Catherine Tate Set For ‘Big School’
The Office’s Catherine Tate is set to star in a new BBC One sitcom created by David Walliams, who’ll also star. Big School is a six-part comedy set in a secondary school about a dysfunctional staff room, unrequited love and interactive white boards. Walliams will play a chemistry teacher who has taught at Greybridge School for years, Tate plays the school’s enthusiastic new recruit, who despite being a French teacher has never actually been to France. Also starring are Life On Mars’ Philip Glenister, The History Boys’ Frances de la Tour, The Thick Of It’s Joanna Scanlan and Cemetery Junction’s Steve Speirs. Big School is a BBC Production in association with Bert Productions. Jo Sargent is producing and Mark Freeland is exec producer. READ MORE »
Global Showbiz Briefs: BBC’s ‘Big School’; Tom Stoppard’s ‘Dark Side’; Thai Man Jailed Over Documentary
Catherine Tate Set For ‘Big School’
Global Showbiz Briefs: Helen Mirren, BBC & ‘Pompidou’, Cannes Critics’ Week President Named, World Cup Windfall
Helen Mirren’s Sam Mendes Quotes Misquoted
Helen Mirren is never shy of a making a bold statement or two. But stories circulating in the British press following her appearance at Sunday night’s Empire Awards have misquoted the actress as criticizing director Sam Mendes for naming an all-male list of his inspirations. In a speech earlier in the evening, Mendes had praised inspirational moments from the likes of Stanley Kubrick, Billy Wilder and Akira Kurosawa, which Mirren highlighted when she stepped up to receive a lifetime achievement prize. But far from tearing down Mendes, she used his list to illustrate how much attitudes had changed since she started. “When I first came into the film industry it was a really bloke-y world,” she said. “Nowadays, that’s really changed and it’s great to see women in cinematography, in sound, and obviously in producing and writing.” She said she was certain that in “five or ten years” a successor to Mendes would include female directors on their list of inspirations as a result. “Nothing against Sam, absolutely,” she insisted. “They were great, great moments he chose.” Given the press fervor that greeted her misrepresented comments, it’s no wonder she earlier joked, “The critics bloody well piss me off. What do they know, honestly?” – Joe Utichi
Created by Broadchurch and Camelot exec producer Chris Chibnall, the two 90-minute movies will tell the story of the gang behind the crime and the team of detectives who sought to bring the perpetrators to justice. The first part, The Robbers’ Tale, will be directed by Julian Jarrold (The Girl); James Strong (Broadchurch) will direct part two, A Coppers’ Tale.
Also joining the cast as members of the criminal team are Jack Roth (Bedlam), Neil Maskell (Utopia), Paul Anderson (Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows), Martin Compston (Line Of Duty), Del Synnott (The Silence) and Jack Gordon (Panic Button).
BBC One‘s Danny Cohen and Ben Stephenson today confirmed a second season order of crime drama Ripper Street, just as the first season heads into the home stretch in the UK. The BBC America co-production will start shooting eight new episodes this spring for an as-yet unspecified 2014 air date. Ripper Street debuted on BBC America on January 19, three weeks after its UK bow on BBC One where it has faced tough competition from rival ITV’s Jeremy Piven period drama Mr Selfridge in the same timeslot. However, it’s been gaining in recent weeks for a consolidated average of 7.1M viewers and a 22.9% share over its first five outings. Richard Warlow created and exec produces the series that stars Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn and Adam Rothenberg in 1889 London and the aftermath of the Jack the Ripper murders. Warlow said today that the second season will “move forward into the 1890s: the death rattle of a century coming to a close, the labor pains of a modern world on the rise.”
Ramping up its event drama output, BBC One has commissioned three new series for 2013. Period fantasy drama Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell is a six-part series based on the best-selling novel by Susanna Clarke and adapted by Wallander‘s Peter Harness. The book is an alternate history of England set during the Napoleonic Wars and focusing on a magician and his apprentice who use their powers to help the government but who are ultimately pitted against one another. New Line optioned the movie rights back in 2005 with Christopher Hampton adapting, but the film was never made. The series is produced by Cuba Pictures in association with Feel Film and Farmoor. Cuba recently produced Rufus Norris’ well-received festival title Broken. Toby Haynes, who directed the Season 2 Sherlock finale, The Reichenbach Fall, is helming. Nick Hirschkorn and Nick Marston are producers, Justin Thomson-Glover, Patrick Irwin and Matthew Read are exec producers.
British athletes just can’t seem to catch a break, but broadcasters continue to reap rewards from those taking part in major sporting events. Euro 2012 gave BBC One and ITV1 strong ratings (even after England lost to Italy …
Euro 2012 is now one for the history books. The entire soccer tournament roundly scored a TV ratings bonanza for broadcasters in Europe. In the U.S., ESPN has been doing increasingly hefty numbers and is expected to report a strong turnout for the final when those figures come in tomorrow.
After netting 14.18M viewers during regulation play in Spain’s semifinal against Portugal last week, Spain’s Telecinco swept primetime Sunday with an average of nearly 15.5M watching the final — good for 83.4% of the audience share. In Italy, RAI’s broadcast of the semifinal match when it bested Germany last week was seen by about 20M viewers for a 68.4% share. On Sunday night, more than 22M Italians watched as their team was routed by Spain in the 4-0 shutout. The victory made La Roja the first team to win three major international titles in a row (after taking Euro 2008 and the World Cup in 2010).