It’s another BIG news Update
*Channel 4 has commissioned an eight-part crime thriller Suspect (w/t) which is an adaptation of the original Danish series. The 8 x 30’ drama stars James Nesbitt, Joely Richardson, Anne-Marie Duff, Richard E. Grant, Ben Miller, Niamh Algar, Antonia Thomas, Sacha Dhawan, Sam Heughan and Imogen King. When veteran detective, Danny Frater (played by James Nesbitt), turns up at a hospital mortuary for what he thinks is a routine ID check on a young woman’s body, he gets a devastating shock; the corpse turns out to be his estranged daughter, Christina (played by Imogen King). Danny is traumatized by the news that according to the post-mortem report, she’s taken her own life. Danny and Christina had a complicated father-daughter relationship in recent years, but he refuses to accept that she would have ended her own life. He sets out on a mission for the truth, retracing her last days and hours, in an agonising crusade to discover what really happened to his only child.Through a series of intense exchanges with those closest to Christina – her partner, Nicola (played by Niamh Algar), her best friend, Maia (played Antonia Thomas), her business partner, Jaisal (played by Sacha Dhawan), her godfather, Ryan (played by Sam Heughan), her mentor, Harry (played by Richard E. Grant) and finally her mother, Susannah and Danny’s ex-wife (played by Anne-Marie Duff) – Danny learns about his daughter’s descent into delinquency. He is forced to confront his own failings as a father whilst struggling to make sense of a mass of contradictory testimony and circumstantial evidence, and he must decide who, if anyone, is responsible for Christina’s death and what he’s going to do about it.
*The BBC has confirmed a new series fronted by Louis Theroux is coming to BBC Two. The series, entitled ‘Forbidden America‘, will see Theroux meet an assortment of content creators who promote far-right views, self-destructive performers – and in some cases alleged predators – whose work involves them promoting and enacting the most risqué, immoral and illegal behaviour. In the first film, Louis meets the young and highly inflammatory figures from the far right, including those who recently came to the broader public’s attention through the notorious Capitol Hill riots. A community primarily made up of men, its leaders stream shows and builds solidarity through online networks. Their followers are a growing army of similar-minded activists who hang on their every word breeding a fast-growing ‘dissident’ nationalist movement that shares deeply racist, homophobic, Anti-Semitic and misogynistic views. Louis will question their opinions and explore how they are stepping out from the shadows of the web to influence events in the real world. In another, Louis will immerse himself in the new world of rap and hip-hop in the southern states of America, and in particular Florida. Rappers, like many artists, have long mined their lives for inspiration to create and promote their music. But raising the stakes is the 24-hour connectivity of social media. A third instalment will explore the porn industry as it grapples with its own Me Too movement. An industry that prides itself on pushing sexual boundaries is asking itself difficult questions about consent and its practices. The rise of platforms like OnlyFans has given performers the financial independence, while social media networks have become a space to publish accusations of sexual misconduct. But there are also those pushing back at what they see as ‘trial by Twitter’, and others who are wary of stigmatising sex work as a haven for predators. Louis will meet a variety of people including those who have been accused and those making significant allegations.
* The BBC has announced that Steve Coogan will portray Jimmy Saville in a new drama which has the working title of The Reckoning. Written by acclaimed writer Neil McKay the mini-series will trace the life of Jimmy Savile, a man who rose from working-class origins to become one of the biggest stars of British television, but in death has become one of the most reviled figures of modern history following revelations of extensive and horrific abuse. The story will trace Savile through his early years in the dance halls of northern England, his career with the BBC, to his twilight years when he sought to dispel the growing rumours about his life and the legacy he would leave behind. The team are working closely with many people whose lives were impacted by Savile to ensure their stories are told with sensitivity and respect, and the drama will also draw on extensive and wide-ranging research sources. It will examine the impact his appalling crimes had on his victims and the powerlessness many felt when they tried to raise the alarm. Steve Coogan says: “To play Jimmy Savile was not a decision I took lightly. Neil McKay has written an intelligent script tackling sensitively an horrific story which – however harrowing – needs to be told.”
Executive Producer, ITV Studios, Jeff Pope says: “The purpose of this drama is to explore how Savile’s offending went unchecked for so long, and in shining a light on this, to ensure such crimes never happen again. Steve Coogan has a unique ability to inhabit complex characters and will approach this role with the greatest care and integrity.”
*Netflix has announced a raft of returning shows as part of TUDUM: A NETFLIX GLOBAL FAN EVENT. These include new series of Netflix hits Sex Education and Stranger Things. They also confirmed return dates for some long-awaited series. The Crown will return November 2022, with Bridgerton and Stranger Things billed as 2022 with no dates confirmed. Colin in Black & White from Shonda Rimes will be available from October 29. The six-episode series will provide an introspective look at Colin Kaepernick’s adolescent years as a Black teen growing up with a white adopted family. It will follow his journey to become a great quarterback while defining his identity and lending meaningful insight into the acts and experiences that led him to become the activist he is today. They also confirmed that Tiger King 2 will stream from November 17th. The streamer also confirmed a second season of its steamy drama Sex/Life revealing that the first season was watched by 67 million households in the first four weeks since its May 25 release.
*ITV has announced a new four-part thriller DI Ray starring Parminder Nagra, written and created by Maya Sondhi and produced by Jed Mercurio’s HTM Television. Set in Birmingham, DI Ray introduces us to Leicester-born Rachita Ray, a police officer who takes on a case that forces her to confront a lifelong personal conflict between her British identity and her South Asian heritage.
*HBO has announced the return date for Curb Your Enthusiasm. The Larry David led comedy will return in the US on Sunday 24th October. The show is expected to air in the UK around the same time on Sky Comedy and Sky backed streamer NOW.
*Amazon Studios has ordered a new series spinoff of The Boys, the Emmy-nominated superhero drama. The untitled new series will premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime Video. Set at America’s only college exclusively for young-adult superheroes (run by Vought International), the Untitled The Boys Spinoff is billed as ‘an irreverent, R-rated series that explores the lives of hormonal, competitive Supes as they put their physical, sexual and moral boundaries to the test, competing for the best contracts in the best cities. It’s part college show, part Hunger Games—with all the heart, satire and raunch of The Boys’ Jaz Sinclair, Lizze Broadway, Shane Paul McGhie, Aimee Carrero, Reina Hardesty and Maddie Phillips will portray young superheroes, with additional cast to be announced.
* The BBC has confirmed Makenzie Crook’s take on Worzel Gummidge will return later this year. Crook has written three one-hour films: Guy Forks, Twitchers, and Calliope Jane – inspired by the classic books by Barbara Euphan Todd, in which he will once again direct and star. The three films will reunite Crook with his Detectorists co-star Toby Jones who will play all six roles of The Village Committee in the Guy Forks episode: the Baker, Butcher, Mayor, Postmaster, Publican and Alderman, alongside Paul Kaye who plays Guy Forks. Bill Bailey co-stars as Mr Peregrine in Calliope Jane, together with Nneka Okoye as Calliope Jane.
*Apple has ordered a series adaptation of the “Amber Brown” books by Paula Danziger. Carsyn Rose will star in the title role. The series will offer an unfiltered look at a girl finding her own voice through art and music in the wake of her parents’ divorce.