HBO Max And BBC One To Co-Produce JP Delaney’s THE GIRL BEFORE





HBO Max And BBC One To Co-Produce JP Delaney’s THE GIRL BEFORE

Limited Series Stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw And Golden Globe® And Emmy® Nominee David Oyelowo

HBO Max and BBC One will co-produce the psychological thriller THE GIRL BEFORE, a four-episode limited series based on the global bestselling book of the same name, from 42 starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw (“The Morning Show,” “Misbehaviour”) and Golden Globe®, BAFTA, and Emmy®-nominated actor David Oyelowo (“Selma,” “Les Misérables”). Emmy nominated Lisa Brühlmann (“Killing Eve,” “Servant,” “Blue My Mind”) will direct.

Logline: THE GIRL BEFORE tells the story of Jane (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), who gets the chance to move into a beautiful, ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect (David Oyelowo). There’s just one catch: occupants have to abide by his list of exacting rules. Jane starts to feel the house changing her in unexpected ways but, when she makes the shocking discovery that her predecessor Emma died in the house, she’s forced to confront unnerving similarities. As the two women’s timelines interweave, Jane begins to question if her fate will be the same as the girl before…
Jeniffer Kim, senior vice president, International Originals, HBO Max quote: “We jumped at the chance to co-produce JP Delaney’s intricate mind twister, THE GIRL BEFORE, with the BBC and 42. With what will surely be stellar performances from the incomparable Gugu Mbatha-Raw and David Oyelowo, One Folgate Street is about to welcome new house guests from both sides of the pond.”

Gugu Mbatha-Raw quote: “I’m so excited to work with this amazing team on such a compelling story in my debut role as an actor and producer.”

David Oyelowo quote: “This story is mind bending in its clever construction and intricacy. I can’t wait to see it, let alone be in it. Plus, I’d go anywhere to work with my friend Gugu again.”

JP Delaney quote: “Having written for the screen in a previous career, it’s long been a dream of mine to adapt THE GIRL BEFORE, but I was determined to only do it if I could find partners who wanted to pursue high-quality, classy storytelling above all else. You really couldn’t get a more quality-focused line-up than 42, the BBC and HBO Max – and we’ve already attracted world-class talent in the shape of Lisa, Gugu and David. Psychological thrillers can be even more gripping on television than they would be as movies, and I’m incredibly excited to be re-telling this particular story in a visual medium. It’s also been great fun to collaborate on episodes two and three with a brilliant co-writer, Marissa Lestrade.”

Lisa Brühlmann quote: “Can our surroundings, like a special house, affect who we are, even change us? The ability to change our beliefs and our character is highly fascinating to me. I can’t wait to bring this female driven thriller to life.”

Eleanor Moran and Rory Aitken, executive producers for 42 quote: “We’re thrilled to have the chance to bring JP Delaney’s adaptation of his unforgettable bestseller to the small screen. Gugu Mbatha-Raw always brings such emotional complexity to her roles, and having an actor as accomplished as David Oyelowo as her co-lead is a dream come true. Lisa Brühlmann’s singular vision will add a whole other layer to the show. We can’t wait to introduce a global audience to the extraordinary secrets hidden behind the walls of One Folgate Street.”

Piers Wenger, director of BBC Drama quote: “The scripts JP Delaney has prepared for THE GIRL BEFORE are just as addictive and unputdownable as his riveting novel. To have Gugu and David leading the cast, Lisa Brühlmann directing and Marissa Lestrade co-writing episodes really underlines the quality of this production and I can’t wait to see One Folgate Street on screen.”
The limited series will stream in the U.S. on HBO Max and will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK, with WarnerMedia also controlling rights for additional select territories around the world.
A global bestseller, “The Girl Before” has sold over one million copies since its publication in 2016. It is published by Quercus in the UK and Ballantine in the U.S.

Credits: Created, written and executive produced by JP Delaney, THE GIRL BEFORE is adapted from Delaney’s own best-selling novel of the same title. Additional executive producers include Eleanor Moran, Rory Aitken and Ben Pugh for 42, Ben Irving for the BBC, and Lisa Brühlmann. Rhonda Smith will produce and Gugu Mbatha-Raw is an associate producer. Marissa Lestrade (“White Stork,” “Deep State 2”) will co-write episodes of the series. ITV Studios is the international distributor and brokered the co-commission deal with HBO Max.

About Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Gugu Mbatha-Raw is an award-winning actor of the stage and screen. Her stage performances include “Hamlet,” alongside Jude Law in the West End, “Elsinore” in Denmark and Broadway, and “Nell Gwynn,” for which she was nominated for ‘Best Actress’ at the 2015 Evening Standard Theatre awards.

In film, Gugu has starred in “Larry Crowne” alongside Tom Hanks, as well as the period drama, “Belle,” for which Gugu won Best Actress at the 2014 BIFA Awards. She has also starred in “Concussion,” alongside Will Smith, “The Whole Truth,” starring Keanu Reeves and Renée Zellweger, “Miss Sloane” with Jessica Chastain, “Free State of Jones” with Matthew McConaughey and “Beauty and the Beast.” Additional roles include Disney’s ground-breaking blockbuster fantasy, “A Wrinkle in Time,” opposite Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon, “Cloverfield Paradox,” Stephanie Laing’s “Irreplaceable You,” “Fast Color,” “Motherless Brooklyn,” “Come Away,” “Misbehaviour” and “Summerland.”

In television, Gugu starred in “San Junipero,” an episode from the critically-acclaimed Netflix anthology series, “Black Mirror,” which won two Primetime Emmy® Awards. Gugu also starred in the fan favorite and award-winning Apple TV+ drama series, “The Morning Show.” Upcoming TV projects include “Seacole,” Marvel’s “Loki” on Disney+ opposite Tom Hiddleston, and “Surface,” an eight-part series written by Veronica West, which Gugu will also co-produce alongside Reese Witherspoon.

Outside of her acting credits, Gugu has recently become a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador.

About David Oyelowo
David Oyelowo, a multiple Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Emmy-nominated actor and producer, is one of Hollywood’s most sought-after talents. Oyelowo recently made his directorial debut with “The Water Man,” which premiered at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival to much critical acclaim, and will be released day-and-date in theaters and PVOD on May 7, 2021 by RLJE Films in the U.S., and by Netflix internationally later this year. Oyelowo stars alongside Lonnie Chavis and Rosario Dawson, as well as produces under his Yoruba Saxon banner with ShivHans Pictures and Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films.  This is the sixth film to be produced by his production company, Yoruba Saxon, along with prior films: “Come Away,” “A United Kingdom” and “Nightingale,” amongst others. Oyelowo can currently be seen in George Clooney’s “The Midnight Sky,” which was one of the most-watched titles on Netflix during the holidays and is on course to be watched by 72M households within its first four weeks.  Next, he will be seen in Lionsgate’s “Chaos Walking” with Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland, as well as, Sony’s “Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway” with Rose Byrne and Domhnall Gleeson, both being released this year. Oyelowo is presently in production on Searchlight Pictures untitled murder mystery thriller, in which he stars alongside Saoirse Ronan and Sam Rockwell.   

Additional film credits include: “A United Kingdom,” “Queen Of Katwe,” “Selma,” “Interstellar,” “A Most Violent Year,” “Captive,” “The Butler,” “Lincoln,” “Don’t Let Go,” “The Middle of Nowhere,” “Jack Reacher,” “The Paperboy,” “Red Tails,” “The Help” and “The Last King Of Scotland.”

About 42
42 is a London and LA-based management and production company. Established in 2013, 42 produces films and television dramas, and represents an eclectic range of high-profile and emerging talent. 42’s television credits include the Emmy-award-winning animated miniseries “Watership Down” (BBC/Netflix), adapted by Tom Bidwell; Bash Doran’s spy thriller “Traitors” (C4/Netflix), starring Emma Appleton and Keeley Hawes; and “Wild Bill” (ITV) starring Rob Lowe. 42’s drama about the birth of football, “The English Game,” written and created by Julian Fellowes, is currently available on Netflix.

The company released “Military Wives” starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Sharon Horgan in the UK and globally last year, and next up is Cold War thriller “The Courier” starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Rachel Brosnahan. Sci-fi action adventure “Outside The Wire,” starring Anthony Mackie and Damson Idris, recently opened on Netflix as its Number One film globally. Also for Netflix is Adam Randall’s “Night Teeth,” in post-production. The company is producing “The Silent Twins,” starring Letitia Wright and Tamara Lawrence, which will start shooting later this month.The company has a multi-year first-look development, financing and production deal with MGM for television. On the film side, 42 has a multi-year first-look development, financing and production deal with Netflix.



“Toast of Tinseltown” Confirmed for BBC One and BBC iPlayer





“Toast of Tinseltown” Confirmed for BBC One and BBC iPlayer
The six-episode series succeeds “Toast of London,” which originally aired between 2013 and 2015.
[via press release from BBC]
Toast of Tinseltown confirmed for BBC One and BBC iPlayer

Matt Berry reprises his role of Steven Toast as he moves to Hollywood and attempts to become a movie star in a new six-part series coming to BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

Written and created by Arthur Mathews and Matt Berry and produced by Objective Fiction in association with wiip, Toast of Tinseltown (w/t) will feature a mix of new and returning cast members and is set to be filmed later this year.

The 6×30′ series stars Matt as Steven Toast, an eccentric and arrogant actor determined to win the recognition he mistakenly believes he deserves.

Three series of Toast Of London originally aired between 2013 and 2015, all written by Arthur and Matt, who scooped the Bafta Best Male Comedy Performance for his role.

Matt Berry says: “I couldn’t be more thrilled to not only be working with Arthur and the rest of the Toast family again, but to also be taking the show to the BBC which I know Toast himself would very much approve.”

Arthur Mathews says: “It was a thrill to be writing Toast again after a long gap. Hollywood is a brave new world for Toast. There will be triumphs and tribulations (but mostly tribulations – and indeed humiliations).”

Shane Allen, Controller of BBC Comedy Commissioning says: “This sitcom is one of the stand-out comedy gems of the last decade. His name belongs in the pantheon of celebrated British comedy character buffoons – Partridge, Brent and Toast.”

Ben Farrell, Chief Creative Officer, Objective Fiction, says: “I’m thrilled to be working with wiip and the BBC to bring Toast’s adventures to the ultimate actor’s playground – Hollywood!”

Further broadcast and casting details will be announced in due course.

Toast of Tinseltown (w/t) is an Objective Fiction production in association with wiip, created and written by Arthur Mathews and Matt Berry, commissioned by Shane Allen, Controller, BBC Comedy Commissioning and Kate Phillips, Acting Controller BBC One. The Executive Producers for Objective Fiction are Ben Farrell, Matt Berry and Arthur Mathews with Paul Lee and David Flynn acting as executive producers for wiip. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Kate Daughton.

Objective Fiction is part of Objective Media Group, an All3Media Company.

CM2



BBC One Announces “The Split” Is to Return for Third and Final Series





BBC One Announces “The Split” Is to Return for Third and Final Series
Created and written by Abi Morgan, “The Split” is produced by Sister for BBC One and co-produced with Little Chick and SundanceTV.
[via press release from BBC]
BBC One announces The Split is to return for third and final series

Nicola Walker and Stephen Mangan reprise their roles for one last legal battle as Dee Koppang O’Leary boards as lead director

BBC One, SundanceTV and Sister are thrilled to announce that much-loved The Split, from Bafta and Emmy Award-winning writer Abi Morgan (River, Suffragette, The Hour) and Executive Producers Jane Featherstone (Chernobyl, Giri-Haji, Utopia), Lucy Dyke (The Split, Black Mirror, Ripper Street) and Lucy Richer (Small Axe, The Salisbury Poisonings, The A Word) is set to return for its third and final series.

The second series, which averaged over six million viewers and over 19 million streams, became the third most watched drama series on BBC iPlayer in 2020*. With Dee Koppang O’Leary (Bridgerton, The Crown) boarding as lead director, Nicola Walker, Stephen Mangan, Annabel Scholey, Fiona Button, Deborah Findlay and Chukwudi Iwuji are all set to reprise their roles, with more casting to be confirmed.

Set in the fast paced, complex world of London’s high-end divorce circuit, The Split is an authentic, multi-layered, witty examination of modern marriage and the legacy of divorce. Following the messy lives of the three Defoe sisters, Hannah (Nicola Walker), Nina (Annabel Scholey) and Rose (Fiona Button) and their formidable mother Ruth (Deborah Findlay), Abi Morgan is set to conclude proceedings with the most dramatic and heartbreaking series to date, as we watch a divorce lawyer confronted with her own divorce.

Fans were left devastated as Hannah and Nathan’s (Stephen Mangan) formerly rock-solid marriage finally fell apart as the depth of Hannah’s betrayal was revealed. Ten months on, the two professional divorce lawyers have been respectfully negotiating their separation and seemed to have reached an amicable agreement. As she and Nathan begin to divide up their 20 years together, Hannah faces what she is about to lose. However, a shocking revelation dramatically changes the stakes. And, as the battlelines are redrawn, their dream of achieving the ‘good divorce’ is left in tatters.

As Hannah and Nathan prepare to go head to head in the legal fight of their lives, will they find a path through the wreckage, or is The Split simply too deep to repair?

Abi Morgan says: “It’s great to be back writing for the Defoe Family, and to dive once more into to the complications of their lives and those of their clients. In the final series of this bittersweet trilogy, Hannah faces the heartbreak of her own divorce, and the fight to save her family and her marriage. Siblings clash, past mistakes are exposed and hearts are broken as Noble Hale Defoe notches up more billable hours in the divorce capital of the world.”

Nicola Walker says, “I can’t wait to be back in the Defoe Family, we are all looking forward to the journey Abi has planned for us. I don’t know if Hannah will cling to the wreckage or walk away, but I do know it’s going to be a fantastic ride.”

Sister co-founder Jane Featherstone and Executive Producer Lucy Dyke say: “When Abi first came to us with The Split, she envisioned it as a trilogy. And it’s been a constant joy to work so closely with her to bring to life her beautifully truthful study of modern marriage.

“None of this, of course, would have been possible without the conviction and support of the BBC and AMC Networks who have always trusted the narrative and given total freedom to the way in which Abi wanted to tell it. We are so grateful to our wonderful cast for their passionate commitment across three series. We’re incredibly excited to be embarking on this final part of Hannah and Nathan’s story with Nicola, Stephen and all of the returning cast, and the brilliant Dee Koppang O’Leary on board as lead director. But be warned, there are going to be tears!”

Lucy Richer, Executive Producer for the BBC, says: “The Split is one of our most loved and most talked about drama series and we’re thrilled to be back in production with series three. As ever, Abi Morgan’s incredible writing sparkles with truth and honesty, wit and heartbreak. It is fantastic to be back with the Defoes, with Hannah and Nathan facing their biggest challenge yet – how to survive the break up of their marriage, and navigate their own divorce.”

Dan McDermott, president of original programming for AMC Networks, says: “With its incredible cast, addictive storytelling and insight into modern marriage, The Split has been extremely popular with SundanceTV and Sundance Now subscribers. We’re thrilled to work with our partners at Sister and BBC One on its highly anticipated final series.”

Created and written by Abi Morgan, The Split is produced by Sister for BBC One, co-produced with Little Chick and SundanceTV, and was re-commissioned by Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama, Charlotte Moore, Chief Content Officer BBC and Kristin Jones, EVP of international programming, AMC Networks. Series Three is executive produced by Sister Co- Founder Jane Featherstone (Chernobyl, Giri-Haji, Utopia), writer and creator Abi Morgan (River, Suffragette, The Hour), Lucy Dyke (Black Mirror, Ripper Street) and Lucy Richer (Small Axe, The Salisbury Poisonings, The A Word) for the BBC. Dee Koppang O’Leary (Bridgerton, The Crown) boards as the lead director with Emma Genders stepping into her first producing role. Casting continues with filming due to start in 2021.

The Split series one and two are available to view on BBC iPlayer.

*does not include continuing drama titles



BBC Two Commissions “Unsolved Histories with Lucy Worsley”





BBC Two Commissions “Unsolved Histories with Lucy Worsley”
PBS will co-produce the four-part series, which will see historian Lucy Worsley turn sleuth by reopening and completely re-evaluating infamous mysteries.
[via press release from BBC]
BBC Two commissions Unsolved Histories With Lucy Worsley

Lucy Worsley will reinvestigate and reveal new evidence about some of British history’s biggest unsolved mysteries in a new four-part series for BBC Two from BBC Studios’ The Documentary Unit, co-produced by PBS.
Who killed the Princes in the tower in 1483? What actually caused the Black Death? Why did a witch craze sweep 16th century Britain? Was George III really mad?

These are some of the most enduring and perplexing questions that have baffled academics and fascinated history fans for years – and this new series will see historian Lucy Worsley turn sleuth by reopening and completely re-evaluating these infamous mysteries. The factual series will unfold like a thrilling investigation, keeping audiences guessing at every twist and turn.

In each episode Worsley will take a deep dive into a single event, mounting a comprehensive reinvestigation by assembling historical and contemporary evidence, following paper trails, re-examining scenes of crimes, tracking down lost records, and calling on the very best experts to help her reframe the past. She will reveal cutting-edge discoveries that will shed new light on the cases.

Unsolved Histories with Lucy Worsley (working title) puts a modern lens on the past, exploring if these incidents have been obscured by centuries of historical thinking. Each episode will bring a contemporary perspective to topical and complex societal issues asking how changing attitudes to children, gender politics, class, inequality and mental health have obscured the answers to these cases. It will uncover new victims and new victors, challenging our perceptions and providing answers to each renowned mystery.

Lucy Worsley says: “I’m thrilled to be revisiting some of the big-hitting stories from history that just keep sucking us in, and like everyone who works at the Tower of London, I just can’t wait to share the next twist in the tale of what we think we know about the ‘murder’ of the Bloody Tower’s ‘Little Princes’. But I also really love the fact that this isn’t just a series about the past. It’s also about what the past means today: an investigation of our own 2021 ideas about childhood, feminism, pandemics and mental health.”

Abigail Priddle, Commissioning Editor for the BBC, says: “With her enquiring mind and historical expertise, Lucy will strip back the layers of history to explore these renowned moments afresh, in search of a definitive answer to some of our most intriguing historical mysteries.”

Unsolved Histories with Lucy Worsley (working title) is a 4×60′ series for BBC Two and PBS and is being made by BBC Studios’ The Documentary Unit. It was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller BBC Two. The Commissioning Editor is Abigail Priddle and the Executive Producer is Julia Harrington. Bill Gardner is Executive in Charge for PBS.

SW2



HBO And BBC One Renew HIS DARK MATERIALS For A Third Season





HBO And BBC One Renew HIS DARK MATERIALS For A Third Season

HBO and BBC One have renewed the drama series HIS DARK MATERIALS for a third season, it was announced today by Francesca Orsi, Executive Vice President, HBO Programming. Production on the eight-episode third season is slated to begin in Cardiff in 2021.

“Bringing Phillip Pullman’s epic, intricate and culturally resonant body of work to television has been a tremendous privilege,” said Orsi. “We thank our incredible partners at the BBC and the entire Bad Wolf team, led by the indefatigable Jane Tranter, for their exceptional work on the first two seasons. We look forward to completing the trilogy with this final chapter in Lyra’s journey.”

“It’s been a joy to see how HIS DARK MATERIALS has brought British TV audiences of all ages together on BBC One and BBC iPlayer,” said Ben Irving, BBC Drama Commissioning Editor, Wales. “Fans of Phillip Pullman’s incredible books, and newcomers alike, have been enthralled by adventuring with Lyra and Will through multiple worlds. We are thrilled that they will be able to continue their journey in a third series of this beautifully realized drama. Our thanks to our partners at HBO and the dedicated creative team at Bad Wolf for making a landmark series that will continue to be watched and enjoyed on the BBC for years to come.”

“HIS DARK MATERIALS has been a truly global TV experience and a personal career highlight,” said Executive Producer Jane Tranter. “The creative team at Bad Wolf in Cardiff made the impossible possible and brought Philip Pullman’s worlds into vivid life. To see that hard work and dedication applauded and embraced by fans around the world has made all the hard work worthwhile. None of this would have been possible without the wonderful commitment and conviction of the BBC and HBO. I am excited, thrilled and honoured to be making the third part of Philip Pullman’s trilogy with their support and encouragement. Diolch”

Adapting Philip Pullman’s award-winning trilogy of the same name, which is considered a modern masterpiece of imaginative fiction, HIS DARK MATERIALS returned for its seven-episode second season on November 16, 2020. The series follows Lyra (Dafne Keen), a seemingly ordinary but brave young woman from another world. Season two began as Lyra, distraught over the death of her best friend, embarks upon a journey in a strange and mysterious abandoned city. There she meets Will (Amir Wilson), a boy from our world who is also running from a troubled past. Lyra and Will learn their destinies are tied to reuniting Will with his father but find their path is constantly thwarted as a war begins to brew around them. Meanwhile, Mrs. Coulter (Ruth Wilson) searches for Lyra, determined to bring her home by any means necessary.

GQ called this season of HIS DARK MATERIALS “a towering success,” while Paste Magazine hailed it as “more epic than ever before.” Mashable praised the show’s “absorbing cast,” while Slashfilm called this season “essential viewing.”

HIS DARK MATERIALS will conclude its second season Monday, December 28 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on HBO. Season one and season two episodes to date are currently available to stream on HBO Max. Most HBO subscribers in the U.S. have access to HBO Max as part of their HBO subscription and can visit HBOMax.com for more details.
Season two series regulars include Dafne Keen, Ruth Wilson, Amir Wilson, Ariyon Bakare, Andrew Scott, Will Keen, Ruta Gedmintas and Lin-Manuel Miranda. New cast members this season included Terence Stamp, Jade Anouka and Simone Kirby.

HIS DARK MATERIALS is produced by Bad Wolf in association with New Line Cinema for BBC One and HBO. Executive producing the series are Jane Tranter, Dan McCulloch, Joel Collins and Julie Gardner for Bad Wolf; Philip Pullman, Jack Thorne, Tom Hooper; Deborah Forte, Toby Emmerich and Carolyn Blackwood for New Line Cinema; and Ben Irving for the BBC.



Cast for Stephen Merchant’s “The Offenders” (w/t) Announced as Filming Resumes in Bristol





Cast for Stephen Merchant’s “The Offenders” (w/t) Announced as Filming Resumes in Bristol
The series follows seven strangers from different walks of life forced together to complete a Community Payback sentence in Bristol.
[via press release from BBC]
Cast for Stephen Merchant’s The Offenders (w/t) announced as filming resumes in Bristol

The Offenders (w/t) is a six-part series from multi-award-winning writer and director Stephen Merchant coming to BBC One and Amazon Prime Video.

I’m delighted that we’re now finally able to resume filming with this incredible cast and finish this long-standing passion project. – Stephen Merchant

The series follows seven strangers from different walks of life forced together to complete a Community Payback sentence in Bristol. As they become involved in each other’s lives, they also become involved with a dangerous criminal gang.

At first, the Offenders seem like archetypes easy to pigeonhole, but gradually we see behind their façades, understand their hidden depths and what made them the people they are today. We are reminded that no one is all good or all bad. Everyone has a story.

Academy Award winning actor Christopher Walken becomes an offender undertaking community service in his first lead British television role, alongside writer and director Stephen Merchant, with Rhianne Barreto, Gamba Cole, Darren Boyd, Clare Perkins and Eleanor Tomlinson.

Meet The Offenders:

Rhianne Barreto (Honour, Hanna) plays Rani, a gifted but rebellious maths student who has been hot-housed from a young age by her loving but controlling parents

Gamba Cole (Soon Gone: A Windrush Chronicle) plays Christian, a young man struggling to raise his kid sister while staying one step ahead of the Brook Hill Crew, a notorious Bristol crime gang

Christopher Walken plays Frank, an inveterate scoundrel trying to reconnect with his family

Stephen Merchant (The Office, Jojo Rabbit) plays Greg, a lonely lawyer coping with divorce, work-place bullying and scary men with knives

Darren Boyd (Killing Eve, Lucky Man) plays John, a businessman and law-abiding pillar of the community furious at being labelled a criminal

Clare Perkins (EastEnders) plays Myrna, an ageing activist and campaigner who has lost none of her youthful radicalism

Eleanor Tomlinson (Poldark, The War of the Worlds) plays Gabby, an aristocratic celebutante whose glamour and life of leisure masks deep-rooted problems

Additional cast include: Jessica Gunning (Back, Pride) as Diana; the Offenders’ Community Service Supervisor, who supervises with what she deludedly believes is an iron first, Dolly Wells (Dracula, Doll & Em) as Frank’s daughter, Margaret, Ian McElhinney (Game of Thrones, Derry Girls) as John’s father, John Snr, Nina Wadia (Goodness Gracious Me, Bend it like Beckham) as Rani’s mother, Shanthi, Aiyana Goodfellow as Esme and Charles Babalola as Malaki.

Stephen Merchant says: “Like so many other productions, we’d just begun filming when Covid-19 struck and we had to shut down. I’m delighted that we’re now finally able to resume filming with this incredible cast and finish this long-standing passion project. This is the first series I’ve made in my hometown of Bristol and I’m so excited to showcase the city and utilise the amazing local talent.”

As the production is taking place during the current Covid-19 pandemic, additional controls are being implemented by the production team. Big Talk and Four Eyes are committed to creating a safe working space and have developed comprehensive protocols in accordance with current government guidelines to ensure that the series is produced in a safe and responsible manner. Production have worked closely with the BBC and Amazon Prime Video to develop the detailed Covid-19 protocol policy, implementing various safety measures and testing to keep the cast, crew and public safe.

These include; a designated Covid-19 supervisor on set to look after the production’s safety precautions and efforts. Using local crew and supporting artists where possible. Soft isolation for all cast (two weeks prior to their first day on shooting). Twice weekly PCR testing for all those working within Close Contact Cohorts. Split departments into smaller cohorts (e.g. two make up trailers with separate teams working apart from one another). Ensuring all crew are working two metres apart from each other, wearing a face mask at all times and providing wash and sanitisation facilities in all workspaces. A strict zonal system (Zone 1, 2 & 3) – limiting the number of people within the set (both within the studio and on location). Finally, continuing to monitor ongoing changes to the government guidelines on any travel implications in regards to the re-introduction of the tier system.

The series is a co-production between BBC One and Amazon Studios. The series was commissioned by BBC Comedy and BBC One, produced by Big Talk (Mum, Friday Night Dinner, Defending the Guilty) with Stephen Merchant’s Four Eyes. Big Talk is part of ITV Studios.

The series will premiere on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK and on Amazon Prime Video in the United States, Canada and Australia.

The series is created by Stephen Merchant and Elgin James. Executive Producers are Stephen Merchant for Four Eyes, Luke Alkin Kenton Allen and Matthew Justice for Big Talk, and Kate Daughton is the Commissioning Editor for the BBC.

Directors are Stephen Merchant and John Butler (Papi Chulo). Producer is Nickie Sault (The Virtues, World On Fire). The series was commissioned for the BBC by Charlotte Moore, Chief Content Officer; Shane Allen, Controller Comedy Commissioning and Kate Daughton, Head of Comedy.

The US, Canada, and Australia deal with Amazon was brokered by BBC Studios who are also handling global distribution.

Filming is currently underway in Bristol, UK.

RC



David Tennant and Michael Sheen Return with More “Staged” for BBC One





David Tennant and Michael Sheen, or Should That Be Michael Sheen and David Tennant Return with More “Staged” for BBC One
Also returning for the new series are Georgia Tennant, Anna Lundberg and Lucy Eaton alongside Nina Sosanya and Simon Evans with new addition to the regular cast Primetime Emmy-winner Ben Schwartz, playing the assistant to Michael and David’s American agent.
[via press release from BBC]
David Tennant and Michael Sheen, or should that be Michael Sheen and David Tennant return with more Staged for BBC One

Actors Michael Sheen and David Tennant return with more Staged from Infinity Hill and GCB Films for BBC One.

The new series sees the pair attempt to navigate their ‘new normal’ at home with their increasingly exasperated families whilst simultaneously trying to tackle the world of ‘virtual Hollywood’ and their ever more fragile egos.

Also returning for the new series are Georgia Tennant, Anna Lundberg and Lucy Eaton alongside Nina Sosanya and Simon Evans with new addition to the regular cast Primetime Emmy-winner Ben Schwartz, playing the assistant to Michael and David’s American agent.

Following on from the surprise appearances in series one of Judi Dench and Samuel L Jackson this series sees the regulars joined in their virtual hell by a whole host of unexpected guests.

The series hopes to capture our shared feelings of frustration and confusion at a world not quite ready to re-open. Moments that promise normality dashed before they can take hold. The tantalising prospect of comfort kept at bay.

Michael Sheen says: “It’s been so great to see how much people enjoyed the first series. Seemed like the laughs were much appreciated. It made us really excited about taking it further and going in some surprising and hopefully enjoyable directions this time.”

Georgia Tennant adds: “The prospect of getting my husband back into employment alongside the divine Ben Schwartz and the hairy, Welsh legend that is Michael Sheen all makes me very happy to be back for series two!”

Created by Simon Evans and Phin Glynn, Staged is written and directed by Evans and is an Infinity Hill/GCB Films/No Mystery production for BBC One. It was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, BBC Chief Content Officer. The producers are Phin Glynn, Victor Glynn and Georgia Tennant. David Tennant and Michael Sheen are also executive producers of the series. Executive Producers for Infinity Hill are Axel Kuschevatzky and Cindy Teperman and for GCB, Geoff Iles.

Transmission details for Staged will be announced in due course.

MJ

Critical acclaim

“BBC One’s thespian comedy nails the quirks of life under lockdown” – The Independent

“The pure joy – that is, a pure, pure joy and, quite possibly, heaven – is the new comedy series, Staged. So funny. So so soooooo funny” – Daily Mail

“Tennant and Sheen are excellent, perennially, even when performing as themselves to their own laptops. Here, joined by Evans and by their real-life spouses – the actors Georgia Tennant and Anna Lundberg – they are on top form, crackling with snide chemistry. The whole thing is a treat. Watch it.” – The Stage

“It was the best lockdown show I’ve seen so far” – The Times



AMC Networks’ Acorn TV Acquires BBC One Detective Drama BLOODLANDS





AMC Networks’ Acorn TV Acquires BBC One Detective Drama BLOODLANDS From Hat Trick International
From Executive Producer Jed Mercurio (Line of Duty, Bodyguard); The Acorn TV Original series will make its US Premiere soon after its UK Premiere this fall

New York, NY; August 26, 2020 – AMC Networks’ streaming service Acorn TV acquires exclusive U.S. and Canadian rights to BBC One Irish detective drama Bloodlands from Hat Trick International and executive producer Jed Mercurio (Line of Duty, Bodyguard). Set in Northern Ireland and written by Chris Brandon (Red Rock), the gripping, four-part Irish crime thriller stars James Nesbitt (The Hobbit, The Missing, Cold Feet) as a veteran detective going into his own dark past to try an solve a cold case. The Acorn TV Original will make its US and Canadian premieres this fall soon after BBC One’s UK Premiere. Bloodlands marks the first commission for Jed Mercurio’s production company, Hat Trick Mercurio Television (HTM).

When an expensive car containing a suicide note – but no body – is pulled from the sea, veteran Northern Ireland police detective Tom Brannick (James Nesbitt) instantly sees the connection to an infamous cold case that holds enormous personal significance for him – a notorious and long-buried series of mysterious disappearances. Bloodlands follows Tom Brannick’s obsessive campaign to identify and unmask the semi-mythical figure behind these events – a figure code-named Goliath, after the giant shipyard cranes, Samson and Goliath that dominate the Belfast skyline. It’s a case that comes from Tom’s – and his country’s – dark past.

Don Klees, SVP of Programming, Acorn TV, said, “After Acorn TV’s success with Line of Duty, we’re thrilled to partner with Jed Mercurio again as well as Hat Trick and talented writer Chris Brandon to bring this excellent crime thriller to US audiences. With a powerhouse lead performance from James Nesbitt and a riveting script, we can’t wait for US audiences to see Bloodlands.”

Sarah Tong, Director of Sales at Hat Trick International, commented, “I’m delighted that Bloodlands has landed in the US and Canada on Acorn TV. Created by the exceptional combination of Chris and Jed and starring multiple-award-winning James Nesbitt, Bloodlands is a prime example of the type of dynamic and suspenseful drama that audiences throughout the world are eager to see.”

Besides Mercurio, Bloodlands is executive produced by Jimmy Mulville and Mark Redhead for HTM and Tommy Bulfin for BBC. Pete Travis (Omagh, The Go-Between) is the director and Christopher Hall (The Durrells) is producing. Filming will take place in and around Belfast and Strangford Lough.

AMC Networks’ Acorn TV is North America’s largest streaming service specializing in British and international television with over 1 million paid subscribers in the U.S and Canada as well as subscribers worldwide in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Latin America. Acorn TV adds exclusive new programs every week to a deep library of mysteries, dramas, and comedies with no commercials. In 2020, Acorn TV has featured the Irish period mystery series Dead Still, British dramas Deadwater Fell starring David Tennant and Cush Jumbo, Gold Digger starring Julia Ormond, and highly-rated BBC One drama The Nest; as well as several returning favorites including Acorn TV’s first feature film with Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears. Coming up, Acorn TV has the U.S. Premieres BBC One sitcom The Other One (Monday, Aug. 10), French drama Family Business (Monday, Aug. 24), as well as New Zealand thriller The Sounds (Sept. 3) and award-winning Australian drama Mystery Road, Series 2 (Oct.). Website: Acorn.TV

About AMC Networks

Known for its ground-breaking and celebrated original content, AMC Networks (NASDAQ:AMCX) is the company behind the award-winning brands AMC, BBC AMERICA, IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv, and IFC Films. Its diverse line-up of popular and critically-acclaimed series and independent films include Killing Eve, Better Call Saul and The Walking Dead, which has been the #1 show on basic cable television for ten consecutive years, as well as Documentary Now!, Brockmire, Love After Lockup, and the films Boyhood, Death of Stalin, and many more. Its original series Mad Men and Breaking Bad are widely recognized as being among the most influential and acclaimed shows in the history of TV. The Company also operates AMC Studios, its production business; AMC Networks International, its international programming business; the subscription streaming services Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now; and UMC (Urban Movie Channel); RLJE Films; and Levity Entertainment Group, the Company’s production services and comedy venues business. For more information, visit http://www.amcnetworks.com.

About Hat Trick

Hat Trick International (HTI) was established in 1998 to internationally distribute the award winning formats and finished shows created by Hat Trick Productions. Since then, HTI has gone from strength to strength; representing programming from both Hat Trick Productions and other independent producers, including Keo Films, Plum Pictures and Emporium Productions and now boasts a portfolio of 2000 hours of content. HTI’s hit shows form cornerstones in schedules throughout the globe, including Have I Got News for You, Episodes and Derry Girls, plus factual titles such as George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces, Killer Women with Piers Morgan, Hugh’s War on Waste and the multi award winning Exodus: Our Journey to Europe. www.hattrickinternational.com



Filming Commences on the Christmas Special of “Call the Midwife’s” 10th Anniversary Series





Filming Commences on the Christmas Special of “Call the Midwife’s” 10th Anniversary Series
Made by Neal Street Productions for BBC One, the award-winning drama series will return in time for Christmas this year with a 90-minute special episode.
[via press release from BBC]
Filming commences on the Christmas Special of Call The Midwife’s 10th anniversary series

The door to Nonnatus House has been unlocked for filming to start on the Christmas Special of the tenth anniversary series of Call The Midwife.

Made by Neal Street Productions for BBC One, the award-winning drama series will return in time for Christmas this year with a 90-minute special episode.

Created and written by Heidi Thomas, this year’s Christmas Special is set in December 1965. Everyone at Nonnatus House is looking forward to traditional celebrations with all the trimmings, but nothing goes quite to plan. Sister Monica Joan is rushed to hospital, and Trixie is incensed to receive a subscription to a Marriage Bureau as a Christmas gift.

Meanwhile, a surprise reunion for Shelagh involves her in a deeply moving birth, and the circus arrives in Poplar, bringing new friendships, new experiences, and an exciting adventure for Nurse Crane.

As the production is taking place during the current Covid-19 pandemic, additional controls are being implemented. Call the Midwife’s production team and Neal Street Productions are committed to helping get the country back to work and have developed comprehensive protocols in accordance with current government guidelines to ensure that the series is produced in a safe and responsible manner. They have worked closely with industry bodies and the BBC to develop the detailed Covid-19 protocol policy, implementing various safety measures and testing and will keep it under constant review.

There is also a designated Covid-19 supervisor on set to look after the production’s safety precautions and efforts. The health and safety of the cast and crew is the highest priority. Due to the later than usual start to filming, series 10 in 2021 will consist of seven hour-long episodes instead of eight.

Dame Pippa Harris, Executive Producer, says: “Alongside the rest of the country, we have all been devastated to see how Covid-19 has affected people around the world. Our midwives and nurses may not be the front-line heroes of today’s NHS, but by getting back to work, they, and we, hope to bring some joy and respite into people’s lives.

“In such difficult times, the values of Call The Midwife seem more resonant than ever. In series ten we will continue to celebrate the skill and bravery of the UK’s NHS whilst bringing laughter and love into our homes.”

Heidi Thomas, Creator, Writer and Executive Producer, says: “Everyone is overjoyed to be whisking the dust sheets off Nonnatus House and getting back to filming after lockdown.

“It is a particular thrill to be able to deliver the Christmas Special on time, just as we promised at the start of the pandemic. We are very much a family at Call The Midwife, and like families everywhere, we have missed each other. We will now be putting more love and energy into our work than ever and can’t wait to share Series 10 with our fantastic, loyal audience.”

Mona Qureshi, Executive Producer for the BBC, says: “We are so delighted that the Call The Midwife team are able to re-assemble to bring us Series 10 for the new year, and that they will also be gifting us a Christmas special for 2020 – the warm embrace of the nuns and midwives of Poplar feels especially needed this year!”

The Christmas Special cast will include Jenny Agutter (Sister Julienne), Linda Bassett (Nurse Crane), Judy Parfitt (Sister Monica Joan), Fenella Woolgar (Sister Hilda), Ella Bruccoleri (Sister Frances), Helen George (Trixie), Laura Main (Shelagh Turner), Leonie Elliott (Lucille), Stephen McGann (Dr Turner), Cliff Parisi (Fred), Annabelle Apsion (Violet), Georgie Glen (Miss Higgins), Max Macmillan (Timothy), Daniel Laurie (Reggie) and Zephryn Taitte (Cyril).

Call The Midwife is created and written by Heidi Thomas, Executive Producers are Pippa Harris, Heidi Thomas and Ann Tricklebank. Executive Producer for the BBC is Mona Qureshi with Ann Tricklebank as Producer. The Christmas special and episode one will be directed by Syd Macartney. Call The Midwife is a Neal Street Production for BBC/PBS. BBC Studios distribute the series internationally.



BBC One Confirms Emily Mortimer’s Adaptation of “The Pursuit of Love”





BBC One Confirms Emily Mortimer’s Adaptation of “The Pursuit of Love,” Starring Lily James, Dominic West, Emily Beecham and Andrew Scott
Amazon Studios is co-producing within the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and the series will be produced by Rhonda Smith.
[via press release from BBC]
BBC One confirms Emily Mortimer’s adaptation of The Pursuit Of Love, starring Lily James, Dominic West, Emily Beecham and Andrew Scott

The all-star cast includes Dolly Wells, Assaad Bouab, Shazad Latif, Freddie Fox, Emily Mortimer and Beattie Edmondson

Filming has begun on Emily Mortimer’s adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s celebrated novel The Pursuit Of Love, from executive producers Charles Collier, Matthew Read and Frith Tiplady for Open Book and Moonage Pictures. The show has been commissioned for BBC One by Charlotte Moore, BBC Director of Content and Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama. Amazon Studios is co-producing within the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and the series will be produced by Rhonda Smith.

Written and directed by Mortimer, The Pursuit Of Love is a romantic comedy-drama about love and friendship. Set in Europe between the two World Wars, the story follows the adventures and misadventures of the charismatic and fearless Linda Radlett, played by Lily James (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Rebecca, Cinderella, Baby Driver) and her best friend and cousin Fanny Logan, played by Emily Beecham (Little Joe, Cruella).

Consumed by a desire for love and marriage, the two women are on the hunt for the ideal husband. Their friendship is put to the test as Fanny settles for a steady life and Linda decides to follow her heart, to increasingly wild and outrageous places. As social and political divisions split the nation, their diverging choices raise personal questions that remain intensely relevant today – questions about freedom, about love and sex, and the mystery of the human heart.

Further cast includes Dominic West (The Wire, The Affair, Les Misérables) and Dolly Wells (Dracula, Doll & Em) as Linda’s parents, Uncle Matthew and Aunt Sadie Radlett, Andrew Scott (Fleabag, Sherlock) as Lord Merlin, the Radlett’s wealthy and eccentric neighbour, Emily Mortimer (Mary Poppins Returns, The Sense of an Ending) as Fanny’s mother, The Bolter and Beattie Edmondson (Josh, Patrick) as Louisa Radlett.

Linda and Fanny’s suitors include Assaad Bouab (Messiah, Call My Agent) as Fabrice de Sauveterre, Shazad Latif (Penny Dreadful, Star Trek: Discovery) as Alfred Wincham and Freddie Fox (White House Farm, The Crown) as Tony Kroesig.

Emily Mortimer, says: “I’ve always loved Nancy Mitford so when I was asked to adapt The Pursuit Of Love it was impossible to say no. It’s an outrageously funny and honest story, whose central character – the wild, love-addicted Linda Radlett – still reads as a radical. I feel privileged to be directing this show and working with the brilliant teams at Open Book, Moonage Pictures, Amazon and the BBC.”

Lily James, says; “It’s great to be working with Emily. Her brilliant scripts bring new life to this story – full of love, full of friendship, very moving and sad in places, but also funny and true to life.”

Charles Collier for Open Book, says: “From the start, we built this show around the talents of three brilliant women: Emily Mortimer, Lily James and Nancy Mitford. Our plan is to deliver sharp and innovative female-driven drama, full of warmth, wit and wisdom, which audiences everywhere will take to their hearts.”

Matthew Read for Moonage Pictures, says: “The Pursuit Of Love reads like a manifesto for how to live fearlessly and whole-heartedly while relishing the absurdities and eccentricities of life. Emily’s voice and vision perfectly capture the spirit of Mitford’s novel and we couldn’t be more excited to be involved in helping her bring it to life”.

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, says: “Emily Mortimer’s adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s masterpiece will introduce The Pursuit Of Love to a new generation of fans. We are indebted to Emily, producers Moonage Pictures and Open Book and to the series’ glittering cast, led by Dominic West and Lily James, for their commitment to bringing this treasured novel to life”.

Chris Mansolillo, Head of Licensed Content in the US, Amazon Prime Video, says: “The Pursuit Of Love is an exciting journey combining family, love, honesty and introspection. We are thrilled to be working with such a talented team and looking forward to bringing this romantic adventure to our Prime members.”

The Pursuit Of Love will be filmed primarily around the Bristol and Bath area. Together with independent health and safety consultants, in full consultation with industry partners, and in accordance with all current government guidelines, The Pursuit Of Love production team have developed comprehensive production protocols to ensure that the series is produced in a safe and responsible manner during this time of global pandemic. Alongside Open Book and Moonage, the show is produced by Rhonda Smith, with line producer Ian Hogan and first assistant director Steve Robinson. The director of photography is Zac Nicholson, with production design by Cristina Casali, costume design by Sinéad Kidao, hair and makeup design by Claire Williams and casting by Jina Jay.

At 3×60 minutes, The Pursuit Of Love will premiere on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK, and be available on Amazon Prime Video in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. BBC Studios are the international distributors and brokered the deal with Amazon Studios.