers with cutting-edge, provocative programming with the addition of two new dramas, The Slap, premiering Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 10pm ET/PT and The Shadow Line, premiering on Sunday, Feb. 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Daring and thought provoking, The Slap traces the shattering repercussions of a single event, a man slapping a child who is not his own, on a group of family and friends. Exploring what happens when the veil of civility that binds us as a society is set aside by one disturbing action, the series brings to life the universal questions of parenting, the rights of children, race, class, sexuality, and the different perspectives of men and women. Based on the award-winning and celebrated novel of the same name by Christos Tsiokas, the series' cast includes Golden Globe Award-nominee Melissa George (Grey's Anatomy, Alias), Academy Award-nominee Sophie Okonedo (Mrs. Mandela, The Secret Life of Bees), Tony Award-nominee Essie Davis (Burning Man, Cloud Street), Jonathan LaPaglia (Cold Case, Burn Notice), Alex Dimitriades (Summer Coda, Underbelly) and Sophie Lowe (Beautiful Kate). The Slap premiered in October 2011 on ABC1 in Australia, followed by BBC Four in the UK. The series proved to be a hit in both countries, achieving top audience ratings and critical acclaim. Hailed by the Australian press as one of the bravest, most compelling and finest dramas of the year, it gathered equally rave reviews in the UK press. The series, produced by Matchbox Pictures for ABC Australia, is written by Emily Ballou, Alice Bell, Brendan Cowell, Kris Mrksa and Cate Shortland, directed by Jessica Hobbs (Love My Way, Answered by Fire), Matthew Saville (Noise, The King), Tony Ayres (Walking on Water, The Homesong Stories, Saved), and Robert Connolly (Balibo, The Bank), is executive produced by Penny Chapman (The Straits, My Place), produced by Helen Bowden (Soft Fruit), Tony Ayres and Michael McMahon (The Home Song Stories, Saved). Christos Tsiolkas served as Associate Producer and Story Consultant. Created by Hugo Black, The Shadow Line is a sophisticated conspiracy thriller in eight parts that brings to life a cinematic world of blurred morality and the conflicted characters who inhabit it. From the cop with a bullet in his brain, whose amnesia leaves him doubtful of his own moral compass; to the drug-lord driven by a profound personal tragedy, risking it all on one last deal; to the brilliantly lethal puppet-master who gradually emerges from the shadows to bring the story to its shocking climax The Shadow Line explores the morality of these characters as they navigate the fine line between right and wrong. Cast includes: Chiwetel Ejiofor (American Gangster, Endgame), Christopher Eccleston (Lennon Naked, Doctor Who), Sir Antony Sher (The Wolfman, Primo, God On Trial), Stephen Rea (The Crying Game, Breakfast On Pluto), Sean Gilder (Shameless), David Schofield (The Take, Pirates Of The Caribbean), Stanley Townsend (Zen, Sherlock Holmes) and Eve Best (The King's Speech, Nurse Jackie). The Shadow Line is written, produced and directed by Hugo Black (Sensitive Skin, Marion And Geoff), produced by Johann Knobel (Shameless, Inspector George Gently), executive produced by George Faber and Charles Pattinson (Shameless, Skins, The Devil's Whore, Generation Kill), Henry Normal and Lindsay Hughes (Sensitive Skin, Marion And Geoff, Gavin And Stacey), Marc Samuelson and Steve Christian (The Disappearance Of Alice Creed, Me And Orson Welles) and Polly Hill for the BBC. The Shadow Line is a Company Pictures/Eight Rooks Ltd/Baby Cow/CinemaNX production for BBC Two in 2011. The series is distributed by BBC Worldwide.