Bryan Brown and Sam Neill will star in Old School, an ABC series in the vein of the BBC comedy-drama New Tricks.

Brown will play Ted, a retired cop, with Neill as Lennie, an ex-crim. The odd couple turn sleuth to solve crimes, unravel scams and earn much-needed dosh.

The cast includes Sarah Peirse as Ted’s feisty, sports-mad wife; Hanna Mangan Lawrence as Lennie’s granddaughter Shannon; Mark Coles-Smith as Jason, the mechanic son of one of Lennie’s prison mates; and Damian Walshe-Howling as a charming opportunist who woos Shannon.

The show was created by Paul Oliver and Steve Wright and will be produced by Matchbox Pictures’ Helen Panckhurst and exec produced by Tony Ayres and Penny Chapman.

Production of the eight-part series starts in Sydney in June with the directing chores shared by Gregor Jordan (Two Hands, Buffalo Soldiers), Peter Templeman (Not Suitable For Children) and Oliver.

Global sales outside Australia will be handled by NBCUniversal International, which owns 60 per cent of Matchbox, producers of The Slap, Underground – The Julian Assange Story and The Straits.

Matchbox has a busy slate, including reality shows The Real Housewives for Foxtel and Formal Wars for the Seven Network, the ABC’s children’s drama Nowhere Boys, drama series Devil’s Playground for Foxtel and Ayres’ theatrical feature Cut Snake, which will star Sullivan Stapleton and Ryan Kwanten.