BBC2 unveils spring/summer programming

Flagship 'Culture Show' gets new slot, longer running time

LONDON -- It's all about culture for BBC2 controller Janice Hadlow, who on Wednesday unveiled her first season of programming for the influential terrestrial channel.

Hadlow said the channel's spring/summer lineup will include a fresh slot and lengthened running time for flagship arts show "The Culture Show" as well as what she termed a "poetry season," that will include shows featuring famous faces talking about why poetry matters.

Hadlow, who was appointed controller of BBC2 last year, said "The Culture Show" will have an "enhanced role" in her channel's lineup. The arts magazine program is moving from late night to early evening and will run at 50 minutes rather than half an hour. The team on the show also will be commissioned to produce six hourlong documentaries on contemporary arts and culture.

Away from the highbrow front, the new season will include an action series set in space titled "Defying Gravity." The show is a co-production with 20th Century Fox Television, Canada's CTV and Germany's ProSieben.

Matt Lucas of "Little Britain" fame will star alongside Sean Maguire in "Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire," billed as a high concept comedy series. The show is currently airing in the U.S. on Comedy Central.

BBC2 also unveiled plans for "Taking the Flak," a news satire about journalists in war zones.