UP NEXT: Biggest year ever for Sky TV
UP NEXT: Biggest year ever for Sky TV
Sky announces 2020 plans
80 Sky originals on air in 2020, 40% boost to US content & 10 new commissions announced today
More commissions, more original series, more investment and a world-leading commitment to the environment. Sky today set out its stall for 2020.
Announcing its largest ever slate of programming for 2020, alongside the commission of 10 new Sky original programmes in drama, comedy and entertainment, Sky today reinforced its commitment to bringing customers the best in original, home-grown content alongside the best of US TV.
The news was unveiled at Sky’s Up Next showcase event at the Tate Modern this evening (Feb 12), where the broadcaster shared exclusive previews of brand-new shows due to air this year, with over 25 talent on stage including David Schwimmer, Nick Mohammed, Maisie Williams, Billie Piper, Dynamo, Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan.
80 original series will hit Sky screens in 2020, an increase of 25% year-on-year from 2019, together with a 40% boost in the volume of programming from the US. This is alongside aggregated content from its partnerships with Netflix, BBC, Channel 4 and Channel 5, offering customers all the best TV in one seamless service.
Group CEO, Sky, Jeremy Darroch, said: “2020 is going to be the best year yet for content on Sky – we have over 80 original series and 40% more US shows, we have new channels like Sky Comedy, Sky Nature and Sky Documentaries launching and we are announcing ten new commissions today. In an increasingly competitive market, we keep pushing to give our customers what they want, all the best TV, all in one place.”
Sky’s Managing Director of Content, Zai Bennett, said: “In a world where there are more hours of content than ever, we want to make sure that we’re offering our customers the most high-end, engaging TV that quite simply blows them away. We’re creating and investing in our own world-class original content that sits perfectly alongside the best from the US. This year we’ll be making more of our customers’ favourite shows than ever before.”
Sky is committed to more than doubling its investment in original content by 2024 through Sky Studios, as well as the proposed development of Sky Studios Elstree, a new state-of-the-art TV and film studio in North London. As part of Sky’s commitment to go net zero carbon by 2030, Sky Studios Elstree will be the most sustainable production facility in the world, with all Sky original productions net zero carbon as well.
Among the raft of new original programming announced today are:
- The Tail of The Curious Mouse (w/t), a story about Roald Dahl and Beatrix Potter starring Dawn French (Absolutely Fabulous, The Vicar of Dibley).
- Bloods, a paramedic comedy starring Samson Kayo (Famalam, Timewasters) and Jane Horrocks (Little Voice, Absolutely Fabulous).
- Safe Space, a comedy pilot written by and starring Greg Davies as a demotivated small-time psychotherapist.
- Redknapps’ Weekend Warm Up (w/t), a new entertainment series with father and son duo Harry and Jamie Redknapp teaming up for their first TV project together alongside comedian Tom Davis.
- Brassic, the hit comedy drama co-created by Joseph Gilgun and BAFTA-winning writer Danny Brocklehurst is confirmed for a third series ahead of the second airing in May this year, starring Joseph Gilgun, Michelle Keegan and Damien Molony.
- Intelligence, the GCHQ comedy created by and starring Nick Mohammed, alongside David Schwimmer, is confirmed for a second instalment ahead of the first series airing next week.
- Urban Myths the International Emmy Award-nominated series returns for a fourth outing with stars including Steve Pemberton, Robbie Coltrane, Kara Tointon and Katherine Ryan.
- Cobra, the high-stakes political drama, starring Robert Carlyle and Victoria Hamilton returns for a second series after becoming one of Sky One’s most successful drama series in recent years, with a launch audience of 2.2m, as well as being one of Sky’s most rapidly binged boxsets.
- Sweetpea, a new dark comic drama written by BAFTA Breakthrough screenwriter Kirstie Swain and adapted from the novel Sweetpea by C. J. Skuse.
- You (w/t), a new drama written by Ben Chanan (The Missing, Last Kingdom) and based on the novel YOU by Zoran Drvenkar.
This new programming adds to the breadth of Sky original series which are already due to air on Sky in 2020, including The Third Day (Jude Law, Naomie Harris), I Hate Suzie (Billie Piper), Save Me Too (Lennie James, Suranne Jones, Lesley Manville), Breeders (Martin Freeman, Daisy Haggard), and The Trip to Greece (Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon).
Key acquired shows for 2020 include The Plot Against America (starring Winona Ryder), The Undoing (starring Hugh Grant and Nicole Kidman) Run (written by Vicky Jones and exec produced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge), Penny Dreadful: City of Angels (starring Natalie Dormer) and the award-winning Succession (starring Brian Cox).
FURTHER INFORMATION ON SHOWS ANNOUNCED TODAY:
The Tail of the Curious Mouse (w/t)
(1x90), Sky One and NOW TV
From the makers of SHERLOCK and DRACULA. The Tail of the Curious Mouse is a heart-warming, Christmas film for Sky One inspired by the true story of when a young Roald Dahl met his hero, Beatrix Potter. With Beatrix (Dawn French) coming to the end of her career and Roald aged only six and having recently lost his father and sister, this meeting of two literary legends was to have an enormous impact on the lives of both writers.
The Tail of the Curious Mouse was commissioned by Jon Mountague, Sky Studios’ Director of Comedy and Zai Bennett, Sky’s Managing Director of Content and will be produced by Hartswood Films. Written by Abi Wilson, the show is executive produced by Elaine Cameron for Hartswood Films.
(6x30), Sky One and NOW TV
BAFTA-nominated Samson Kayo (Famalam, Timewasters) and Golden Globe-nominated Jane Horrocks (Absolutely Fabulous, Little Voice) star in six-part comedy series Bloods as paramedic partners in the South London ambulance service. When tough-acting loner Maleek is paired with over-friendly divorcee Wendy, their partnership looks dead on arrival. But pretty soon they’re giving each other life support. An ensemble comedy, set within the fast-paced, never-ending rush of 999 call outs, Bloods charts Maleek and Wendy’s struggle to gain the respect of their fellow paramedics.
Jane Horrocks said:
“I am very much looking forward to working on Bloods and being paired with the extremely funny Samson Kayo. I know nothing of the world of paramedics, but maybe I need to overcome my fear of blood before I start.”
Samson Kayo said: “I’m super excited to show the world Bloods especially because I almost became a paramedic. Lucky for the NHS, I chose to play the character instead! I’m looking forward to hopefully bringing a bag of laughs to Sky with the lovely team at Roughcut who have some quality comedies under their belt!”
Bloods was commissioned by Jon Mountague, Sky Studios’ Director of Comedy. Tilusha Ghelani is commissioning editor for Sky Studios. Created by Samson Kayo and Nathan Bryon. It is written by Nathan Bryon and Paul Doolan (Trollied) and produced by Seb Barwell (Stath Lets Flats). The executive producers for Roughcut are Ash Atalla (The Office, The IT Crowd) and Alex Smith (Trollied). Bloods will be distributed by NBCUniversal Global Distribution on behalf of Sky Studios.
Sky One and NOW TV
Greg Davies is a demotivated small-time psychotherapist heading nowhere fast until fate intervenes in the form of a new client; his rising star local MP. A dark web of revelations lead to a serious breach of client confidentially. A tale of control, power and how idiotic it makes us.
Written by Greg Davies & Stephen Morrison. Produced by Avalon (Taskmaster, Breeders, Catastrophe,
The Russell Howard Hour, and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver).
Redknapps’ Weekend Warm Up (w/t)
(6x60), Sky One and NOW TV
A new entertainment series hosted by football and entertainment star, Jamie Redknapp, his dad, footy legend and national treasure, Harry Redknapp, and his best mate, BAFTA winning comedian, Tom Davis. The manager, Harry, the player, Jamie and the fan, Tom are inviting the biggest and best names in show business and sport to join them, and a lively audience, for an evening packed full of laughter, topical football talk, celebrity chat, and thoroughly entertaining VTs - as well as Harry’s unique anecdotes.
Jamie Redknapp said: "When the opportunity came along to work with two of my favourite people I couldn't refuse. Big T is one of my favourite comedians and of course my Dad knows how to crack a joke too. I'm looking forward to getting started and letting you all have a laugh along with us."
Harry Redknapp said: “When Jamie asked me to join him on his new chat show, I jumped at the chance. I’ve been watching my son’s work in A League of Their Own and as a pundit on Sky Sports for a long time and wanted to work with him, along with Tom Davis.”
Tom Davis said: “Who wouldn’t want to be involved in a show featuring two football legends? Until that day comes I’m chuffed to be working with Harry and Jamie on their Weekend Warm Up. The boys are always a laugh and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Redknapp's Weekend Warm Up was devised by Jamie Redknapp and Expectation, and commissioned by Phil Edgar Jones, Sky’s Director of Arts and Entertainment and Zai Bennett, Sky’s Managing Director of Content. Shirley Jones is the commissioning editor for Sky. It will be produced by Expectation with executive producers Ben Wicks and Aaron Morgan, series producer Genna Gibson and talent executives Louisa McKay and Zak Ooma.
Brassic Series 3
(8x60), Sky One and NOW TV
The Brassic gang will return for a third series as Sky’s most successful comedy drama in years comes back with its trademark mix of the hilarious, ridiculous and deeply poignant. Co-created by Joseph Gilgun and BAFTA-winning writer Danny Brocklehurst, the series will star Joseph Gilgun, Michelle Keegan and Damien Molony.
Danny Brocklehurst, co-creator and writer said: “I couldn't be more thrilled to be doing a third series of Brassic, the response to series one was overwhelming as people took our gang of potty mouthed misfits to their heart. Sky has been truly amazing in its love and support and I can't thank them enough for allowing us to go again.”
Joseph Gilgun, co-creator, said: “I’m so grateful to everyone involved in the making of Brassic season 1 and 2, they’re some of the kindest and most resilient people I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Each and every one of them friends. Also the public played a huge role, it’s very relieving to know your life story isn’t incredibly boring. I want to thank my close friends and colleagues and the creative team; David Livingstone, Danny Brocklehurst, Emily Bray and Dave Quayle. As for Sky, I couldn’t imagine making it with any other channel. Big loves Monty and Bennett!"
Brassic 3 was commissioned by Jon Mountague, Sky Studios’ Director of Comedy and Zai Bennett, Sky’s Managing Director of Content, and will be produced by Calamity Films. It is executive produced by David Livingstone for Calamity Films and Jon Mountague for Sky Studios. Joseph Gilgun and Danny Brocklehurst are also executive producers. The series will be distributed internationally by ITV Studios.
View the exclusive first-look trailer from Brassic series two.
Intelligence Series 2
6x30, Sky One and NOW TV
Nick Mohammed and David Schwimmer will return for a second series of Intelligence, a workplace comedy set in the UK’s GCHQ – a kind of weedier, geekier version of MI5, where they tackle international and domestic cyber-crime from a desktop.
Nick Mohammed said: “I couldn’t be more delighted about setting off alarm bells inside GCHQ all over again”
David Schwimmer said: "I am thrilled to continue to pretend to be important to National Security."
Intelligence 2 was commissioned by Jon Mountague, Sky Studios’ Director of Comedy and Zai Bennett, Sky’s Managing Director of Content. The series is created and written by Nick Mohammed and produced by Expectation. Intelligence 2 will be distributed by NBCUniversal Global Distribution on behalf of Sky Studios.
Urban Myths Series 4
(4x30), Sky Arts and NOW TV
The International Emmy Award nominated Urban Myths returns to Sky Arts, fictionalising some of the most peculiar stories to have ever leaked out of Hollywood, the music industry and the worlds of art and culture.
The series was commissioned by Philip Edgar-Jones, Sky’s Director of Arts and Entertainment, Jon Mountague, Sky Studios’ Director of Comedy and Zai Bennett, Sky’s Managing Director of Content. Morwenna Gordon and Tilusha Ghelani are the executive producers for Sky Studios. Urban Myths will be distributed by NBCUniversal Global Distribution on behalf of Sky Studios.
Urban Myths: Les Dawson’s Parisienne adventure. Written by and starring Steve Pemberton alongside John Bradley and Mark Addy this episode tells the story of the well-loved stand-up comedian’s adventures in Paris in the mid-1950s. Inspired by his heroes, the writers Jean Paul Sartre and Albert Camus, a young Les Dawson (Bradley) left his home in Manchester to live in Paris in order to pursue his dream of becoming a serious novelist. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite work out as he planned, and he ended up becoming a pianist in a brothel.
Written by Steve Pemberton, directed by Steve Bendelack, and produced by RED Production Company. Jemma Rodgers executive produces for RED Production Company.
Urban Myths: Joan Rivers and Barbra Streisand. Starring Katherine Ryan and Jessica Barden, this episode is based on Joan Rivers’ recollections of a play she starred in with Barbra Streisand. Streisand has remained tight-lipped about the whole experience. A sixteen-year-old Barbra Streisand (Barden), is in rehearsals for ‘Driftwood’, an off-Broadway play, when a woman, dressed head to toe in fur, bursts through the door. She’s Joan Molinsky, although the world will soon come to know her as Joan Rivers (Ryan). Joan is failing as a club comic and wants to turn her hand to more serious artistic pursuits. Unfortunately, the only part available is ‘Man in Black’, which Joan blithely demands is gender-swapped to ‘Woman in Black’. Joan hasn’t bothered to read the play, and therefore doesn’t realise that the ‘Woman in Black’ and Barbra’s character, Lorna, have a love scene together.
Written and directed by Sue Perkins and produced by Fulwell 73. Benjamin Turner executive produces for Fulwell 73.
Urban Myths: Hendrix and Handel. Starring David Haig, Zach Wyatt, Jonny Sweet and Kara Tointon. Housemates separated by time, Jimi Hendrix (Wyatt) and George Frideric Handel (Haig) grapple with the stresses of the music business in this funny and intimate portrait of two eccentric musical geniuses. In January 1969, Jimi Hendrix and his girlfriend Kathy Etchingham (Harriet Cains) moved into their first real home in Brook Street in London - the same building that Handel first called home 246 years earlier in 1743 where he wrote The Messiah. The film imagines the events leading up to a transformative moment when Jimi saw Handel’s ghost which he reported to Kathy.
Written by Cara Jennings and Sophie Trott and directed by Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), produced by John Rushton with executive producer Lucy Lumsden for Yellow Door Productions.
Urban Myths: Orson Welles in Norwich. BAFTA-winning Robbie Coltrane OBE stars as Orson Welles, who in 1972 was working on ‘F for Fake’, a faux documentary now regarded as his last masterpiece. But ‘F for Fake’ has run out of funds, and Orson is skint says his manager (Craig Ferguson). However, opportunity comes from the most unlikely of places... in East Anglia! Orson accepts work at a regional television station in Norfolk where he encounters an ambitious local news woman played by Saoirse Monica Jackson, and then swiftly goes missing.
Written by Matthew Broughton and produced by Absinthe Film Entertainment. Richard Curson-Smith directs, Jeremy Campbell produces, and Robbie Coltrane and Lucy Lumsden are executive producers.
6x60, Sky One and NOW TV
The first series of Cobra became one of Sky One’s most successful drama series in recent years, with a cumulative launch audience of 2.2 million, as well as being one of Sky’s most rapidly binged box-sets. In the second series, in the aftermath of both solar and political storms, Prime Minister Robert Sutherland (Robert Carlyle) attempts to steer the country on a more even course. He is assisted, as ever, by his loyal Chief-of-Staff Anna Marshall (Victoria Hamilton), alongside a team of dedicated advisers. An assassination on British soil, however, unleashes a chain of events that threatens to develop into a crisis even more serious than the one from which the country has recently emerged. An apparently invisible global enemy, not playing by the rules and operating outside national boundaries, appears to be bent on our destruction and nobody really knows who is friend and who is foe.
Robert Carlyle said: “I’m absolutely delighted by the audience reaction and success of Cobra. I look forward to season 2 and welcome the chance to play the PM Robert Sutherland once again”
Written by Ben Richards, Cobra 2 was commissioned by Sky Studios’ Director of Drama, Cameron Roach and Zai Bennett, Sky’s Managing Director of Content and will be executive produced by Gabriel Silver for Sky Studios. The series will be produced by New Pictures and the executive producers include Charlie Pattinson, and Ben Richards. Joe Donaldson is the producer. Cobra S2 will be distributed by NBCUniversal Global Distribution on behalf of Sky Studios.
(8x60), Sky One and NOW TV
When Tara O’Rourke kills her estranged father in a drug fuelled rage, she and her best friends are forced to flee across Europe in search of Tara’s long-lost mother. Along the way, the girls have to navigate depleting funds, awkward romances and an inconvenient pregnancy – but the biggest danger comes from Tara’s uncle, Reagan – because the girls made the mistake of stealing Reagan’s drug stash… and he happens to be the most feared gangster in Rotterdam. And all the while, the spectre of a mythical serial killer known as The Traveller inches ever closer…
You was commissioned by Sky Studios’ Director of Drama, Cameron Roach and Zai Bennett, Sky’s Managing Director of Content. Based on the novel YOU by Zoran Drvenkar, this is a Kudos (part of Endemol Shine UK) production. Developed for television by lead writer Ben Chanan, who will also executive produce alongside Karen Wilson and Katie McAleese for Kudos. The lead director is Robbie McKillop. The producer is Derek Ritchie. Kara Manley and Serena Thompson will executive produce for Sky Studios. Worldwide distribution is by Endemol Shine International.
(8x45), Sky Atlantic and NOW TV
A darkly comic drama adapted from the novel Sweetpea by C. J. Skuse. Rhiannon is your average girl next door, living quietly with her boyfriend and little dog. By day her job as an office manager is demeaning and unsatisfying. By evening she dutifully listens to her friends’ plans for marriage and babies. Rhiannon never complains, smiling through it all with reserves of serenity and a sparkling wit. She has become skilled at keeping it together. Being normal. But behind this mask is a ferocious power lying dormant, and a long-buried secret that Rhiannon wishes she could forget. When a chance encounter with a stranger leads to a shocking act of violence, Rhiannon’s mask slips completely and she is forced to confront the darker side she has long kept hidden. The girl everyone overlooks might just be able to get away with murder.
Sweetpea was commissioned by Sky Studios’ Director of Drama, Cameron Roach and Zai Bennett, Sky’s Managing Director of Content. The series is written and executive produced by BAFTA Breakthrough Brit Kirstie Swain. Patrick Walters, Jamie Laurenson, Hakan Kousetta, Iain Canning and Emile Sherman executive produce for See-Saw Films, and Liz Lewin executive produces for Sky Studios.
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