Whitford warms to BBC mini 'Burn Up'



CANNES -- Bradley Whitford has signed up for his first U.K. TV project, "Burn Up," a miniseries for BBC2.

Whitford, of "The West Wing" and "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" fame, will play an unscrupulous oil industry lobbyist in the taut environmental thriller, which is being produced by "Spooks" creator Kudos and Seven24 Films for the BBC with a script penned by "The Full Monty" writer Simon Beaufoy.

Other cast members include Neve Campbell and Rupert Penry-Jones.

The drama tells the story of a group of oil executives, environmental activists and politicians as their loves and loyalties collide in the battle between economic success and ecological responsibility.

Penry-Jones stars as the new head of Arrow Oil, who finds his life unraveling in a high-stakes game of power and international intrigue. He's caught between loyalties to his best friend, Mack (Whitford), and his pro-environment colleague, Holly (Campbell).

Kudos head Stephen Garrett called the project "a potent cocktail of fiction and fact that we hope will enlighten as much as it will entertain,"

Shooting on the Anglo-Canadian co-production will start this month in Calgary and London and hit screens next year.

"Burn Up" is a "highly authored piece wholly of this unique moment in time," BBC drama commissioning editor Lucy Richer said. "The exciting mix of U.S., Canadian and U.K. talent, and the awesome backdrop of the Canadian wilds combined with Simon's taut and provocative script, makes for an epic proposition."