Abi Morgan won an Emmy on Sunday night for writing The Hour, a co-production from BBC America and Shine-owned Kudos, which aired on the UK’s BBC Two. With The Hour cancelled last season, some of the partners are coming back together for new drama, River. Commissioned by flagship channel BBC One, the six-part series is created and written by Morgan and produced by Kudos; BBC America is not currently involved. It centers on John River, a brilliant police officer who walks a professional tightrope between a pathology so extreme he risks permanent dismissal, and a healthy state of mind that would cure him of his gift. Morgan says, “River is a fractured mind navigating a brutal world. And he does it wearing a police badge. I can’t think of a better home for it than the BBC. The chance to tell big stories in a bold way on a channel that embraces so many writers, directors and actors I admire and respect is a huge treat.” Shooting starts in London in next year for air in 2015. Casting is underway. This could go some way to appeasing fans of The Hour, the 1950s-set newsroom drama that ran for two seasons and was cancelled by the BBC in February. Ratings had dropped, but fans were stalwart in …
EXCLUSIVE: Carey Mulligan is in early talks to star in The Fury, a Focus Features drama that will be directed by Brick Lane helmer Sarah Gavron. The film’s focus is the suffragist movement in the UK and it was scripted by Abi Morgan. Morgan co-wrote Shame with that film’s director, Steve McQueen, and Mulligan starred with Michael Fassbender. Producing is Faye Ward and Alison Owen of Ruby Films, the UK-based company behind the Tom Hanks-Emma Thompson-starrer Saving Mr. Banks at Disney. The film will be a co-production between Focus Features and Film 4. Mulligan, who starred in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, will next be seen in Inside Llewyn Davis, the Joel and Ethan Coen film that premiered at Cannes and opens in the fall through CBS Films. She is next booked to star in the Thomas Vinterberg-directed Far From The Madding Crowd. Mulligan is repped by WME and Julian Belfrage Associates. I’ll fill in more details on the log line when I can get them.
Global Showbiz Briefs: India’s Epic TV Gets Deep-Pocketed Backer; Portion Of France’s Tough Anti-Piracy Law Overturned; More
India’s Richest Man Backs Start-Up Channel Epic TV
India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, is backing Epic TV, a new Indian start-up channel. Due to start broadcasting next month, the high-def channel will have content based on the nation’s history, folklore and mythology in a contemporary format, Indian press reported. Former Walt Disney India managing director Mahesh Samat is leading the channel. Ambani, who is the chairman of Reliance Industries, has taken a more than 25% stake in the group via his Reliance Ports & Terminals. This is his second broadcasting venture; he already owns a stake in the Network18 Group. Ambani is the brother of Anil Ambani, who heads DreamWorks partner Reliance Entertainment.
Portion Of France’s Anti-Piracy Law Overturned
A section of anti-piracy law that France spent millions on developing has been overturned. The controversial Hadopi legislation was introduced in 2009 as a three-strikes program that would begin with warning letters sent to suspected online pirates and end with the suspension of their Internet access. But the Culture and Communications Ministry said today that the last leg has been overturned and French judges no longer will be able to impose suspensions. Rather, people who illegally download copyrighted content will be faced with fines that could increase gradually. This is the first measure adopted following a comprehensive report that was led by former Canal Plus chief Pierre Lescure. Culture Minister Aurélie Filippetti tweeted her support, saying, “Cutting off Internet is over. Change is now. We will fight relentlessly against sites that make money on the backs of creators.”