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The BBC served up some exclusive first looks of eight new dramas — including a number of the most hotly-anticipated TV series coming up — at a new U.K. event.
Being held notably the same week as MIPCOM in Cannes, which BBC Studios isn’t taking part in for a second year running, the low-key showcase featured never-before-seen footage from Conversations with Friends, adapted from Normal People writer Sally Rooney’s first novel; This is Going to Hurt, the Ben Whishaw-starring adaptation of Adam Kay’s non-fiction novel set in the British health care system; and A Very British Scandal, the period drama based on the 1960s divorce of the Duke and Duchess of Argyll, starring Paul Bettany and Claire Foy.
“This is the first time we’ve shown work so far in advance,” said Piers Wenger, director of BBC drama, who added that the footage showed a “drama slate evolving out of COVID” and also “rising to the challenges of the SVOD age.”
Also shown was footage from Jamie Dornan-starring Australia-set mystery thriller The Tourist (from The Missing writing pair of Harry and Jack Williams); The Responder, starring Martin Freeman as a troubled cop; social-media focused drama Chloe, starring The Crown’s Erin Doherty; JP Delaney’s haunting mini-series The Girl Before, starring David Oyelowo and Gugu Mbatha-Raw; and Superhoe, a six-part music drama based on Nicôle Lecky’s one-woman Royal Court show.
The Girl Before and The Tourist are set to land on HBO Max in the U.S., while This is Going to Hurt is a co-production with AMC, and Chloe is destined for Amazon Prime.
Of Conversations with Friends — which stars Joe Alwyn, Sasha Lane and Jemima Kirke and, like Normal People, is heading to Hulu in the U.S. — Wenger said they could definitely “feel the pressure” given the success of its predecessor. “But I think the cast will become as much loved as Daisy and Paul,” he added.
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