UKTV is continuing their aggressive originals push with four new series for Dave, Gold and flagship entertainment channel W. The announcement was made today at the company’s UKTV Live event at BFI.
The new commissions include Lizard Lick Touring, a new ten parter featuring Lizard Lick Towing star Ron Shirley for Dave; We Have Been Watching, a Gogglebox-like format for Gold; Used Car Wars, a factual entertainment series for Dave which is set in the world of second hand car sales; and Dr Christian Will See You, a new series featuring Dr Christian Jessen for W.
“UKTV Originals are growing exponentially in terms of the number of hours produced and the genres we’re commissioning in. We increased our programming spend by 20% in 2015 and it continues to rise. Ratings are growing too with commissions providing four of the top six shows of 2015 and further success in 2016 with strengthening figures for smash hit Taskmaster and two record breaking David Haye fights peaking at over 3.2 million viewers”, said UKTV’s Director of Commissioning Richard Watsham.
“We’ve built strong relationships with talented people both in front of and behind the camera giving them opportunities to make the programmes they want, the way they want”, he continued. “Most recently with John Bishop In Conversation With… attracting more than half a million people to its premiere episode on pay channel W. Now we’re extending further into scripted, fixed-rig docs and entertainment formats. Signing Dr Christian Jessen to explore the medical side of sex and relationships for female-skewing W allows us to reflect what’s relevant and important to our audience.
“We’ve strengthened Dave’s shoulder peak offering with three new shows, Joy of Techs, Lizard Lick Touring and Used Car Wars. While the satirical talk show, Unspun with Matt Forde gives Dave a voice in the chaotic world of politics, an area of increasing importance to our viewers but one that is underserved in the TV schedules.”
Full Details Of The New Commissions Follows Below:
Lizard Lick Touring
Lizard Lick Touring features hero Ron Shirley, the star of Lizard Lick Towing (which, perhaps not coincidentally, airs in the UK on Dave), as he heads east to try his luck here in the UK. While his wife Amy keeps their business running back home, Ron hits the road on the hunt for classic and luxury autos to ship back to his US clientele. Crammed bumper to bumper with sumptuous classic British and American cars, juicy deals and unexpected detours, Lizard Lick Touring invites viewers to buckle up for Ron’s raucous rides across Britain as he immerses himself in his new world and gives it the all American treatment.
The ten-part series, which is more of an extension of the Lizard Lick franchise rather than a straight UK adaptation, was ordered by UKTV’s Director of Commissioning Richard Watsham and Dave General Manager Steve North. Znak & Jones and Rapture Productions are producing, with Natalka Znak, Jo Inglott and Jen Ducker serving as the executive producers. Commissioning editor Iain Coyle will executive produce for UKTV. Lizard Lick Touring will premiere on Dave in 2017, alongside recent commissioned tech series Joy Of Techs.
Used Car Wars
Narrated by Sheridan Smith, Used Car Wars explores the world of second hand car sales through two salt-of-the earth dealerships in Dery as Car A Lot takes on the straight-laced, well-oiled corporate machine that is Geoff Cox Used Cars. They go head-to-head trying to convince punters to part with their cash, and whoever makes the most profit each week wins bragging rights.
The series, which has also received an order for ten episodes, is being produced for Dave by Renegade Pictures and was commissioned by UKTV’s Deputy Director of Commissioning Hilary Rosen and Dave’s General Manager Steve North. Stephen Taylor Woodrow is the series producer, while Anthony Pyke is attached to direct. Harry Lansdown and Jonathan Levi will executive produce for Renegade, while Hilary Rosen will oversee the project for UKTV.
We Have Been Watching
A Gogglebox-like series, We Have Been Watching brings together some of the country’s best loved comedy pairings to watch and critique British comedy favourites while sharing stories from their own experiences. Comedians lined up for the six episode series include David Baddiel, Maxine Peake, Nigel Planer, Jo Joyner and pairings John Challis and Sue Holderness, Sally Phillips and Sarah Hadland, Ricky Tomlinson and Ralf Little, and Russell Tovey and Sarah Solemani.
The series is being produced by independent production company Crook Productions and was commissioned by Gold General Manager Steve North and UKTV’s Deputy Director of Commissioning Hilary Rosen. Simon Lupton is the executive producer for UKTV, while the indie’s founder Matt Crook will executive producer for Crook Productions. We Have Been Watching is set to premiere on Gold later this year.
Dr Christian Will See You Now
Dr Christian Jessen returns to television in this new fixed-rig format which sees him diagnose, counsel and treat patients in a state of the art clinic. The series will capture Dr Christian’s emotional consultations, as well as any intimate moments between couples during their visit. His talents will be pushed to the limit as he treats people with a huge range of medical conditions always related to sex and relationships. From fertility problems, to STI’s, and keeping your partner awake by snoring, Dr Christian will be on hand to get these patients’ sex lives and relationships back on track.
“This exciting format allows me to do what I love doing most – being a doctor and also educating the public; discussing those troubling issues that are so common and yet never talked about enough”, Dr Christian Jessen said in a statement. “I have an incredible first-class medical team that will assist me and I look forward to being able to coordinate everyone’s journeys from initial consultation through to test results and their follow-up appointments and seeing some great, rewarding and successful outcomes.”
Dr Christian Will See You Now is being produced for UKTV’s W channel by Firecracker Films and is set to premiere in 2017. It was commissioned by W General Manager Steve North and UKTV’s Director of Commissioning Richard Watsham. Federico Ruiz, Sam Emmery, Jes Wilkins and UKTV’s Helen Nightingale will serve as executive producers.