From this autumn, bolstered by the biggest investment in its history, Sky 1 will introduce an ambitious new line-up of fresh and modern entertainment for all the family. With a renewed focus on original British productions, which will sit alongside top-quality favourites from the US, the channel will offer customers its biggest line-up of programmes yet.
The new range of shows underlines Sky’s commitment to make Sky 1 a go-to destination for family entertainment. This commitment is supported by a 20% increase in spend on new programmes and, for the first time, there will be brand-new UK drama and comedy all year round, with drama on Wednesdays.
New shows include the globe-trotting end-of-the-world series You, Me & The Apocalypse, and brand new comedy After Hours, directed by Craig Cash. And there’s more from national treasure Karl in Karl Pilkington: The Moaning of Life, an amazing line up of factual shows, hilarious new series of Trollied and Stella, and the exciting return of the worldwide phenomena The Muppets to UK and Irish television.
Featuring some of the biggest and brightest TV talent – including Timothy Spall, James Nesbitt, Ashley Jensen, Patrick Aryee, Geraldine James, Victoria Wood, Ardal O’Hanlon and Keeley Hawes, as well as writers and directors such as Ruth Jones, Joe Wilkinson, David Earl, Neil Biswas and Danny Brocklehurst
From September, Sky 1 will ramp up its commitment to the genre with year-round drama, kicking off with You, Me & The Apocalypse, starring Rob Lowe, Pauline Quirke, Mathew Baynton, Paterson Joseph and Joel Fry in an adrenaline-fuelled, continent-spanning tale about the final days before a comet collides with the earth. Christmas heralds the arrival of the heart-warming four-part drama Fungus the Bogeyman, familiar to so many from the much-loved children’s book by Raymond Briggs. It stars Victoria Wood, Keeley Hawes, Joanna Scanlan and, in the snottiest role of his career, as Fungus, Timothy Spall.
Ashley Jensen will return as Agatha Raisin, with eight new mysteries for the savvy sleuth – based on the bestselling novels of MC Beaton. Acclaimed international best-selling thriller writer Harlan Coben has created his first-ever original story for television with The Five. A taut mystery about the consequences of a terrible childhood incident for a group of friends, it boasts a brilliant cast of British talent, including Tom Cullen, O-T Fagbenle, Lee Ingleby and Sarah Solemani. Comic-book legend Stan Lee has co-created his first UK television drama, alongside acclaimed writer Neil Biswas. Called Lucky Man, it stars James Nesbitt as a down-on-his-luck Murder Squad officer whose fortune mysteriously changes, and it will come to screens in 2016.
There will be brand-new comedy all year round, too, including After Hours, a new series from the stable of Craig Cash. Starring Ardal O’Hanlon, John Thomson and Jaime Winstone, it revolves around a community radio station and the 18-year-old fan (James Tarpey) who can’t get enough of its tunes.
Alongside this comes the funny and down-to-earth Rovers, which captures the agony and ecstasy of life as a fan of a lower-league football team and stars Sue Johnston as queen of the clubhouse.
2015 will also boast new series of Stella, Trollied, which this season will introduce Sarah Parish and Mount Pleasant – with favourite faces Sally Lindsay and Daniel Ryan returning alongside new neighbours played by Nicola Hughes and Patrick Robinson.
Karl Pilkington will make a welcome return to Sky 1 screens with a new series of The Moaning of Life, in which the modern-day philosopher visits more of the world’s most extraordinary places and turns his attention to even more of life’s big issues. Dubliners Baz and Nancy are also back for some more extreme adventures and mother-son bonding as the thrill-seeking presenter tests his mum’s mettle again in 50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy, while everyone’s favourite Wild Things, with Jason Byrne and Kate Humble, also return to cause much more mayhem in the Wild Wood. Alongside this, Duck Quacks Don’t Echo and Desi Rascals return for second series, and there’s more from James Corden and the gang in a tenth series of A League of Their Own and the three-part A League of Their Own: American Road Trip.
Sky 1 will also build on its foray into the natural world with Big Cats: An Amazing Animal Family. Hosted by biologist Patrick Aryee, the two-part documentary series explores the evolution of cats, starting at the very beginning 11 million years ago. And in a new three-part series, Ross Kemp and his BAFTA-winning documentary team are back, this time to explore issues close to home in Ross Kemp’s Britain.