As part of their pledge to invest £600 million on home-grown programming by 2014, Sky today announced that they had given the green-light to Line Of Duty creator Jed Mercurio’s drama series Critical, which has been in development since 2012. The series has received a 13 episode order and will air on Sky1. In addition, Sky also announced today that they had commissioned two new dramas for Sky Arts’ Playhouse Presents strand and confirmed that they will be co-producing Showtime’s upcoming drama series Penny Dreadful. All of which is part of a growing investment in drama, with Sky planning to commission 100 hours of drama over the next year.
Created by Mercurio, Critical is a high octane medical drama which unfolds in real time. This series promises to deliver an action packed show, which sees the ensemble cast dealing with the minute by minute pressures, tensions and joys, as they battle to save lives. Never cutting away from the heart stopping action, this promises to be a medical series like no other – real, truthful and emotional, with humour pumping through it – all in the true spirit of a high pressure, Major Trauma Centre. The series is being produced by Hat Trick Productions with Mark Redhead and Cameron Roach serving as executive producers.
Nightshift – a new drama for Sky Arts’ Playhouse Presents strand – follows two coppers as they cruise the streets of South East London in the small hours discussing life, the universe and everything else amidst the surreal world of the night. Penned by Jimmy Gardner, the drama is produced by Cajun Pictures & World Productions and stars Daniel Mays, Ashley Walters and Scarlett Alice Johnson.
Another new entry Sky Arts’ Playhouse Presents strand, Foxtrot tells the story of a contemporary ill-fated girl gang heist. The drama was written and directed by Polly Stenham and is produced by Sprout Pictures. Billie Piper, Ben Wishaw, Lindsay Duncan and Alice Sanders star.
“We’re so happy with the dramas we’ve made so far, and I hope our new programmes will underline how much we put a premium on creative endeavour at Sky”, said Stuart Murphy, Director of Sky Entertainment. “We really believe that our philosophy of backing world class creative talent and pushing them to make their best work is the way to go.”
While Cameron Roach, Acting Head of Drama, added: “We love making these programmes and we hope that everyone who watches them feels like they’ve discovered something new, exciting and very special.”