6:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Logo Lands Pair of Series From 'Doctor Who's' Russell T. Davies
Logo and BBC Worldwide North America are teaming with Russell T. Davies (Doctor Who, Queer as Folk) for a pair of new series.
More than a year after they were first developed, Cucumber and Banana, which will both explore gay life, have been ordered to series, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Davies, who is credited with reinventing Doctor Who and who created iconic gay series Queer as Folk, created both Cucumber and Banana.
The two interwoven drama series will explore 21st century gay life and be told through the lens of two disparate generations. The hourlong Cucumber will explore the lives and misadventures of Henry Best and his long-suffering boyfriend of nine years, Lance Sullivan.
The half-hour Banana will follow the individual lives of younger characters orbiting around Henry's world, telling stories of modern love — the romantic, the obsessed, the hopeful, the lonely, the lost and the lucky — in an urban Manchester, England, setting.
"It’s an honor and delight to team up with Logo for these brand-new dramas. It’s 16 years since I created Queer as Folk, which means I’ve had 16 years to build up new characters, new stories and new insights into our lives," Davies said. "Across both series, we explore gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender stories, as well as love beyond labels — this is 50 shades of gay, and beyond!”
The cast includes Vincent Franklin (The Bourne Identity, The Illusionist), Julie Hesmondhalgh (Coronation Street), Freddie Fox (Pride, The Three Musketeers), Cyril Nri (The Bill) and James Murray (Defiance). Up-and-comers Fisayo Akinade, Hannah John-Kamen (Killjoys), Andrew Hayden-Smith (Doctor Who), Luke Newberry (In the Flesh), Letitia Wright (Top Boy), Georgia Henshaw (Waterloo Road) and comedian Bethany Black round out the casts.
"Whether he’s reinventing Doctor Who for a whole new generation, or creating riveting gay and lesbian characters on the original Queer as Folk, Russell T. Davies always pushes television forward,” MTV and Logo president Stephen Friedman said. "Cucumber and Banana are groundbreaking for the way they show intertwined narratives from two generations’ different perspectives. Even more importantly, the shows tell hilarious, incisive and very human stories."
Cucumber and Banana are produced by Red Production Company in association with Channel 4 and Logo TV. BBC Worldwide holds international distribution rights. Caroline Stone, vp drama and children’s scripted sales and co-productions at BBC Worldwide North America, brokered the deal.
Cucumber and Banana were commissioned by U.K. broadcaster Channel 4, and will premiere across the network on Channel 4, E4 and 4oD in January 2015. Both series will debut in early 2015 in the U.S.
“Both Cucumber and Banana are examples of the high-caliber work that Russell T. Davies has a proven track record of creating,” said Matt Forde, exec vp sales and co-productions for BBC Worldwide North America. “Logo TV is the perfect network to co-produce these thought-provoking, brilliantly witty and entertaining series.”