Sky to launch Sky Crime and Sky Comedy
Sky today announced plans to launch two new channel brands within its entertainment portfolio. Sky Crime will launch in October 2019 and Sky Comedy in February 2020, with both available to all Sky customers at no extra charge, through linear and on demand. Both channels will also launch on NOW TV, available as part of the NOW TV Entertainment pass.
Sky Crime will be the home of premium US true crime from Oxygen and HBO and the dedicated home of quality first run content from Jupiter and Woodcut. Key programming will include addictive, emotionally charged accounts of true crimes, many of which remain unsolved, including I Love You, Now Die and The Disappearance of Susan Cox Powell. Additionally, famous headline cases from the US and UK like Kemper on Kemper and Britain’s Most Evil Killers and the In Defense Of series will bring new insight into some of the most notorious killers of modern times.
Sky Comedy, launching in February 2020, will be the home of premium scripted US comedy from HBO, NBC and Showtime, including brand new acclaimed comedies like Mrs Fletcher, starring Kathryn Hahn, The Righteous Gemstones, starring John Goodman, Adam DeVine and Danny McBride, A.P. Bio and Sunnyside. Sky Comedy will also air all new series of returning hit US shows like Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and Ballers starring Dwayne Johnson. Top rated US talk shows like The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver will also be featured, as well as comedy titan Saturday Night Live and an enviable library of favourites like Will & Grace and Parks and Recreation.
Zai Bennett, Managing Director of Content at Sky, said: “Sky Crime and Sky Comedy are fantastic additions to our entertainment portfolio, providing our customers with two new destinations for their favourite shows. Sky Crime, the home of premium true crime, will complement Sky Witness perfectly, while Sky Comedy is an exciting new proposition for Sky customers, offering them a daily dose of the best US comedy which will sit alongside our expanding slate of Sky Original comedy on Sky One. By investing in the best of the US as well as doubling our investment in original drama and comedy, we are making Sky an unbeatable destination for the best range of premium TV.”
This is the latest development in Sky’s commitment to offering customers more of the content they love, that they can watch where they want, when they want. The entertainment portfolio on Sky in UK and Ireland now includes six core Sky channel brands: Sky One, Sky Atlantic, Sky Witness, Sky Arts, Sky Crime (coming Nov 2019) and Sky Comedy (coming Feb 2020), alongside the Sky Cinema and Sky Kids services. Sky’s other channel brands include E!, SYFY, Pick and Challenge.
The introduction of the two new channels follows on from Sky’s recent launch of Sky Studios, a new Europe-wide development and production capability which will see Sky’s investment in original content more than double over the next five years.
PRODUCTION BEGINS ON 3RD SEASON OF BBC AMERICA’S KILLING EVE
BBC AMERICA’s smash hit thriller Killing Eve has begun production on its third season. The series, nominated for nine 2019 Emmy® Awards including Outstanding Drama Series, is welcoming Dame Harriet Walter (Succession, The Crown) and Danny Sapani (Harlots, The Crown) to the cast. Killing Eve, produced by Sid Gentle Films Ltd., left off with an explosive cliffhanger at the end of season two, as Carolyn (Emmy® nominee Fiona Shaw) seemingly betrayed Eve (Emmy® nominee Sandra Oh) before Villanelle (Emmy® nominee Jodie Comer) shot Eve, leaving her for dead in Rome.
Killing Eve season two doubled its season one audience in Nielsen live/same day ratings and grew 87 percent in total viewers and 78 percent in the key adults 25-54 demo from season one in live+7, the highest season-over-season growth of any TV drama in the last four years. Season two averaged 1.8 million viewers per episode, including 754,000 adults 25-54.
Dame Harriet Walter is represented by Christian Hodell and Elizabeth Fergusson from Hamilton Hodell. Danny Sapani is represented by Gordon and French and Luber Roklin Entertainment.
For season three, British writer Suzanne Heathcote (Fear the Walking Dead) will come on board to serve as lead writer and executive producer, continuing the tradition of passing the baton to a new female writing voice. Season three will also be executive produced by Sally Woodward Gentle, Lee Morris, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Gina Mingacci, Damon Thomas and Sandra Oh and produced by Nige Watson. Jeff Melvoin (Designated Survivor, Alias) also joins the team as executive producer. Killing Eve is produced by Sid Gentle Films Ltd. for BBC AMERICA. Endeavor Content handles international sales. The series is based on the Codename Villanelle novellas by Luke Jennings.
Source: BBC America
BBC One Daytime confirms return of crime drama London Kills
London Kills delivered impressive ratings for BBC One daytime. The next series promises to deliver even more of the terrific twists and turns that have left viewers eager for more.
BBC One Daytime has confirmed the return of popular police drama London Kills, following its recent success in the schedule. The first series averaged an audience of 1.2m – a total of 2.1m viewers watched the first episode across all platforms – making it the biggest daytime drama of the year.
Acquired from Acorn Media International (AMI), the drama features a stand-out cast of great British acting talent, including Hugo Speer (Father Brown) and Sharon Small (The Inspector Lynley Mysteries).
London is the backdrop for an elite murder squad, comprised of Detective Inspector David Bradford (Hugo Speer); ambitious Detective Sergeant Vivienne Cole (Sharon Small), who plays by her own rules; seasoned crime-solver Detective Constable Rob Brady (Bailey Patrick); and inexperienced Trainee Detective Constable Billie Fitzgerald (Tori Allen-Martin).
The second series will see detectives tackle a brand new murder case in each episode, but it’s the one mystery David can’t solve that continues to haunt him. In a dramatic plot twist, detectives will begin to think the unthinkable: did the Detective Inspector murder his wife?
Sue Deeks, Head of Programme Acquisition, BBC says: “London Kills delivered impressive ratings for BBC One daytime, along with a significant uplift in iPlayer requests, and we are delighted that the drama has been so popular with BBC audiences. The next series promises to deliver even more of the terrific twists and turns that have left viewers eager for more.”
Stuart Shaw, Managing Director, Acorn Media International, says: “We’re thrilled with how well BBC audiences have responded to London Kills and they will now be able to enjoy a second series next year.”
London Kills are 5 x 60’ series Executive Produced by Paul Marquess, Shane Murphy for Acorn Media Enterprises, and Sarah Eichenlaub for ZDF Enterprises. Series 2 is written by Paul Marquess, Sarah-Louise Hawkins, Jake Riddell, Sally Tatchell and Claire Fryer, and directed by Fiona Walton and Sean Glynn.
London Kills (Series Two) will be back on BBC One Daytime in early 2020.
Filming has begun on the new series of hit detective drama, Endeavour starring Shaun Evans and Roger Allam
Filming has begun on the seventh series of ITV’s hugely popular detective drama, Endeavour, as it is confirmed that an eighth instalment has already been commissioned to air in 2021.
The latest series of critically-acclaimed drama, which is produced by leading drama indie Mammoth Screen – part of ITV Studios – in partnership with Masterpiece, will consist of three, brand new interconnecting feature-length films. Each film will once again be written by Russell Lewis who has penned all 27 Endeavour screenplays to date.
Shaun Evans reprises his role as DS Endeavour Morse, alongside Roger Allam as DCI Fred Thursday for a new set of compelling cases. Following the success of his directorial debut on the drama during series six, Shaun Evans will also be directing the first film of the new series.
In addition, Anton Lesser (Game Of Thrones) returns as CS Reginald Bright, Sean Rigby (Gunpowder) as DS Jim Strange, James Bradshaw (Close To The Enemy) as Dr Max DeBryn, Abigail Thaw (I Want My Wife Back) as Dorothea Frazil, Caroline O’Neill (Last Tango In Halifax) as Win Thursday and Sara Vickers (Watchmen) as Joan Thursday.
The new trilogy of films mark Endeavour and his colleagues entering a new decade and era of change. Opening on New Year’s Eve 1970, normal order has been resumed, and the team reunited at Castle Gate CID, with Chief Superintendent Bright back in charge. However, the events of the past year have left their mark, and the new series will see old friendships challenged and new relationships blossom.
In the dawn of women’s liberation, social progression and scientific growth, the 1970s begin for Oxford’s finest with the discovery of a body at the canal towpath on New Year’s Day. With the only clue in the investigation a witness who heard whistling on the night of the crime, the team have their work cut out to uncover their culprit.
With a strong, overarching plot connecting the three films, the seventh series will test Endeavour’s moral compass to breaking point, both personally and professionally.
Writer Russell Lewis commented:
“The prospect of Colin Dexter’s immortal creation entering a new decade is hugely exciting for all of #TeamEndeavour. We’re always looking to break new ground, and go places we haven’t been before – both physically and emotionally. The narrative design of this series gives us the opportunity to deliver a particularly distinctive story shape. Though each film can be enjoyed as a standalone – we have approached Endeavour 1970 as three panels of a triptych, or – in musical terms – a grand opera that unfolds across three acts. Whether it wears the mask of comedy or tragedy remains to be seen…”
Executive producer Damien Timmer commented:
“It’s a thrill to enter a new decade and tell more tales of the not-quite-so-young-now Endeavour Morse, to be transmitted half a century after they took place! Russell has some very striking stories to tell in this new set of films which we hope will baffle, unnerve and delight the show’s fans!”
This month sadly saw the passing of Australian composer Barrington Pheloung who created the iconic themes for Inspector Morse, Lewis and Endeavour. Well known for hiding clues and references in his moving scores, the BAFTA nominee was synonymous with the long-running franchise.
Russell Lewis pays tribute to the classical composer, saying:
“This year, Oxford’s Finest assemble in the shadow of an all too recent immeasurable loss in our creative family. It is impossible to think of Morse without hearing in one’s mind’s ear the spine tingling pulse that underpins Barrington Pheloung’s melancholy and stately theme. All who have taken an interest in the adventures of Morse, Lewis, and now Endeavour over the past thirty-odd years are ever in his creative debt. Those of us who worked with him and took inspiration from his extraordinary talent are determined to make Endeavour 1970 a series of which he would have been proud.”
Recently voted the fourth greatest British crime drama of all time in a poll conducted by Radio Times, Endeavour has gone from strength to strength since its first outing as a one-off film in 2012. Receiving praise from critics and viewers alike, the sixth series launched with a consolidated audience of 6.9m and a 27% share, marking Endeavour’s biggest audience since 2014.
Filmed in and around Oxford, the new films will be executive produced by Mammoth Screen’s Damien Timmer, alongside writer and creator Russell Lewis and WGBH’s Rebecca Eaton. James Levison will produce the series and ITV Studios Global Entertainment will distribute the series internationally.
Mammoth Screen is one of the UK’s leading production companies. Current and forthcoming shows include POLDARK series 5, WORLD ON FIRE, THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, THE PALE HORSE, NOUGHTS AND CROSSES and THE SERPENT for BBC One and Netflix, INVISIBLE, VICTORIA and SINGAPORE GRIP for ITV. (ITV)
Auditions underway for The Greatest Dancer series two as Todrick Hall joins as fourth Dance Captain
American star of stage and screen Todrick Hall joins Cheryl, Matthew Morrison and Oti Mabuse as the new fourth Dance Captain on The Greatest Dancer, which returns to BBC One in early 2020.
Todrick is a choreographer, actor, dancer, singer, songwriter and director, who has choreographed videos for global superstars including Beyoncé, and most recently starred in and co-executive produced the music video to Taylor Swift’s hit single You Need To Calm Down. He is a recurring judge and resident choreographer on RuPaul’s Drag Race in the USA.
Todrick Hall says: “Thrilled does not even begin to explain how excited I am to be joining the cast and crew of The Greatest Dancer. As a performer who has danced my whole life and been a contestant on a reality competition show, it’s wild to see my career come full circle this way. I’m looking forward to working with the upcoming talent and to join the BBC family for the second season of a show that has proven to be a huge, smashing success.”
Joining Todrick will be fellow Dance Captains all returning from series one, multi-platinum-selling singer Cheryl; Broadway and Glee star Matthew Morrison; and Strictly Come Dancing professional and reigning series one champion, Oti Mabuse. Also back for series two are hosts Alesha Dixon and Jordan Banjo.
Taking over reception will be Ballroom and Latin dance champion and Love Island 2019 finalist Curtis Prichard, who will be welcoming hopefuls to The Greatest Dancer studio as they prepare for the biggest audition of their lives.
Cheryl says: “I am so excited to be back, I absolutely loved it last series and this year promises to be even more amazing, especially with the addition of Todrick, who I’m obsessed with!”
Matthew Morrison says: “Season one of The Greatest Dancer was such a rewarding experience to be a part of. Alongside Oti and Cheryl, it was a privilege to help guide the immense talent who showed us all just how inspiring dance can be. I look forward to seeing how we push the boundaries throughout season two in order to crown our next Greatest Dancer!”
Oti Mabuse said: “I cannot wait to get back to work on The Greatest Dancer with this fantastic team, Cheryl, Matthew, Alesha and Jordan and welcoming newest captain Todrick and receptionist Curtis to the family. I’m excited to see the fresh new talented dancers who are auditioning and ready to leave their hearts on the floor and see who the mirror opens for! Plus I can’t wait to see my amazing winner Ellie perform at Strictly Come Dancing, she’s such a superstar and I’m exceptionally proud of her.”
Auditions for The Greatest Dancer, a co-production between creators Thames (part of Fremantle UK), and Syco Entertainment began on Friday 9 August at the ICC in Birmingham with the series due to air in early 2020. Viewers can get ready to see talent from across the world of dance from ballet to jazz, street to ballroom, contemporary to disco and see if they have what it takes to get 75 percent of the audience vote and open the famous The Greatest Dancer mirror.
The Greatest Dancer will be executive produced by Nigel Hall, Global Head of Television, Syco Entertainment, Amelia Brown, Managing Director, Thames TV and Louise Hutchinson, Executive Producer, Thames TV.
The series has been commissioned for BBC One by Charlotte Moore, Director BBC Content, and Kate Phillips, Controller Entertainment Commissioning. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Kalpna Patel-Knight. (BBC)