Tom Hardy, Steven Knight, Ridley Scott Team With BBC For Period Series ‘Taboo’

By | Thursday April 3, 2014 @ 11:01pm PDT

tom hardyTom Hardy is reuniting with his Locke director and screenwriter Steven Knight, and his Child 44 producer Ridley Scott for eight-part period series Taboo. Knight created the drama based on an original … Read More »

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‘The Voice UK’ Renewed For Two More Seasons On BBC One

By | Monday March 31, 2014 @ 2:46am PDT

voice ukWith ratings bolstered in part by the current season’s schedule change, singing competition format The Voice UK has officially been ordered for two more runs on BBC One. The coaching lineup is to be confirmed. There … Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Chinese “Fifth Generation” Director Wu Tianming Dies; New BBC Dramas Feature Stellan Skarsgard, Ben Chaplin, Joanne Froggatt & More; Maurice Lévy To Give Mip-TV Keynote

By | Tuesday March 4, 2014 @ 9:00pm PST

Inaugural Ceremony Of Xian Qujiang Film & Television Investment GroupChinese director Wu Tianming died Tuesday of an apparent heart attack at his home in Beijing. Wu, known as the “Godfather of the Fifth Generation” directed several films in the 1970s and ’80s that helped reshape Chinese cinema including 1986′s Old Well and 1995′s award winner King Of Masks. He got his professional start at Xi’an Film Studios as an apprentice to Cui Wei and eventually took over the studio in the late 1970s, over the next decade-plus helped guide the careers of such noted Chinese filmmakers as Huang Jianxin, Tian Zhuangzhuang, Chen Kaige and Zhang Yimou. His last directing job was 2003′s Gadfly, a 20-part TV miniseries based on the E.L. Voynich novel.

stellanskarsgardStellan Skarsgard has been cast in the lead role of Abi Morgan’s new BBC series River. Morgan, who has scripted features including Shame, The Iron Lady and the upcoming Suffragette, won an Emmy last year for BBC logowriting the now cancelled BBC series The Hour. River reteams her with the BBC for a six-part series she created. Kudos is producing. The drama centers on John River (Skarsgard), 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. The series is due to air in 2015.

joanne froggattAlso at the BBC, Ben Chaplin, Downton Abbey‘s Joanne Froggatt and Silent WitnessEmilia Fox have been confirmed to join drama showcase The Secrets. The strand is a series of five stand-alone films that highlights new writing talent. It’s made by Working Title TV for BBC One. The above are joining a host of British names that includes Olivia Colman, Alison Steadman, Ashley Walters, Helen Baxendale and Sarah Solemani. BAFTA-winning director Dominic Savage will helm the five films, each of which starts with one incident and then follows five different stories stemming from the event. Read More »

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‘History Boys’ Samuel Anderson Joining ‘Doctor Who’ In Recurring Role

By | Monday February 24, 2014 @ 5:27am PST

sam andersonDoctor Who is getting a new addition — and going back to school. Samuel Anderson (The History Boys, Gavin & Stacey) is joining the cast for series 8 which also introduces Peter Capaldi as the newest … Read More »

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‘Mr Selfridge’ Down In UK Return; ‘Call The Midwife’ Sets Record; Strong Bow For ‘The Musketeers’: Video

The Musketeers: Peter Capaldi as Cardinal RichelieuSunday night was a big one for new and returning British dramas in the UK. The Season 2 premiere of Jeremy Piven-starrer Mr Selfridge on ITV had an average 5.27M viewers … Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Sherlock’ Season Finale Draws 8.77M UK Viewers; BBFC Changes Criteria For UK Movie Ratings; More

‘Sherlock’ Season Finale Ratings Tops Weekend In UK
A roundly lauded finale for Season Three of Sherlock was the weekend’s most-watched TV program in the UK. The modern detective series’ third installment, entitled “His sherlock-season-3-finaleLast Vow,” drew 8.77M viewers for a 32.1% share, according to the overnights. While it was possibly the best-reviewed episode of the current season, it also was the lowest-rated. Last week’s 90-minute turn, “The Sign Of Three,” had brought in 8.84M viewers and the January 1st opener, “The Empty Hearse,” was the show’s most-watched episode ever at 9.2M on BBC One. In March last year, star Benedict Cumberbatch said there would be a fourth series of a three more episodes. At a BAFTA screening and panel discussion last week, Sherlock co-creator Steven Moffat said the next season will be made “as quickly” as possible. Season 3 kicks off in the U.S. on PBS on January 19.

UK’s BBFC Changes Its Movie Ratings Criteria
After a spending nearly a year polling more than 10,000 members of the British public, the UK ratings board is tweaking its guidelines. Beginning February 24, the bbfcBBFC will give greater weight to the theme and tone of a film, especially around the 12A and 15 certificate levels (12A is similar to PG-13 in the U.S. and 15 means suitable only for 15 and overs). The board will also pay particular attention “to the psychological impact of horror” and strong visual details like gore. The BBFC has previously shown itself to be squeamish: In 2012, Lionsgate UK shaved seven seconds off The Hunger Games when it appeared the board was going to stamp it with a 15 certificate. Fixes were made in four scenes of violence and one showing details of injuries. It secured the 12A with a warning that it had “occasional gory moments.” While the BBFC will be stricter with language at the U level (equivalent to an MPAA G), it will also be more flexible about allowing very strong language at the 15 rating. “Context, not just frequency, is the most important factor in how language in films is perceived by the public,” the BBFC said today. Further, the group’s findings show that the public is notably concerned about the sexualization of girls in mainstream films and about risks to vulnerable adolescents, including what some described as the onscreen ‘normalization’ of behaviors which parents consider inappropriate. According to findings of the poll, 95% of parents with children under 15 say they check the BBFC rating before watching a film and 89% of moviegoers ratings important. The most complained-about film over the past four years was 2012′s The Woman In Black starring Daniel Radcliffe. Eleven percent of moviegoers polled thought it had received too low a rating at 12A and should have been given a 15. Read More »

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David Morrissey To Topline BBC One Miniseries ‘The Driver’

By | Friday January 10, 2014 @ 4:25am PST

DavidMorrisseyThe Driver, about an ordinary man who makes a terrible decision, is a three-part thriller from BAFTA Award-winning screenwriter Danny Brocklehurst (Shameless UK). The Walking Dead‘s David Morrissey will play taxi driver Vince McKee, who blames himself … Read More »

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‘Sherlock’ Episode 2 Down Slightly, Still UK’s Most-Watched Program On Sunday

By | Monday January 6, 2014 @ 4:08am PST

sherlock_series_3_0While U.S. audiences were treated to the Season 4 premiere of Downton Abbey on PBS Sunday night, folks in the UK were tuned in to the second installment of the latest season of Sherlock. The 90-minute episode, … Read More »

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‘Sherlock’ Makes Explosive Return To BBC In Series’ Most-Watched Episode Ever

By | Thursday January 2, 2014 @ 2:14am PST

SherlockBenedict Cumberbatch came back to life as Sherlock Holmes in The Empty Hearse, the first episode of Season 3 of Sherlock which aired on BBC One on New Year’s Day. The 90-minute installment was the … Read More »

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BBC One Orders Third Season Of Derek Jacobi Starrer ‘Last Tango In Halifax’

By | Monday December 23, 2013 @ 4:01pm PST

Last Tango In HalifaxThe BAFTA-winning drama has been renewed a day ahead of the December 24 sophomore-season finale on BBC One. Last Tango In Halifax stars Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid as widowed seventy-somethings who rekindle a passion … Read More »

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Hot TV Trailer: Interactive ‘Sherlock’

By | Sunday December 8, 2013 @ 3:54pm PST

The BBC has let loose an interactive trailer for the upcoming 3rd series of Sherlock. It includes goodies in the form of onscreen messages – reminiscent of the series’ use of flashing texts – that when clicked upon, delve deeper into what’s in store. This is … Read More »

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‘Ripper Street’ Cancelled By BBC After 2nd Season Ratings Drop In UK

By | Wednesday December 4, 2013 @ 7:44am PST

ripper-streetVictorian-era drama Ripper Street will not return for a 3rd season after failing to pull sufficient numbers for BBC One. A spokesperson tells Deadline, “We are very proud of Ripper Street which has enjoyed two highly ambitious … Read More »

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‘Sherlock’ To Return To BBC One On New Year’s Day

By | Friday November 29, 2013 @ 2:47am PST

In a sly publicity stunt in London this morning, the BBC confirmed the UK airdate for the return of hit detective drama Sherlock. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman will be back as Sherlock Holmes and John Watson on January 1, 2014 on … Read More »

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UPDATE: ‘Doctor Who’ 50th Anniversary Special Scores In U.S. & UK

UPDATE, 4:05 PM: It turns out BBC America got some good news from the Doctor too: The network’s simulcast and later primetime replay of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special Doctor Who: The Day Of The Doctor drew 3.6 million viewers Saturday. The 2.4 million viewers for the 2:50 PM ET simulcast marked the channel’s best numbers ever in Live+Same Day, netting 1.2 million adults 25-54. Beyond lucrative Saturday movie theater screenings (and more today) in conjunction with NCM Fathom Events, the UK series’ special event was No. 1 on Twitter for the day among all TV shows and set records on Tumblr. The heat helped BBC America’s new fantasy series Atlantis, which piggybacked Doctor Who on the network’s Supernatural Saturday with 838,000 total viewers in the premiere of the 13-part series. Next big appointment for BBC America to see the Doctor? This Christmas, it will premiere Matt Smith’s final episode, Doctor Who’s Christmas Special.

Related: Google Celebrates ‘Doctor Who’s With Biggest Interactive Doodle Ever Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: BBC One Preps ‘Gangsta Granny’; Pathé Boards ‘Suffragette’ With Carey Mulligan; More

By | Thursday October 24, 2013 @ 10:10pm PDT

BBC One’s ‘Gangsta Granny’ Rounds Out Cast
Julia McKenzie, Joanna Lumley, Rob Brydon and Miranda Hart will star in Gangsta Granny, BBC One’s 60-minute adaptation of David Walliams’ best-selling children’s novel. The comedy-drama tells the story of young Ben (Reece Buttery), who is bored while staying with his dull grandma (McKenzie). Then one day, Grandma tells Ben a story that she was once an international jewel thief, and together they go on a wild adventure. Directed by Matt Lipsey, Gangsta Granny will be produced by Jo Sargent and executive produced by Mark Freeland. It begins filming Sunday for broadcast at Christmastime Read More »

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Jessica Brown Findlay Checks Into BBC One’s ‘Jamaica Inn’

By | Sunday September 29, 2013 @ 4:01pm PDT

Former Downton Abbey star Jessica Brown Findlay will topline BBC One‘s three-part adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s 1936 gothic novel, Jamaica Inn. Emma Frost (The White Queen) wrote the adaptation that’s produced by Origin Pictures and directed by BAFTA winner Philippa Lowthorpe (Call The Midwife). Set in 1820s Cornwall, the story follows spirited Mary Yellan (Brown Findlay), a young woman sent to live with her aunt (Joanne Whalley) after the death of her mother. When Mary arrives at the eerie, isolated Jamaica Inn, she finds her once carefree aunt is now firmly under the spell of domineering husband Joss (Sean Harris). The inn, it turns out, is a front for a smuggling ring. As Mary attempts to navigate her new surroundings, she falls for bad boy Jem (Matthew McNulty) and begins questioning her own morals and loyalties until an ultimate test reveals her true self. Ben Daniels and Shirley Henderson also star. Shooting starts this week in Cornwall, Yorkshire and Cumbria with a 2014 airdate to be confirmed. Read More »

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‘The Hour’ Emmy Winner Abi Morgan Penning Police Drama ‘River’ For BBC One

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 … Read More »

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Kylie Minogue Joins ‘The Voice UK’; Will.i.am, Tom Jones Returning

By | Wednesday September 11, 2013 @ 3:58am PDT

It’s still missing a 4th mentor, but The Voice UK has confirmed the return of will.i.am and Tom Jones for Season 3. The show has also set pop icon Kylie Minogue for her first go-round in a … Read More »

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Dustin Hoffman, Judi Dench Team For BBC Adaptation Of Roald Dahl’s ‘Esio Trot’

By | Friday August 23, 2013 @ 3:51am PDT

Esio Trot will see Dustin Hoffman play Mr Hoppy, a retired bachelor who harbors a secret passion for his neighbor, Mrs Silver (Judi Dench). … Read More »

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