Fox’s Gracepoint, an American remake of the British series Broadchurch, is not a shot-for-shot recreation — though it may seem like it’s going in that direction in the first two two episodes, after which it will begin to differ substantially, the exec producers promised to dubious TV critics this afternoon at the TCAs.
The first portions of the British eight-parter were “so well done, why would we contort ourselves to tell it differently?” Carolyn Bernstein said when some critics commented about how the two episodes they’d seen of Gracepoint replicated early Broadchurch episodes. “We didn’t want to fix something we all thought was excellent,” Bernstein explained at Summer TV Press Tour 2014. She and EP/showrunner Dan Futterman promised it will begin to differ substantially.
Further muddying things, in October, Fox announced that Broadchurch star David Tennant had been cast in its 10-hour series. In Fox’s version, Tennant plays an American detective who is the lead investigator in a shocking murder that puts a small town under scrutiny. Though this time it’s set in an American town, like the original it follows the tragic and mysterious death of a young boy found dead on a beach surrounded by rocks and a jutting cliff face, from where he may have fallen. Although his cause of death remains unsolved, the picturesque seaside town where the tragedy occurred is at the heart of a major police investigation and a nationwide media frenzy.
The American version purports to have a different killer.
“I don’t … Read More »
With a little more than a month to go until Peter Capaldi fully regenerates as the latest incarnation of the Time Lord, the official Doctor Who trailer has been revealed. BBC One aired the latest look at Series 8 during halftime of the World Cup on Sunday night. After some much shorter glimpses into the new Who, this full-length trailer features Daleks, Cybermen, a dinosaur and Capaldi on a horse. Series 8 kicks off on the BBC and on BBC America on August 23 with a feature-length episode entitled “Deep Breath” in which Capaldi’s 12th Doctor makes his first full-episode appearance. Jenna Coleman returns as companion Clara Oswald and Samuel Anderson joins the cast as Danny Pink, a teacher at Coal Hill School, where Clara also works. On Friday, the BBC said it had added comedian, actor and broadcaster Sanjeev Bhaskar (The Kumars) to the cast. Guest stars in the new series include Michelle Gomez, Frank Skinner, Ben Miller, Tom Riley, Keeley Hawes and Hermione Norris.
BBC America said today that it has greenlighted Tatau, a drama from the producers of Being Human. The series is set in the Cook Islands, a paradise in the middle of the Pacific. The eight-episode season is written by Richard Zajdlic and co-produced by Touchpaper TV (Being Human) and South Pacific Pictures for BBC Three in association with BBC America. Filming starts in September, and casting will be announced.
Related: Carnival Films, BBC America, BBC2 Chart Historical Drama ‘The Last Kingdom’
The drama follows Kyle Connor and Pete “Budgie” Griffiths, twentysomething friends from London who set off to travel the world. They’ve worked hard, saved even harder and they’re now eager to soak up as many different cultures and experiences as possible. Ahead of the journey, Kyle gets a Maori-style tattoo to celebrate their eventual destination: the Cook Islands. But upon his arrival in the South Pacific, he is unsettled by the local people’s reaction to his tattoo – it clearly has a significance that he is entirely unaware of. Later, while snorkeling in a lagoon, Kyle discovers the dead body of a local girl, Aumea, tied up underwater. When he returns with the police, the corpse has disappeared. Budgie questions if his friend is going mad, but Kyle begins to believe that he instead has seen into the future. Kyle and Budgie find themselves sucked into a desperate race to prevent Aumea’s murder, as Kyle learns that his gifts don’t stop at prophecy — and the full meaning of the tattoo soon is revealed. Tatau is an ambitious drama that explores the questions of identity, love and destiny. Read More »
BBC America GM Perry Simon made the announcements during its TCA session today at the Beverly Hilton. Orphan Black will return for Season 3 in 2015 with a 10-episodes order from Temple Street Productions. Broadchurch is set to return for its second season as part of the network’s Dramaville block.
Two new drama series were also announced as heading into production: the historical drama The Last Kingdom, which we told you about earlier today, and Tatau, from the makers of Being Human and set in the Cook Islands, a paradise in the middle of the Pacific. Eight episodes were ordered for both.
Downton Abbey producer Carnival Films will travel back much further in time for its latest period drama — a Game Of Thrones-esque epic. The NBC-owned company is teaming with BBC America to co-produce ninth century-set eight-part historical series The Last Kingdom for BBC Two. Based on Bernard Cornwell’s book series The Saxon Stories, The Last Kingdom will combine real historical figures and events with fictional characters during the reign of Alfred the Great, who as King of Wessex fought off a Viking invasion. Replete with heroic deeds and epic battles, the series will also embrace politics, religion, warfare, courage, love, loyalty and the universal search for identity. Stephen Butchard (Good Cop, Five Daughters, House Of Saddam) is scripting. Production starts in the fall and casting has yet to be confirmed. Carnival’s Gareth Neame and Nigel Marchant will exec produce with Butchard. Nick Murphy (Prey, Occupation) is co-executive producing and directing multiple episodes. Chrissy Skinns (Mr Selfridge) will produce.
The series slots into BBC Two’s strong drama portfolio. On deck, it’s also got the ambitious Wolf Hall, the adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s historical novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies.
Set in the year 872, when many of the separate kingdoms of what is now known as England have fallen to the invading Vikings, the great kingdom of Wessex has been left standing alone and defiant under the command of King Alfred the Great. Against this turbulent backdrop lives Uhtred, the hero of the stories. When his noble Saxon parents are killed by the Vikings, the marauders kidnap him and raise him as one of their own. Forced to choose between the country of his birth and the people of his upbringing, his loyalties are continually tested. On a quest to claim his birthright, Uhtred must tread a dangerous path between both sides if he is to play his part in the birth of a new nation and, ultimately, seek to recapture his ancestral lands. Read More »
BBC America will debut the eighth season of Doctor Who — ahem, the first season featuring new Doctor Peter Capaldi — at 8PM ET on August 23. The season will blast off with a feature-length episode entitled “Deep Breath” in which Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor makes his first full-episode appearance. Jenna Coleman returns as companion Clara Oswald and Samuel Anderson joins the cast as Danny Pink, a teacher at Coal Hill School, where Clara also works. Ben Miller (Primeval, Death In Paradise), Keeley Hawes (Line Of Duty, Upstairs, Downstairs), and Tom Riley (Da Vinci’s Demons) guest star. Check out the freshly unveiled Season 8 teaser (readers outside the U.S. can view the BBC version below it):
Read More »
BBC America dropped a trailer for their August 23 paranormal series The Intruders, about a secret society chasing immortality by taking over the bodies of others. The show, adapted from Michael Marshall Smith’s novel of the same name, is being spearheaded by Glen Morgan, a writer and executive producer of TV’s The X-Files and New Line’s Final Destination 1 and 3. With Blair Witch Project‘s Eduardo Sanchez and The Last Exorcism‘s Daniel Stamm directing episodes, the series is upping the ante with some serious horror and suspense. Set in the Pacific Northwest, John Simm stars as Jack Whelan, a former LAPD cop with a troubled history, whose quiet life is shattered when his wife Amy (played by Oscar-winner Mira Sorvino) goes missing. As calamity ensues, a sinister agent Richard Shepherd (James Frain) is embarking on a series of lethal executions, while a little girl (Millie Brown) runs away from home into a world of danger. Tory Kittles also stars.
The all-comers creative space that YouTube has built in a mammoth former Hughes Aircraft hangar in L.A.’s Playa Vista neighborhood is rapidly becoming Crossover Central, as notable YouTube video creators based there work with studios and networks to create online companions to bigger media brands such as Star Wars, Godzilla and now BBC America‘s Almost Royal catfish-out-of-water reality series. The Star Wars project was relatively small, based around the annual May 4 (“May the Fourth be with you”) celebrations of that durable franchise, using a replica of the famous cantina scene in the original film. The YouTube operation helped Star Wars marketers pick four YouTube creators, who got to shoot episodes of their respective programs on the Cantina set.
A similar but much bigger effort this spring at the YouTube Space LA involved Godzilla in a cross-media project of a scale worthy of its gargantuan namesake. Legendary Film marketing execs came up with the idea of bringing in an actual set from the latest installment, a command bunker, then got sign-off from partners Warner Bros and YouTube in just a couple of weeks. The set, along with a destructible version of the San Francisco skyline, was installed in the YouTube Space LA studios. Legendary and Warner Bros chose 30 programming proposals from about 100 video creators recruited by YouTube, then set them loose on the set, said Legendary’s Pearl Wible. The ones chosen were pulled from many different sectors of YouTube content, ranging from Michelle Phan‘s beauty advice (Godzilla really, really could use some good moisturizer, now that I think of it) to Nerdist (which did a series of “Godzilla Week” segments tied to the film’s run-up) to hard science. Read More »
In a first-of-its-kind event, Doctor Who will launch a global world tour this summer, visiting seven cities across five continents to introduce the 12th Time Lord, Peter Capaldi. Joining Capaldi will be on-screen companion Jenna Coleman, and the show’s lead writer and exec producer Steven Moffat (he’ll only make it to some of the stops, however). The 12-day roadshow is the biggest ever promotional undertaking in Doctor Who’s 50-year history and will kick off in Cardiff, Wales on August 7 before heading to London, Seoul, Sydney, New York, Mexico City and Rio. Capaldi and Coleman are appearing together for the first time in the U.S. when they arrive in New York on August 14. That’s a year and 10 days after Capaldi was revealed as the new Doctor, replacing Matt Smith who played the role from 2010-2013. Capaldi made a very brief appearance in the show’s 50th anniversary special The Day Of The Doctor which aired in a global simulcast on November 23 last year and broke ratings and social media records for BBC America which airs the series Stateside. Capaldi said of the impending tour, “After eight months solid filming deep in the world of monsters, Jenna and I are thrilled to be heading for the Planet of Fans.” The current 12-episode season of Doctor Who is shooting through August. The … Read More »
BBC America‘s clone drama returned Saturday night with its best-ever A18-49 rating and now is the network’s second-highest-rated series in the demo, behind only Doctor Who. Orphan Black was the No. 1 television show on Twitter and Tumblr for the day and is the No. 1 basic cable drama on Twitter for the week.
Related: Hot TV Trailer: ‘Orphan Black’ Season 2
Orphan Black recorded a total of 785,000 across multiple plays — premiering with 620,000 total viewers and 391,000 demo viewers. On Saturday, the series reached a new high on Twitter, reaching 1.2 million unique users with more than 43,000 tweets about the show. This is up 185% from the previous best (Season 1 finale) and nearly six times greater than the series premiere. The premiere episode alone generated nearly 36,000 tweets, beating several high-profile premieres this season including Fargo, Homeland, True Detective, Vikings, The Americans, Turn and Arrow. On Tumblr, there were 1.8 million notes on posts about Orphan Black in the month leading up to the premiere, including 277,000 on Saturday.
Related: Amazon Prime Instant Video To Stream ‘Orphan Black’ Repeats
Read More »
BBC America today set a June 22 premiere date for The Musketeers and a second-season pickup for the series, which it co-produces with BBC Worldwide. The Musketeers, a BBC Drama production for BBC One, already was renewed by the flagship BBC network last month. A contemporary take on the classic Alexandre Dumas characters, The Musketeers, created by Adrian Hodges (My Week With Marilyn), is set on the streets of 17th century Paris, where law and order is an idea more than a reality. In addition to being King Louis XIII’s personal bodyguards, Athos, Aramis and Porthos stand resolutely for social justice, honor, valor, love — and for the thrill of it. Luke Pasqualino (The Borgias) stars as D’Artagnan alongside Tom Burke (Great Expectations) as Athos, Santiago Cabrera (Heroes) as Aramis and Howard Charles (Royal Shakespeare Company) as Porthos. Peter Capaldi, Maimie McCoy, Tamla Kari and Hugo Speer also star. Likely boosted by the familiar premise, the 10-episode Musketeers got off to a strong start in the UK where the premiere drew 9.3 million viewers to become BBC’s biggest new drama launch in two years. Ratings subsequently dipped, with the finale this past Sunday averaging 3.9 million viewers.
BBC America has greenlighted its first original comedy series, and it has a strong British theme. Almost Royal, which has received a seven-episode order, tells the tale of two young British aristocrats, Georgie (Ed Gamble) and Poppy Carlton (Amy Hoggart), on their first trip to the U.S. – interacting with real-life Americans. The project comes from Burning Bright Prods, with Clive Tulloh (Eddie Izzard: Marathon Man) as executive producer and Seamus Murphy-Mitchell (Friday Night With Jonathan Ross) as producer. Almost Royal will premiere June 21, following the Season 2 finale of BBC America’s breakout drama series Orphan Black. BBC America entered original scripted programming with its first original drama Copper, which ran for two seasons, followed by Orphan Black. Read More »
Tatiana Maslany — who stars as a con woman and her numerous clones — was widely considering one the Emmys’ biggest snubs last year, though the Golden Globes did hand her a nom. Now here’s our first look at Season 2 of Orphan Black, in which Sarah (Maslany) is on a desperate quest to find her missing daughter (Skyler Wexler). Key exchange: When Sarah is asked, “What are you gonna do — just start shooting people?” she replies simply, “Yeah.” The sophomore session of BBC America‘s drama bows at 9 pm April 19. Have a look:
Related: Amazon’s Prime Instant Video Lands Streaming Deal For ‘Orphan Black’ Repeats
Amazon.com today announced a licensing deal with BBC Worldwide North America that will make Prime Instant Video the exclusive online-only subscription home for streaming Season One and future seasons of the dramatic thriller Orphan Black. The series returns to BBC America on Saturday, April 19, at 9 PM EST. Prime Instant Video is the exclusive online-only subscription home for PBS series Downton Abbey and Mr. Selfridge, FX drama The Americans, CBS summer series Under The Dome and later this summer, Extant, among other programs that include Veronica Mars, Justified, Falling Skies, Grimm, Workaholics, Suits, Covert Affairs, etc., as well as Amazon’s first original series Alpha House and Betas.
Read More »
BBC America has given the green light to vehicle transformation series Mud, Sweat & Gears. The eight-episode series, produced by BBC Worldwide Productions for BBC America and BBC Worldwide’s new Brit channel, will be hosted by Tom ‘Wookie’ Ford and Jonny Smith — two UK car journalists. Each week, the pair will work as rival captains for two teams of car enthusiasts. They will have 24 hours to reconstruct ordinary vehicles and complete competitive stunt challenges. Perry Simon, General Manager of BBC America, called it a perfect fit for the network’s Top Gear driven Monday lineup. Top Gear, in its 21st season, is on target for its highest rated season yet in the U.S. Production begins shooting next month in California. Mud, Sweat & Gears also will launch across the BBC’s international channels and is the first original commission to be announced for BBC Brit – the new male-skewing factual entertainment channel due to launch in several worldwide markets outside of the U.S. in 2014. In the U.S., the series joins BBC America’s slate of new unscripted programming including Top Gear, Wild Things With Dominic Monaghan, and its new BBC Earth block of natural history programs, The Graham Norton Show and upcoming original series Million Dollar Critic Starring Giles Coren. Read More »
Amazon has come to the rescue of British period drama Ripper Street. The online giant is today launching its Amazon Prime Instant Video service in the UK and with that has announced a commission for a 3rd season of the BBC crime series. It’s also acquired UK subscription streaming rights to the previous seasons. The Victorian era show, which stars Matthew Macfadyen, was cancelled by the BBC in December after a 2nd season ratings drop. The news elicited an outpouring of lament from fans and it was soon rumored that Amazon’s streaming service LoveFilm might pick up the slack. Amazon recently said it was folding LoveFilm into its Prime service in Britain with the new-look platform bowing today, along with the news that new episodes of Ripper Street will be made available exclusively to Amazon Prime Instant Video members before screening on BBC One a few months later. Read More »
Stephen Bishop (Moneyball) has been upped to a series regular on BET’s Being Mary Jane, which stars Gabrielle Union as a successful TV news anchor. Bishop will play David, a man Mary Jane brings back into her life to work things out. Bishop, repped by Greene & Associates, Weiner Management and Dave Feldman, next will be seen in Miss Meadows opposite Katie Holmes.
True Detective‘s Tory Kittles has signed on to Intruders, BBC America’s eight-episode original series. Written by Glen Morgan, Intruders is about a secret society devoted to chasing immortality by seeking refuge in the bodies of others. It centers on ex-cop Jack Whalen (John Simm), who has escaped a dark, violent past for a seemingly quiet life with his wife, Amy (Mira Sorvino). When she goes missing, Jack starts an investigation that forces him to confront his past. Kittles will play Gary Fischer, a handsome attorney and old friend of Whalen’s (Simm) who quietly asks him to investigate a mysterious double homicide. Kittles, repped by APA and Circle of Confusion’s Frank Frattaroli, recently wrapped feature American Heist and has a recurring on FX’s Sons Of Anarchy.