BBC Four controller Richard Klein recently revealed announced a whole host of new commissions for the channel which includes a year long focus on comedy and a continued commitment to highlight international drama.
Top of the list is the official announcement that the channel will start airing the Emmy-nominated American sitcom Parks and Recreation. The show stars Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope a hard-working bureaucrat who wants to make her small Indiana town a little bit more fun and serves on several committees. Brian Cox will also bring his Radio 4 creation Bob Servant to the screen in a new sitcom that sees this pompous Dundonian businessman attempt to run as an independent candidate in his town’s local by-election. The Storyville strand will continue to entertain as it presents the definitive biography of legendary stand-up comedian Richard Pryor while there is more stand-up on offer as Simon Amstell performs a special version of his live show Numb. In addition to these shows there will be some documentaries surrounding comedy including Michael Grade’s search for the World’s Oldest Joke, a new series of Old Jews Telling Jokes and people from all walks of life trying to make us laugh in Some Vicars, Some Scousers and Some Boffins tell jokes.
BBC4 has also been a channel known for its biographical dramas and they present yet another offering with An Innocent Abroad which is a look at how PG Woodhouse fell from grace and was exiled from the country he loved. The one-off drama stars Tim Piggot-Smith and Zoe Wanamaker and explores how Wodehouse became a pawn in the biggest propaganda battle of the Second World War. More international crime drama comes courtesy of Young Montalbano which focuses on the early years of the popular Sicilian Detective and is set in the early 1990s. More crime drama comes courtesy of a new Welsh show – Hinterland which is set in a Coastal Town in Aberystwyth focuses on DCI Tom Mathias a brilliant but troubled detective who is on the run from his past.
As you would expect from the channel there is also a whole host of documentaries with art being the focus of programmes such as Treasures of the Louvre and The Rivera A History in Pictures. The channel also welcomes Dr Michael Mosley to present a three-part series in which he documents the ways in which doctors learnt to use the world around in order to heal our bodies. Pain, Pus and Poisons will see Mosley explore how certain chemicals were discovered, captured, understood and finally exploited.