As part of their commitment to spend £600 million on original home-grown programming by 2014, Sky has announced a raft of drama commissions for 2013 as well as a new medical drama in development. The new dramas includes returning series and new commissions that will air across Sky Entertainment’s portfolio of channels (Sky1, Sky Atlantic, Sky Living and Sky Arts). Amongst these dramas is a fourth and final season of Mad Dogs, a mini-series based on the life of Ian Fleming for Sky Atlantic, an adaptation of Scandinavian series The Bridge, a strand of drama pilots for Sky Living and a new season of dramas for Sky Arts’ popular Playhouse Presents strand.
Speaking of these drama commissions, Anne Mensah, Sky’s Head of Drama, said: “At Sky we have a strong ambition to deliver modern, original dramas that are both entertaining and intelligent. We seek to bring our customers the most innovative and bold pieces produced by some of the brightest talent in drama programming today. Our broad range of entertainment channels has allowed us to commission this diverse and rich drama slate, providing customers with a wealth of choice and I’m thrilled to be able to unveil this fantastic line up. The most exciting thing is that this is just the start of the growing drama story at Sky.”
While Stuart Murphy, Director of Sky’s Entertainment Channels added: “Anne’s vision for drama at Sky is very exciting; and I’m looking forward to seeing these projects come to fruition as much as, I’m sure, our customers will.”
Mad Dogs: The Finale
One of Sky1’s first home grown commissions, Mad Dogs has been a success for the broadcaster. Given that, Sky1 has renewed the series for a fourth and final season of 2 episode to allow a proper send off for the show and its characters. Max Beesley, Philip Glenister, John Simm and Marc Warren will all return in this final installment which goes into production next month and is set to air in early 2014.
Jed Mercurio Medical Drama
Sky1 also confirmed that they are developing a medical drama with Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio. The project, which is operating under the working title Critical, is said to focus in the “critical” first hour of treatment for a serious injury.
Following of from Sky Atlantic’s other original scripted commissions Hit & Miss and Falcon, the channel has given the green-light to a four hour mini-series based on the life of Bond creator Ian Fleming. This mini-series will star Dominic Cooper as Fleming and will take a no holds barred look at the man behind the James Bond legend, whose real life was as exciting, eventful and sexually charged as his famous creation. Ecosse Films is producing with Huw Kennair-Jones, Douglas Rae, Michael Parke and Robert Bernstein serving as executive producers. Production on Fleming is set to commence in the coming months in London and Budapest.
An adaptation of Scandinavian series The Bridge which is being co-produced with French broadcaster Canal+, The Tunnel is set against the backdrop of Europe in crisis. When a prominent French politician is found dead on the border between the UK and France, detectives Karl Roebuck and Elise Wassermann are sent to investigate on behalf of their respective countries. However, the case takes a surreal turn when a shocking discovery is made at the crime scene, forcing the French and British police into an uneasy partnership. As the serial killer uses ever more elaborate and ingenious methods to highlight the moral bankruptcy of modern society, Karl and Elise are drawn deeper into his increasingly personal agenda.Kudos Film & TV and Shine France are producing the 10 episode series, with Jane Featherstone, Karen Wilson, Manda Levin, Ben Richards, Anne Mensah, Fabrice De La Patellière, Lars Blomgren and Nora Melhli serving as executive producers.
Sky Living has given the green-light to The Reckless Season, a strand similar to the channel’s previously announced Love Matters and Sky1’s Little Crackers which will showcase a number of one-off dramas that are also serving as backdoor pilots. Sky Living has commissioned three such one-off’s so far, and intend to commission two more. Details of the one offs follow below:
Talking To The Dead
Based on the book by Harry Bingham, this two-parter was written by Gwyneth Hughes and is being produced by Bonafide Filmes and tells the story of Fiona, a newly qualified detective on her first murder case, who may be set to find out that enthusiasm can prove deadly.
Written and directed by Annie Griffin (Fresh Meat), Rubenesque takes an unashamedly naked look at modern women with a story that centres on a female football referee’s journey to becoming a plus size model
The Last Witch
Written by Scott & Bailey scribe Sally Wainwright and produced by Red Production Company, The Last Witch tells the story of two five hundred year old witches battling it out in modern day Britain. When this powerful duo go to war, everyone else is simply collateral.
Over at Sky Arts, the channel has confirmed that they have commissioned a second season of their popular Playhouse Presents strand. This new season will feature a number of shorts which will showcase such talent as Idris Elba, Kylie Minogue, Anna Friel, Matt Smith, David Harewood, Johnny Vegas and Vanessa Redgrave. The channel also confirmed a full (six episode) season of Psychobitches which is set to air from May 2013.