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Friday, 19 November 2021

NEWS Roundup: The BBC marks 100 Years, First Look at Pam & Tommy and Bloods Returns


*To mark 100 years of the BBC in 2022, the Corporation has announced a bumper year of sports, events and landmark commissions for TV, Radio, and Online to inform, educate and entertain the nation, under the banner BBC 100. In 2022 special content will range from the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee to the Women’s Euros, the World Cup and Commonwealth Games, a host of new dramas and comedies plus Frozen Planet II, while BBC Three is set to return as a broadcast channel. The BBC will also broadcast specials of its biggest shows around its 100th birthday. Strictly Come Dancing, Doctor Who, Top Gear, MasterChef, The Apprentice and Antiques Roadshow will all be marking the centenary in their own unique way.

In commissions for TV and iPlayer, comedy The Love Box In Your Living Room with Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse will take a look at the BBC’s last 100 years mixing contemporary footage with “genuinely authentic made-up stuff”. Here’s One I Made Earlier is a very special programme which explores and celebrates the very best of British Children’s Programming from the past 100 years, to mark the BBC Centenary. From the very first radio broadcast of Children’s Hour in 1922, via the iconic Magic Roundabout and the chaotic fun of Tiswas, right through to Saturday morning megahits such as Going Live and SMTV, Here’s One I Made Earlier promises to treat viewers to the ultimate story of one of the most important TV genres. Blue Peter’s longest-serving female presenter, Konnie Huq, will guide viewers through this extraordinary cultural and historical adventure, featuring not only nostalgic highlights from the past century, but also showcasing how Children’s TV has been at the forefront of change, social progression and inclusivity. BBC Three will return with a renewed focus on British drama with four series written by and starring some of the foremost new talent and voices the UK has to offer. In 2022 audiences can look forward to Superhoe, written by and starring Nicôle Lecky; a contemporary horror series from the Clarkson Twins set in Bolton titled Red Rose; emerging writer Ryan J Brown’s thriller Wrecked; and an adaptation of Sally Rooney’s award-winning debut novel Conversations with Friends.

*HULU have released a trailer for their upcoming series Pam and Tommy. The eight-episode dramedy tracks the relationship between then-Baywatch star Anderson and Mötley Crüe drummer Lee, who married less than a week after they met in 1995. A sex tape they made during their honeymoon was stolen from their home and distributed online. Anderson and Lee sued the distributor, Internet Entertainment Group, and eventually reached a settlement under which the tape became public again. Lily James and Sebastian Stan star as the couple with Seth Rogen and Nick Offerman starring as the pair who stumble across the tape.

The series will air on HULU in the US in February. The show will air in the UK via Star on Disney+ and doesn't have an official start date yet.

*Dave has commissioned a new comedy entitled We Are Not Alone. Set six weeks after aliens have invaded and completely conquered Earth, We Are Not Alone explores the culture clash between humankind and its new alien masters, who are trying to make sense of a planet so confusing and idiotic that its inhabitants can't even agree which side of the road to drive on. The series will be written by Laurence Rickard and Ben Willbond.

*The BBC have released a trailer for upcoming four-part drama You Don't Know Me. Tom Edge (Vigil) has written the drama which is Based on Imran Mahmood's bestselling novel. The story centres on a young man, who, with overwhelming evidence against him, stands accused of murder. At his trial, Hero (Samuel Adewunmi) tells an extraordinary story. It is about the woman he loves, Kyra (Sophie Wilde) who got into terrible trouble. It’s about how he risked everything to save her. He swears he’s innocent. But in the end, all that matters is this: do you believe him?

The series begins Sunday 5th December, and continues Monday 6th December on BBC One and iPlayer.

*Netflix is to change the way it calculates its top 10. The rankings will now be based on the total number of hours viewed for a given title, rather than Netflix’s previous standard of a two-minute sample. The change is a move toward more data transparency at Netflix, although it — along with every other streaming provider — also collects a lot of information that remains at the level of state secret. That includes how many users complete a show or film, whether a title drives subscriptions or retention of existing users, and what Netflix terms “efficiency,” a measure of cost versus the number of people who watch a given title. Total viewing time is, however, a more digestible metric than its former two-minute “view” standard and could give producers and talent a bit of insight into how the projects they make for Netflix perform — at least relative to other titles on the platform.

*First look images have been released for the upcoming BBC One and Prime Video psychological thriller CHLOE. Starring Erin Doherty (The Crown), the thriller follows Becky Green (Doherty) who has been watching Chloe Fairbourne (Poppy Gilbert) via her perfect social media images for some time; Chloe’s charmed life, adoring husband and circle of high-achieving friends are always just a click away. Becky can’t resist watching a life that contrasts so starkly with her own; a life spent caring for her mother, who has early-onset dementia, in their small seaside flat on the outskirts of Bristol. When Chloe dies suddenly, Becky assumes a new identity and infiltrates the enviable lives of Chloe's closest friends to find out what happened to her. Set in Bristol and created by Alice Seabright (writer, director, Sex Education) the six one hour episodes will premiere in 2022 on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK and will be available on Prime Video in the U.S. and more than 240 countries and territories worldwide.

*Filming has started on a new series of Sky Original Bloods, Sky’paramedic comedy starring BAFTA-nominated Samson Kayo and Golden Globe-nominated Jane Horrocks. The bigger 10-episode series will air on Sky Comedy and streaming service NOW in two viewing drops coming in 2022. 

Bloods follows tough-acting loner Maleek (Kayo) and over-friendly divorcee Wendy (Horrocks), a pair of mismatched paramedics and their fellow ambulance station colleagues through the life-saving world of a south London emergency service. Katherine Kelly (Innocent, Liar) joins the cast in the two new series as the ambulance stations acting counsellor and listening ear and Nathan Foad (Our Flag Means Death) will play Wendy’s son Spencer.  The shows returning cast include; Lucy Punch (Motherland) as boisterous station boss Jo and Julian Barratt (Mighty Boosh) as grieving widower Lawrence. Adrian Scarborough (Gavin and Stacey) and Aasiya Shah (Raised By Wolves) reprise their roles as Gary and Kareshma, paramedics with diametrically opposing career outlooks, and Kevin Garry (Ted Lasso) and Sam Campbell (Melbourne International Comedy Festival Barry Award winner) as the glued-to-the-hip duo of paramedics Darrell and Darryl. The first series will be available to stream in the US via Hulu from December 9th.

*The BBC have confirmed a fifth series of comedy Two Doors Down. The series, which stars Arabella Weir, Alex Norton, Jamie Quinn, Kieran Hodgson, Elaine C Smith, Doon Mackichan and Jonathan Watson is expected in December.

*US network Starz has announced plans to resurrect its cancelled comedy Party Down for a third season. Original stars Ken Marino, Adam Scott, Jane Lynch, Martin Starr, Ryan Hansen and Megan Mullally will all be returning with Lizzie Caplan unable to return due to a scheduling conflict. The series centred around a group of jobbing actors who worked for a catering firm.

*Apple TV+ have confirmed a date for their murder-mystery comedy series, The Afterparty. The comedy will debut on Friday, January 28, 2022. The Afterparty is a murder-mystery comedy set at a high school reunion afterparty. Each of the eight episodes will feature a retelling of the same night told through a different character’s perspective, each with its own unique visual format and film genre to match the teller’s personality. The impressive cast includes Tiffany Haddish, Sam Richardson, Zoë Chao, Ben Schwartz, Ike Barinholtz, Ilana Glazer, Dave Franco and Stath Lets Flats star Jamie Demetriou. The eight-episode first season will launch with three episodes, followed by one new episode weekly every Friday.

*The BBC has acquired superhero drama Superman & Lois, with series one coming to BBC One on Saturday 4th December and all episodes streaming on BBC iPlayer that day. Superman & Lois stars Tyler Hoechlin (Teen Wolf) and Elizabeth Tulloch (Grimm) as the world's most famous superhero, Clark Kent and comic books' most famous journalist, Lois Lane. After years of facing megalomaniacal supervillains, monsters wreaking havoc on Metropolis, and alien invaders intent on wiping out the human race, the pair come face-to-face with one of their greatest challenges ever - dealing with all the stress, pressures and complexities that come with being working parents in today's society. Complicating the already daunting job of raising two boys, Clark and Lois must also concern themselves with whether or not their teenage sons Jonathan and Jordan could inherit their father's Kryptonian superpowers as they grow older. The first series will begin on BBC One on Saturday 4 December, with all 15 episodes arriving on BBC iPlayer. 


*Sky has confirmed the start of Julian Fellow's new series The Gilded Age. The period drama coming to Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW on 25 January.

The series reunites writer/creator Julian Fellowes, executive producer Gareth Neame and director Michael Engler, the creative team behind both the award-winning Downton Abbey series and feature film. The ensemble cast includes Carrie Coon, Morgan Spector, Denée Benton, Louisa Jacobson, Taissa Farmiga, Blake Ritson, Simon Jones, Harry Richardson, Thomas Cocquerel, Jack Gilpin, with Cynthia Nixon and Christine Baranski. The trailer has been released.

The American Gilded Age was a period of immense economic change, of great conflict between the old ways and brand new systems, and of huge fortunes made and lost.  Against the backdrop of this transformation, the story begins in 1882 with young Marian Brook (Louisa Jacobson) moving from rural Pennsylvania to New York City after the death of her father to live with her thoroughly old money aunts Agnes van Rhijn (Christine Baranski) and Ada Brook (Cynthia Nixon).

Accompanied by Peggy Scott (Denée Benton), an aspiring writer seeking a fresh start, Marian inadvertently becomes enmeshed in a social war between one of her aunts, a scion of the old money set, and her stupendously rich neighbours, a ruthless railroad tycoon and his ambitious wife, George (Morgan Spector) and Bertha Russell (Carrie Coon). Exposed to a world on the brink of the modern age, will Marian follow the established rules of society, or forge her own path?

The 9-part series will be available from 25 January on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW.


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