BBC unveils impressive scripted slate for Summer and Fall
BBC America has announced and detailed almost a dozen new and original scripted development projects, all of them set to premiere by fall 2016. These new projects include works from Amy Poehler, Natasha Lyonne, Neal Baer, and the Producers of Top of the Lake.
BBC America recently premiered the newest season of Top Gear this week, the network is now setting up the July premiere of highly-anticipated series “The Hunt.” The company’s announcements today include a new slate of original scripted development projects, and premiere dates for original series including Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. Also detailed today was the new series from Max Landis and the producers of The Walking Dead – Planet Earth II, Ripper Street S4, The Living and the Dead, Undercover and new special David Beckham: For the Love of the Game.
Sarah Barnett, BBC AMERICA President, commented, “Our brand and shows stand out despite the huge volume of TV content right now. BBCA shows are a little different from the mainstream, even if they sometimes end up shaping it. From Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency to Planet Earth II to Top Gear to our new work in development, this is television that US audiences become fanatical about because of its unabashed commitment to an entertaining vision and strong point of view.”
New development projects come to BBCA from high-profile talent including Amy Poehler, Natasha Lyonne, Neal Baer, and See-Saw Films, the producers of Top of the Lake, among others. Projects include: (as detailed by the BBC)
Executive Produced by Amy Poehler and Brooke Posch through Paper Kite Productions along with Natasha Lyonne, Eilon Ratzkovsky (July August Productions), Israeli filmmaker Talya Lavie and Tami Sagher (Girls, Inside Amy Schumer) who is executive producing and writing. Zero Motivation is based on the award-winning feature film from Lavie. It is a comedic and dramatic glimpse into the Israeli army through the eyes of an eclectic cast of young women, who quickly learn they will be stationed at a remote human resources office pushing paper in the middle of the Negev desert.
Adam Barken (Killjoys, Flashpoint) is set to write Memoria, an emotionally driven sci-fi drama about a man who begins to unravel after his memories conflict with technology. Temple Street, the company behind BBCA’s Orphan Black is producing.
Nicola Shindler’s RED Production Company (Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax, Queer as Folk) and Simon Oakes’ Hammer Films (The Woman in Black, The Resident) are set to produce Quatermass – a modern remake of the British series that follows Professor Bernard Quatermass and his daughter, Sarah, as they investigate an alien invasion. Jeremy Dyson (League of Gentlemen, Ghost Story) is attached to write. STUDIOCANAL will handle the worldwide distribution and be the Studio for Quatermass.
Junk is a satirical look inside the world of the soda and junk food industry. Dean Craig (Death at a Funeral) is set to write, and Neal Baer (Under the Dome, Law & Order: SVU, ER) will executive produce.
Foreign Babes in Beijing
Rachel DeWoskin and Zayd Dohrn are developing a series set in Beijing based on DeWoskin’s memoir of the same name, which chronicles her personal experiences as a soap opera actress on Chinese television. Manage-ment’s Dan Halsted is producing along with Andre and Maria Jacquemetton (Mad Men).
Australian writer Louise Fox (creator of Australian Broadcasting Corp’s Glitch) is set to write Trip, a thrilling reimagining of the classic Chinese novel, Monkey: Journey to the West, which explores the journey of reincarnation. See-Saw Films (Top of the Lake and The King’s Speech) is set to produce.
Upcoming premiere dates on BBC AMERICA include Ripper Street season 4 on July 28th, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency on October 22nd, Undercover on November 17th, The Living and the Dead in Fall 2016, and Planet Earth II coming in Winter 2017. The channel’s slate also includes the previously announced premiere of The Hunt on July 3rd.
Narrated by famed naturalist Sir David Attenborough, the new series comes from multi-Emmy®-winning executive producer Alastair Fothergill (The Blue Planet, Frozen Planet) and series producer Huw Cordey (South Pacific, Frozen Planet) – the makers of the landmark series Planet Earth, which captivated audiences around the world in over 130 countries. Through character driven stories, The Hunt illustrates in dramatic detail the strategies predators use to catch their prey (and those that the prey use to escape), with each episode centering on one of our planet’s key habitats. From open grasslands and dense forests to the arctic and the open ocean, the cutting-edge seven-part series features rarely seen wildlife and animal behavior – revealing like never before the challenges predators and prey face in these very different worlds.
BBC AMERICA’s critically-acclaimed drama is a vivid, sensual descent into the often-violent lives of the men and women of Whitechapel in late Victorian London. Matthew Macfadyen stars as Detective Inspector Reid, Jerome Flynn as Detective Inspector Bennet Drake, Adam Rothenberg as Captain Homer Jackson and MyAnna Buring as Long Susan. In this shadowy world, police and criminals are the closest of enemies, and sometimes the strangest of allies.
The Living and the Dead
In 1894, a newlywed couple inherits a farm in the English countryside, and begins their new life there together. But their arrival in the isolated community unleashes strange supernatural phenomena that threaten their marriage and their survival. The Living and the Dead is an uncanny, intriguing and disturbing drama, steeped in the eeriness of the rural world, just as the industrial revolution is poised to crash in and disrupt old certainties. This original six-part series, created by Ashley Pharoah (Life On Mars, Ashes To Ashes, Moonfleet), will star Colin Morgan (Humans, The Fall, Merlin) and Charlotte Spencer (Glue, Stonemouth, Line Of Duty).
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
From the producers of The Walking Dead and penned by Max Landis – the mind behind cult classic Chronicle – BBCA’s new original series Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is a comedic thriller that follows the bizarre adventures of eccentric “holistic” detective Dirk Gently (Samuel Barnett) and his reluctant assistant Todd (Elijah Wood), as they wend their way through one big, seemingly insane mystery a season, crossing unlikely paths with a bevy of wild and sometimes dangerous characters, each episode landing them a few random steps closer to uncovering the truth. The series is an adaptation of Douglas Adams’ (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Doctor Who) wildly successful comic novels, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, and is set in the unexpected world of the hyper, absurd, eponymous detective Dirk Gently.
A six part limited series, Undercover, features lead character Maya, who is about to become the first black woman to hold the highest ranking public prosecutor role in England. Just as her life comes under intense public scrutiny she discovers her husband Nick, and the father of her children, has been lying to her for years. Is he concealing an affair, or is it something altogether more sinister? If she digs up his real past will she jeopardize her own future? What price do you pay for uncovering lies? And who wants her in the top job, and why? From BAFTA-winner Peter Moffat (Criminal Justice) and directed by James Hawes (Penny Dreadful), the series stars Academy Award-nominee Sophie Okonedo (The Secret Life of Bees, Hotel Rwanda) as Maya, Adrian Lester (Red Band Society, London Spy) as Nick and Golden Globe®-nominee Dennis Haysbert (24, The Unit) as Rudy Jones.
Planet Earth II
A decade ago, Planet Earth redefined natural history filmmaking, giving us the ultimate portrait of life on Earth. Planet Earth II will reveal our planet from a completely new perspective, using significant advances in both filming technology and our understanding of the natural world. Travelling through jungles, deserts, mountains, islands, grasslands and cities, the series explores the unique characteristics of Earth’s most iconic habitats and the extraordinary ways animals survive within them.
In BBCA’s new 90 minute special David Beckham: For the Love of the Game, soccer legend David Beckham sets himself the challenge of a lifetime: to play seven soccer matches on all seven continents of the globe and get back to the UK in time for his own star-studded UNICEF fundraising match. Playing the beautiful game in some of the most challenging and remote locations of the world, Beckham discovers how important soccer is to the many different people he meets and plays with. In this up close and personal portrait, David visits locations ranging from the icy landscapes of Antarctica to the jungles of Papua New Guinea while reflecting on soccer’s unique ability to inspire and unite people across the world.