Steven Moffat is returning for another Doctor Who season, the BBC officially confirmed today. The current series finale aired tonight ahead of a 50th anniversary special slated for November 23 starring Matt Smith, Jenna-Louise Coleman, David Tennant, Billie Piper, and John Hurt. Moffat “is already plotting a brand new run of adventures for the Doctor,” the network announced on their blog. Brian Minchin will executive produce alongside Moffat.
BAFTA handed out its TV prizes tonight in London with Olivia Colman taking two awards, one for supporting actress for BBC miniseries Accused and the other as actress in a comedy program for Olympics sitcom Twenty Twelve, which was also named best sitcom. Colman will soon be seen by U.S. audiences in ITV’s recent hit drama Broadchurch. Ben Whishaw was best actor for Neal Street Productions co-production with NBC Universal and WNET Thirteen/BBC Two, Richard II (Hollow Crown), and top comedy actor was Steve Coogan for Sky Atlantic‘s Welcome To The Places Of My Life. The best drama series was the BBC’s Last Tango In Halifax while HBO‘s Girls was named best international show. Coming into the evening, the BBC and HBO’s Hitchcock film The Girl was among the most nominated programs, but went home empty-handed. Downton Abbey had no nominations. A full list of winners follows:
Global Showbiz Briefs: Michael Haneke Feted By Spain, BBC To Air Record-Breaking ‘You Will Be My Son’
Spain’s Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts has gone this year to Amour director Michael Haneke. The two-time Palme d’Or winner was given a $65,000 prize to go with …
Everybody Loves Raymond has already been adapted for foreign audiences including in Russia, where the process was the subject of 2010 documentary Exporting Raymond. Now, the BBC has confirmed that a pilot for a UK remake will be shot for BBC One later this month. British comic actor-writer Lee Mack is penning the pilot for The Smiths and will star alongside The Office‘s Catherine Tate. Just as Ray Romano did on the Emmy-winning CBS sitcom that ran from 1996-2005, Mack will play a successful sportswriter whose overbearing parents and older brother live next door, but the action will move from Long Island to the English county of Cheshire. Tate plays Mack’s wife in a role originated by Patricia Heaton, and further cast is to be confirmed.
Mosey Upped To Editorial Director At BBC
The BBC has appointed Roger Mosey as editorial director. He’ll oversee the BBC’s editorial standards and handle major editorial issues as they arise in the new role that’s being …
A review of internal practices at the BBC that was convened in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal has found that there have been 37 complaints of sexual harassment at the broadcaster in the past six years, but that current incidents are “rare.” Bullying and other forms of “inappropriate behavior” were found to be “much more prominent,” however. In response, the BBC said it would be overhauling its bullying and harassment policy and will also do away with gag clauses in BBC employment contracts.
The Savile crisis exploded last October, nearly a year after the longtime BBC celebrity TV host died. Since then there have been hundreds of allegations of child sex abuse lodged against Savile with some said to have occured on BBC premises. The report (read it here) calls the crisis “a period which shook the BBC to its core.” But according to the findings, it’s bullying that is the biggest current problem facing the broadcaster. Throughout conversations with nearly 1,000 staff members, the report found there was “a strong undercurrent of fear”
Oscar winner Jim Broadbent will play Tommy Butler, the detective who relentlessly sought to bring the gang behind the infamous August 8, 1963 robbery of a Royal Mail train to justice. The BBC‘s two-part drama The Great Train Robbery kicks off with The Robbers’ Tale, the story of how the heist was planned and executed. Luke Evans will play Bruce Reynolds, the mastermind behind the heist. The second part, A Coppers’ Tale, will feature Broadbent leading the Scotland Yard team Butler assembled to bring the thieves to justice in a race against time. Also joining A Coppers’ Tale are Tim Pigott-Smith (Downton Abbey, Alice In Wonderland), Robert Glenister (Law & Order: UK, Hustle), Tom Chambers (Waterloo Road), Tom Beard (Salmon Fishing In The Yemen), James Wilby (Titanic) and James Fox (W.E., Utopia).
Global Showbiz Briefs: BAFTA TV Craft Prizes; BBC Renews ‘The Village’; ‘Oh Boy’ At German Lolas; Al Jazeera
Olympics Score BAFTA TV Craft Awards
The Olympics was a three-time winner in factual categories at Sunday night’s BAFTA TV Craft Awards with the opening ceremony taking honors for multi-camera directing. BBC’s Super Saturday grabbed a prize for sound and Channel 4′s Paralympics earned a nod for digital creativity. Among series winners, Neal Street Productions/BBC One’s Call The Midwife brought Philippa Lowthorpe a directing award and Christine Walmesley-Cotham was honored for make-up & hair. Sheena Napier won for her costume design work the BBC’s Parade’s End and Darryl Hammer won for production design on the BBC/HBO Hitchcock biopic The Girl. Tom Turnbull won in the visual & graphic effects category for ITV’s Julian Fellowes’ penned Titanic. A full list of winners is available here.
The BBC is marking a lot of anniversaries with its upcoming specials. Later this year, the broadcaster will celebrate 50 years of Doctor Who and will also remember The Great Train Robbery 50 years on with a …
BBC One controller Danny Cohen has been appointed director of BBC Television, rounding out the senior management team of new director general Tony Hall. Cohen will sit on the BBC’s executive and management boards and will oversee …
UPDATE, TUESDAY 6:06 AM PT: In the wake of Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon, I hear there are “a lot of conversations going on” at the BBC over security for its live coverage of the London Marathon on Sunday. Those talks will continue throughout the week. The network, which is the exclusive UK broadcaster for the event, released the following statement today: “The BBC will be covering the London Marathon. We take event safety very seriously and are liaising with the relevant authorities. Our thoughts are with those affected by the sad events in Boston.” Elsewhere in Europe, the Hamburg Marathon in Germany is also moving forward on Sunday. A spokesperson there tells me there are no changes planned for the three-plus hours of live coverage on NDR, a regional channel of public broadcaster ARD.
James Harding resigned as editor of Rupert Murdoch’s The Times neswspaper in December saying, “It has been made clear to me that News Corporation would like to appoint a new editor of The Times.” Reports suggested that Harding’s departure was the result of upset at The Times’ parent company over the paper’s somewhat critical stance during the phone-hacking scandal that had engulfed News Corp.’s UK press arm, News International. When Harding starts his new job as director of news and current affairs at the BBC on August 12, he’ll be joining another company that has seen its share of recent crises.
The BBC’s news division has been plagued by troubles in the past six months including the Jimmy Savile scandal, botched reporting at the flagship Newsnight program and walkouts by journalists. Its Panorama program is drawing fire this week over allegations that London School of Economics students were put in harm’s way during the filming of a documentary in North Korea.
After the drama that played out in the BBC‘s news division late last year amid the Jimmy Savile and Newsnight crises, the broadcaster has come under further fire regarding one of its news shows. The London School of Economics believes some of its students were endangered during a recent trip to North Korea on which a team of undercover BBC journalists filmed a documentary for the Panorama program. The LSE and its students union have demanded that the BBC withdraw the show which is due to air tonight, but the broadcaster is still going forward. LSE director Craig Calhoun wrote on Twitter today: “Producers of Panorama seem not to have learned any lessons from recent BBC scandals. Consciously chose to endanger LSE students. For what?” In a statement, the BBC said “public interest” in airing the report “is very strong indeed.” It added that such a program “involves some difficult judgements, editorially, practically and ethically and that is why it has been handled at a senior level.”
Along with an emphasis on cross-border series, among the takeaways from this week’s Mip-TV market was the increased merging of technology and content. Of the 4,000 acquisition execs in town, 800 were VOD and digital buyers – a 30% jump on last year. Cinedigm did a digital/VOD deal for more than 1,000 episodes of TV shows from Australia’s ABC which CEO Chris McGurk said reflected the “ever-growing importance of efficient, cost-effective delivery of digital content worldwide.”
YouTube was part of the discussion. Tim Hincks, president of Dutch giant Endemol, which has over 100 YouTube channels, said the company will soon launch a new Fear Factor channel, effectively reviving the brand in the U.S. But he stressed that “It’s not how much you’ve got, it’s what you do with them. It’s tying them together and marketing to the consumers and YouTubers on the different channels.”
But BSkyB managing director of content, Sophie Turner Lang, urged attendees to “Talk about the shows, not the pipes.” It’s storytelling that engages audiences, she said, noting that creative meetings have reversed from mostly being about story and talent to being about “protection and digital delivery.”
The fact that Sherlock is back in production and filming around the UK has drummed up a fan frenzy. Stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman recently shot in Bristol and Cheltenham with photos popping up across the Internet, leading to potential spoilers. Now, as the show heads to London, producer Sue Vertue has sent a plea to Sherlock lovers to let the team get on with its “punishing” schedule and ask that people avoid posting spoilers or daily locations. On the other hand, Sherlock network the BBC yesterday released official videos of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special shooting in Trafalgar Square. I hear the reasoning for getting in front of Doctor Who was because the shoot was “bang in the center of London” so already very public. But even a well-placed BBC insider says the Sherlock locations are something of a mystery. Click over for Vertue’s note:
MIPTV: BBC’s Ben Stephenson & DR’s Piv Bernth Talk ‘Sherlock’, ‘The Killing’ And Working With U.S. Partners
BBC drama controller Ben Stephenson and Piv Bernth, head of drama at Danish broadcaster DR, home of the original The Killing and The Bridge, shared their views on co-productions this morning in Cannes. The duo, who each work for public broadcasters, also touched on dealing with U.S. partners and the courage of their convictions. Scandinavia is a hot spot for drama, but Bernth says she only gets 4% of DR’s budget for drama so she’s “working with all kinds of different partners” and “trying to keep our feet on the ground.” She also confirmed that Killing creator Soren Sveistrup is working on a project for Cinemax, which he’ll present to the network within the next month.
Stephenson is careful to avoid the dreaded “Europudding,” or what he terms “Mid-Atlantic pudding,” but says, “In the past, all countries thought their drama was their drama, but today actually we all have quite a lot in common.” Even “the best microscopic local drama” can feel universal. Stephenson pointed to Downton Abbey, which is an ITV show, and to the BBC’s Sherlock as examples. They “are so British in their sensibility. They’re as English as English can get and that shows that if you do something well for your own country, the idea has attraction for abroad.” If Sherlock had been made expressly for international, Stephenson told me recently, it would have been cast differently. In the early days of the show, he said there were concerns that Benedict Cumberbatch’s high-functioning sociopath would not be embraced. “Couldn’t he be slightly nicer? Couldn’t you have a bigger star?” are questions he said were bandied about. “Ultimately it was the courage of convictions. It made Benedict a star and people love those rough edges.”
BBC controller Ben Stephenson announced two big new projects this morning in Cannes. BAFTA-winning writer/producer Jimmy McGovern will make an epic eight-part serial about the origin of Australia after Britain sent its unwanted citizens there in the late 1780s. Shooting in Oz next year, the drama will be produced by McGovern’s RSJ Films. The BBC is in talks with co-producing partners and distributors on the as-yet untitled story that begins several months after the first fleet of petty thieves, whores, orphans and highwaymen arrives and is told through the eyes of three convicts. Stephenson tells me the drama will examine the theme of second chances. It’s not yet cast, but name talent is expected to board.