EXCLUSIVE: BBC Three is continuing to expand its slate of home-grown comedies. My sources are telling me that the broadcaster has picked up its comedy project Bluestone 42 (formerly known as IED) to series with an eight episode order.
Created by James Cary and Richard Hurst, Bluestone 42 (pronounced bluestone four-two) is a single-camera comedy about a British bomb disposal detachment serving in Afghanistan. The series features a group of soldiers who really enjoy being soldiers and takes the audience from moments of intense action to the fractious camaraderie as the unit waits around for their next tasking. BBC In-House Comedy Productions is producing, with Michelle Farr serving as producer and Iain B. MacDonald on board as series director. Production on the series is due to commence later this year in South Africa, with BBC Three eyeing a Spring 2013 premiere.
I hear that Bluestone 42 took something of an unusual route before receiving a series order. The comedy project was initally announced by BBC Three as having received a pilot order in May 2011, but my sources tell me that the pilot was never shot. “It just didn’t happen”, one insider tells me, “for whatever reason, last year a decision was made not to shoot a pilot but to instead hand out an order for seven additional scripts.” I’m told that co-creators James Cary and Richard Hurst then worked on the seven additional scripts throughout 2011 and well into 2012 and it was based on the strength of those scripts that BBC Three Controller Zai Bennett recently decided to pick up the project to series. Casting for the series is currently underway and BBC Three is expected to announce the pick up of Bluestone 42 once they have the main cast in place.