BBC One Orders 1970’s Spy Drama, ‘Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell’ Series, Jason Byrne Sitcom & More

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Following on from BBC One announcing five new drama’s for 2013, the broadcaster has announced a further four commissions to compliment the channel’s original line up next year. Amongst the new commissions is two new drama series, one romantic-drama serial and a new sitcom created by and starring stand up comedian Jason Byrne.

Speaking of the three new drama commissions, Danny Cohen, Controller of BBC One said: “I aim to keep raising the stakes with our drama output on BBC One. Ben Stephenson and I are committed to finding pieces with great ambition, quality writing and memorable performances which portray a captivating range of fictional worlds and landscapes. We aim to keep working with Britain’s very best writers, actors and directors.” While also commenting on the channel’s comedy output by saying: “With the line-up of comic talent appearing on and writing for the channel in 2013, this will be a big year for Comedy on BBC One.”

Full Details Of The Four New Commissions Follows Below:

The 7.39

A new romantic-drama serial penned by award-winning writer David Nicholls, the two-parter follows Sally and Carl, who begin talking after fighting for a seat on their morning commute and suddenly their daily train journey becomes a lot more interesting.  Relatively happy in their home lives, they are, however, drawn to each other, and as their friendship grows to flirtation they refuse to admit – to each other or themselves – that a line might be crossed. The consequences of discovery will be life-changing, catastrophic perhaps, and yet they can’t help falling in love. The serial is being produced by NBCUniversal’s Carnival Films (the production company behind ITV1’s Downton Abbey) with Sally Woodward Gentle and Polly Hill serving as executive producers.

Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell

Based on the bestselling novel by Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell is a 6 episode drama series which is set during the Napoleonic Wars in an England where magic once existed and is about to return. The series was adapated for television by Peter Harness and is being produced by Cuba (the production division of leading literary and talent agency Curtis Brown) in association with  Feel Film and Farmoor. The executive producers are Matthew Read, Nick Marston, Justin Thomson-Glover and Patrick Irwin. Toby Haynes is attached to direct.

The Game

From Being Human creator Toby Whithouse, The Game is a six episode drama series set during the 1970’s at the height of the Cold War. The series begins just as a KGB defector reveals the existence of a devastating Soviet plot. The charismatic but paranoid head of MI5 then assembles a secret team to investigate. BBC Cymru Wales is producing with Faith Penhale, Brian Minchin and Toby Whithouse serving as executive producers. Speaking of the drama, Head of Drama at BBC Cymru Wales and Executive Producer Faith Penhale said: “We’re thrilled to announce this fantastic new drama from Toby Whithouse for BBC Cymru Wales. The Game is an exciting story of the lives and lies of invisible soldiers fighting a secret war and with Toby’s brilliant writing we can expect some wonderful characters and lots of surprises.”

Father Figure

Father Figure is a six episode comedy series created and written by stand up comedian Jason Byrne. The sitcom revolves around Tom (Byrne), a father figure we can all relate to. Tom is married with two sons and tries to be the best dad he can, but bad luck and his extended family are always upsetting his plans. BBC In House Comedy is producing with Stephen McCrum serving as executive producer.