Sky today announces a series of new commissions for Sky Living, led by channel Director Antonia Hurford-Jones. With an emphasis on delivering a slate of programming to reflect the diverse, ever-evolving tastes of its customers, a range of drama, factual, entertainment and comedy series are announced which will see talent including actresses Emily Mortimer and Katherine Kelly as well as multi-award winning British writer Simon Blackwell join the channel.
The new commissions will sit alongside the existing US acquisitions and play a key part in Sky’s drive to bring more high-quality, exclusive programmes to customers. It is supported by Sky’s commitment to invest £600 million a year in home-grown programming by 2014, an increase of 50% over three years.
Delivering a broad range of shows featuring a wealth of talent, both on and off screen, the new commissions include:
“Doll & Em” (6 x 30) is an original and exclusive comedy series created by and starring Emily Mortimer and her real-life best friend, Dolly Wells. The series is an intimate, funny portrait of female friendship, set against the backdrop of LA and will also feature a number of surprise high profile celebrity cameos.
“Trying Again” (8 x 30) is an original comedy series written and co-created by Emmy© award-nominated and Oscar© nominated writer Simon Blackwell (Veep, The Thick of It, In the Loop, Peep Show) and Chris Addison (The Thick Of it, In The Loop, Mock The Week). A sitcom about what happens after the affair; it will go into production this summer while casting announcements are due imminently.
“Mount Pleasant” (8 x 60) will return for a third run following the success of the second series and recent Christmas special. The upcoming series written by Sarah Hooper(Shameless) sees the return of Sally Lindsay and Daniel Ryan as Sky delivers more home-grown quality comedy-drama.
“Reckless” (5 x 60) is a series of original scripted drama specials written by some of Britain’s most renowned and critically-acclaimed screenwriters including BAFTA nominated Sally Wainwright, Gwyneth Hughes and Annie Griffin. Confirmed today are Katherine Kelly (Mr Selfridge, Coronation Street) and Anne Reid (Last Tango in Halifax, Coronation Street, Dinnerladies) who will star in Sally Wainwright’s “The Last Witch”; anepic and eerie supernatural tale of revenge.
Life Stages is Sky Living’s first foray into long form programming with three intimate new series’ confirmed for the strand. “Becoming Mum and Dad” (6 x 60), “Newlyweds” (8 x 60), and “She’s Having a Baby” (8 x 60), will chart the varying stages throughout our lives.