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BBC executives on Tuesday night celebrated the U.K. public broadcaster’s fall-TV-season launch and unveiled new drama and comedy commissions.
The BBC announced some details on The Cormoran Strike Mysteries, based on the crime novels by J.K. Rowling under her Robert Galbraith pseudonym, and newly announced a retelling of the fall of Troy, adaptations of novels To Sir with Love and Rush of Blood and a season of comedy to celebrate the 60th anniversary in 2016 of the first BBC sitcom, Hancock’s Half Hour.
Speaking on the set of new drama Dickensian during an event hosted by BBC director general Tony Hall, BBC One controller Charlotte Moore said about the fall and winter season: “BBC One will bring the nation together with a distinctive mix of high-quality programs that will empower, surprise and inspire audiences. From Abi Morgan’s River to landmark natural history series The Hunt and Great Barrier Reef, original 20-part series Dickensian, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Waste to The Night Manager, the epic War and Peace, the Tracey Ullman Show and returning global hits Luther and Sherlock, to name just a few.”
The event was attended by actors, hosts, writers, producers, directors, other industry members and media. “Two years into the role and I believe BBC One is more modern, more in touch with the audience, more diverse and more ambitious,” Moore said. “I want our drama to take the audience to places they haven’t been before with pioneering new commissions like Troy: The Fall of a City.”
She concluded: “BBC One’s commitment to ambitious and pioneering television like this is unrivaled … I hope you will be blown away by the range, the quality and the extraordinary lineup. It demonstrates a channel that’s distinctive, best in class and at the top of its game, raising the bar of what British television can offer.”
Dickensian is set within the fictional realms of Charles Dickens’ novels and brings together some of literature’s most iconic characters, including Scrooge, Fagin and Miss Havisham. “With a wealth of back stories sourced from the novels, Dickensian delivers fast-paced storylines with surprising twists and turns,” according to a show description.
Here are more details on some of the new shows and programming initiatives:
Landmark Sitcom Season
BBC One “will mark our enduring affection for all the great comedy characters we have met over the 60 years by enlisting the biggest names in British comedy writing and performing to revisit loved classics alongside launching new shows in a landmark comedy season,” the BBC said.
The Cormoran Strike Mysteries
Based on Galbraith’s The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm, as well as the upcoming Career of Evil, set for publication this fall.
War veteran-turned-private detective Strike investigates crimes with his female assistant Robin. The series is made by the author’s Bronte Film and Television, the producer of The Casual Vacancy. Sarah Phelps (The Casual Vacancy) will adapt The Cuckoo’s Calling, while Ben Richards (The Tunnel, Fortitude) will adapt The Silkworm. Julian Farino (Entourage, The Office) will direct.
Troy: The Fall of a City
David Farr‘s multi-part series promises to retell the fall of Troy and the collapse of a family. “The story of the war between Greece and Troy is an epic tale of love, revenge, intrigue and bloodshed,” according to a show description. “Told from the perspective of the Trojan family at the heart of the siege, Farr’s psychologically rich and sweeping narrative goes back to the saga’s origins: to the judgment of Paris, his passionate elopement with Helen and the ill-starred prophecy surrounding his birth.” The show is produced by Kudos, part of Endemol Shine.
To Sir with Love
The 90-minute adaptation by Hanif Kureishi is based on the autobiographical novel by E.R. Braithwaite and made by Rainmark Films.
Rush of Blood
Adapted from the best-selling Mark Billingham novel by Matt Charman, the three hourlong episodes are being made by Murderous Productions/On the Corner Limited. “Three couples return from their holiday together in Florida and realize that one of them must have been responsible for a murder,” a show description says.
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