Archive for the ‘UK News’ Category

April 17th, 2014

TV Trailer: BBC One’s ‘Happy Valley’

BBC One has released the first trailer for their upcoming kidnapping drama Happy Valley. The six part series, which is being toplined by Last Tango In Halifax and The Paradise alum Sarah Lancashire, is set to premiere On Tuesday April 29th at 9pm.

Created by Sally Wainwright, Happy Valley follows Catherine Crowther (Sarah Lancashrie), a no-nonsense police sergeant who heads up a team of dedicated police officers in a rural valley in Yorkshire. When a staged kidnapping quickly spirals out of control and turns into a much more brutal and vicious series of crimes, Catherine finds herself involved in something significantly bigger than her rank, but unknowingly close to home. The series is produced by Red Production Company and stars Sarah Lancashire (The Paradise), Joe Armstrong (Robin Hood), Steve Pemberton (Whitechapel), Siobhan Finneran (Downton Abbey), George Costigan (Calendar Girls), James Norton (Death Comes to Pemberley), Adam Long (Waterloo Road), Karl Davies (Game of Thrones), Ramon Tikaram (EastEnders) and Charlie Murphy (The Village).

BBC One’s Trailer For Happy Valley Follows Below:

April 17th, 2014

UKTV’s Dave Channel Renews ‘Ross Noble Freewheeling’ For Second Season

Ross Noble is staying put at Dave.

UKTV’s Dave, which is the UK’s number one non-PSB channel, has ordered a six episode second season of the Ross Noble fronted Ross Noble Freewheeling. The second season order comes after the first season averaged 339k viewers, with a series high of 491k viewers. The format is also set to be remade for the US market for the Turner owned comedy network TBS.

Ross Noble Freewheeling featured Noble going where his fans on twitter directed, meaning that almost anything could happen. In season one that included gate-crashing Eddie Izzard’s stand up gig, hosting a ceramic dog show, MC a wedding, edit the Swindon Advertiser for the day and initiate a custard fight with Bob Mortimer. For season two, Ross will be joined by some of the best names in British comedy. The series is produced for Dave by North One Television & Stunt Baby Productions and executive produced by John Quinn and James Woodroffe.

Freewheeling is the most exciting and fun way to make a show, it’s great that Dave are into making telly this way”, said Ross Noble. “I would love to tell you what to expect for the second series but until the tweets start coming in I have no idea.

Steve North, General Manager of Dave, commented: “We are delighted to have Ross back on the channel for the second series. The madcap experiences and utter spontaneity of the first series proved that a show can be driven by social media and Ross really was at the hands of the Great British public.”

While UKTV’s Commissioning Editor Iain Coyle added: “I am thrilled we’re doing a second series of Freewheeling, Ross is simply a genius at improvisation and, with the help of a crack team at North One, he’s created a unique and hilarious format. It’s a brave commission by UKTV because, like last series, we’ve literally no idea where the show is going to take us; it’s all in the hands of Twitter and Ross Noble’s brain.”

April 16th, 2014

Pivot Boards Sky Atlantic’s ‘Fortitude’ As Co-Producer

Sky Vision – the international distribution arm of satacaster BSkyB – has lined up a new US co-producer for Sky Atlantic’s upcoming 12 episode drama Fortitude.

Participant Media’s Pivot network has come on board the drama and will now co-produce the series alongside Tiger Aspect Productions’ Fifty Fathoms Label. Pivot replaces former US co-producer Starz, who backed out of the project late last year. The 12 episode series, described by Sky as their most ambitious project to date, is set to air on Pivot in 2015.

Created by Simon Donald, Fortitude tells the story of a mysterious death in a close-knit community in the Arctic Circle. The town of Fortitude was thought to be one of the safest in the world, but the murder threatens the future of the town itself. The local Sheriff Dan Anderssen pairs up with DCI Morton to investigate the violent crime, but neither trusts the other, complicating the investigation.

The series, part of Sky’s pledge to invest £600 million per year in original commissions by 2014, features an impressive cast which includes Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games), Michael Gambon (Harry Potter), Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who), Sofie Gråbøl (The Killing), Richard Dormer (Game of Thrones), Jessica Raine (Call The Midwife), Luke Treadaway (Clash of the Titans), Nicholas Pinnock (Top Boy) and Johnny Harris (This is England). The executive producers are Patrick Spence, Frith Tiplady and Andrew Woodhead (Spooks).

“We are pleased to join forces with Sky Vision and Fifty Fathoms in bringing this enormously thrilling series to US audiences”, said Evan Shapiro, President of Pivot. “A thriller with an eco-twist, Fortitude is storytelling at is finest with some of the industry’s best writers, producers and talent at the helm making it the perfect first dramatic series for Pivot.”

While Jane Millichip, Managing Director of Sky Vision, added: “Pivot’s commitment to Fortitude, both in marketing and scheduling terms is impressive, and we are thrilled to welcome them on board. This series from Fifty Fathoms exudes quality and scale, and – importantly for the international market – it is produced in volume, a rare commodity in British drama. This further underlines our commitment to bringing great Sky content to a wider global audience.”

April 16th, 2014

Matt Barbet Returns To Channel 5

Matt Barbet is returning to Channel 5.

The Northern & Shell owned broadcaster has lured back Barbert to front their evening news programme 5 News Tonight. He joins from ITV News where he has been for the past two years, with his return coming at a time when Channel 5 is refreshing and rebranding the 6:30pm news programme. C5 said that on the show “Matt will interview top news guests on the stories which matter to the Channel 5 audience.”

“I’m really happy to be returning to Channel 5 at what is a very exciting time for the network”, said Matt Barbet. “The news has always been an innovative and well-regarded jewel in its crown, and I’m looking forward to working with a few familiar faces once again, as well as many new ones.”

Michelle Chappell, Channel 5′s Commissioning Editor for Factual, News and Current Affairs, commented: “We were delighted when Matt agreed to come back to Channel 5. Matt embodies a lot of what Channel 5 is about – he’s honest, hard-working and straight-talking.”

While 5 News Editor Cristina Nicolotti Squires added: “I’m very excited about returning Matt to the 5 News family. He is a broadcaster with that rare combination of warmth and authority that is such a hallmark of 5 News. His appointment means we can do more with both of our news shows and I’m sure the viewers will be glad to see him back too”.

April 16th, 2014

Watch Sets UK Premiere Date For ‘Saving Hope’ Season 2

The second season of Canadian drama series Saving Hope will receive its UK premiere on UKTV’s Watch channel on Wednesday June 4th at 9pm, it has been announced.

The 18 episode second season of Saving Hope sees Charlie (Michael Shanks) now out of his coma and ready to return to work at Hope Zion hospital, the only problem is that, as a result of the coma, he is still seeing spirits. The drama series, which was recently renewed for a third season, is produced by Entertainment One and stars Erica Durance (Smallville), Michael Shanks (Stargate SG-1), Daniel Gillies, (The Vampire Diaries), Huse Madhavji (Combat Hospital), Julia Taylor-Ross (Rookie Blue), and Kristopher Turner (The Listener).

TVWise’s UK Premiere Dates page has been updated with this new information.

April 16th, 2014

BBC One’s ‘Shetland’ Renewed For Third Season

BBC One’s drama series Shetland, which is produced by ITV Studios through BBC Scotland, has been renewed for a third season, TVWise has learned.

The series, which is based on the novel series by Ann Cleeves and stars Douglas Henshall, recently returned for an extended second season of six episodes, with the first four episodes receiving a 29.5% audience share in Scotland. The show’s third season, which will again consist of six episodes, was commissioned by BBC One Controller Charlotte Moore and the BBC’s Controller of Drama Commissioning Ben Stephenson. The executive producers are Elaine Collins and Christopher Aird.

“I’m delighted that Shetland has been recommissioned and proud to have made a distinctive Scottish show that is enjoyed all over the UK”, said Executive Producer Elaine Collins. “It’s also been a pleasure to work with outstanding actors like Douglas Henshall, Alison O’Donnell and Steven Robertson, who have made Jimmy Perez and his close-knit team a regular fixture in the homes of millions of viewers.”

While Christopher Aird, the BBC’s Head of Drama Production Scotland, added: “Shetland is a really distinctive crime series that has proved hugely popular with audiences both here in Scotland and across the rest of the UK. I am thrilled it has been commissioned for a third outing and rest assured we have some really exciting plans for viewers from DI Perez and his team.”

April 16th, 2014

Amazon UK Inks WB Deal For Exclusive Rights To ‘Beware The Batman’

Batman is heading to Amazon UK.

Amazon Prime Instant Video UK has sealed a deal with Warner Bros. International Television Distribution to acquire the exclusive UK broadcast rights to animated series Beware The Batman. The complete first season of the series is now available to stream for Amazon UK Prime members.

Beware The Batman follows Bruce Wayne as he joins forces with sword-mistress Katana, ex-secret agent butler Alfred Pennyworth and the hard-nosed Lieutenant James Gordon to take on the might of Gotham City’s criminal underworld. The animated series, produced by Warner Bros. Animation for Cartoon Network in the United States, features the voice of Anthony Ruivivar and is executive produced by Sam Register.

Amazon’s deal with Warner Bros. marks the streaming service’s first such exclusive deal in the UK for content targeted specifically at the young adult audience. It is also the latest in a long line of content deals that Amazon UK has inked as they continue to ramp up their competition with Netflix. It follows the recent deals for the exclusive rights to Crossing Lines, Vikings and, more recently, the Starz pirate drama Black Sails.

“This milestone deal signals an exciting time in the growth of our exclusive content offering” said Tim Leslie, Vice President of Amazon Instant Video EU. “We’re passionate about investing in the very best shows for our customers of all ages, and this is a great new series for a range of generations to immerse themselves in.”

While Jeffrey R. Schlesinger, President of Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution, added: “Bruce Wayne is a character with so many stories to tell, and we’re excited to have brought this cutting-edge animated series to a service like Amazon Prime Instant Video. Allowing the Caped Crusaders fans to enjoy all episodes on-demand means new audiences can experience the action-packed world of Beware the Batman whenever they want, however they want.”

April 16th, 2014

UKTV Hires Simon Lupton For Push Into Scripted

UKTV has hired former BBC and Comedy Central exec Simon Lupton to help spearhead their push into scripted originals, TVWise has learned.

Lupton has joined UKTV as Commissioning Editor and will work across the company’s slate of scripted entertainment projects. He joins the commissioning team with more than 15 years of experience in the field, having served as a Commissioning Editor for the BBC for three years where he oversaw such series as My Family, Green Green Grass and Getting On; before segueing to a similar role at Comedy Central. Prior to the BBC, he held roles at ITV Studios, LeftBank Pictures, Retort, DLT Entertainment and Princess Productions.

Simon Lupton’s appointment comes shortly after UKTV appointed Richard Watsham, to whom Lupton will report, as their new Director of Commissioning, following the departure of Jane Rogerson. The hire also signifies the rising importance of scripted originals at the broadcaster, with UKTV stating at the time of Watsham’s appointment that they would be ramping up development of scripted originals. Previous success stories in this area have included Red Dwarf X and You, Me & Them; while UKTV is also prepping their first original drama series, Legion, which hails from Tony Jordan and Red Planet Pictures.

“The commissioning team benefits from considerable programme-making experience and Simon’s scripted expertise on both the production and commissioning sides will be a great addition”, said Watsham. “He has a hugely important part to play as we ramp up our scripted originations. I look forward to him taking on the exciting projects we have in the pipeline, and generating a raft of fresh content for the network.”

While Simon Lupton added: “This feels like a really great time to be joining UKTV. There are some very interesting programmes in development and preproduction right now, from scripted comedy for Dave through to Tony Jordan’s drama for Watch, Legion. Richard and the commissioning team have helped UKTV’s channels go from strength to strength over the last few years, and I’m thrilled to become a part of it.”

April 16th, 2014

UKTV’s Watch Channel Hands Series Order To ‘Singing In The Rainforest’

UKTV are getting musical for their next original series.

The commercial network’s flagship entertainment channel Watch has commissioned Gogglebox Entertainment to produce Singing In The Rainforest, a 5 episode fish-out-of-water factual entertainment series which will see musicians taken out of their comfort zones, sent into the rainforest and immersed into tribal life.

In the series, top music talent will leave behind their creature comforts and embrace life with remote tribes from all around the world. UKTV said that Singing In The Rainforest will result in “remarkable meeting of different cultures” with the tribe presenting their musical style to the musicians and vice versa. At the end of each episode the tribe and the musicians will create a new song together, blending their respective musical styles.

The format was created and will be produced by Gogglebox Entertainment, a joint venture with Sony Pictures Television, and will air on Watch in late 2014/early 2015. Singing In The Rainforest was commissioned by UKTV’s Commissioneing Editor Hillary Rosen and ordered by Watch’s General Manager Steve Hornsey. The music talent lined up for the series will be announced at a later date; while the music created on the show will be available for viewers to download after each episode airs, with the shares of the sales of the song going to benefit the tribe.

“From the moment this show was pitched to us we all felt excited by the scale and ambition of the idea”, said Rosen. “However, at its heart there is a very simple premise; can the power of music bridge the gap between famous musicians and remote tribes people who know nothing about our celebrities or western music? Singing in the Rainforest promises to be a fascinating and entertaining series and its unique proposition makes it the ideal format for Watch.”

While Watch’s General Manager Steve Hornsey added: “Singing in the Rainforest is a truly unique blend of entertainment, exploration and discovery. It will see some of our best-loved musicians exposed to brand new experiences and musical influences that will impact the way they think about their own work.  Taking people and programming out of the comfort zone makes it a perfect show for Watch, where we love all things out of the ordinary.”

April 15th, 2014

Management Company 42 Pacts With ITVSGE For Move Into Television

Management and production company 42 has inked a deal with ITV Studios Global Entertainment which will see the two collaborate on television projects as the company moves into the area for the first time.

Set up by Rory Aitken, Ben Pugh, Josh Varney and Kate Buckley in 2013, 42 has a background in feature film production and represents an impressive roster of actors, writers and directors including Michael Caine, Rhys Ifans, Rupert Friend, Christopher Lee, Tom Mison, William Monahan, Lynne Ramsay, Peter Cattaneo, Eran Creevy and Tom Harper

Under the terms of the deal, 42 and ITVSGE will co-develop high-end television projects with ITV Studios Global Entertainment handling international distribution. While this will mark 42′s first foray into television, the company has worked on numerous film projects including Shifty, Welcome To The Punch and Monsters: The Dark Continent.

“We are delighted to be partnering with 42 to develop strong dramas for international distribution”, said Ruth Clarke, Director of Acquisitions and Co-Productions for ITV Studios Global Entertainment. “Their track record in quality film production, coupled with their impressive on and off screen talent roster gives the company a real edge as they move into television and we look forward to working with them.”