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Disney Hires BBC Studios Alum to Lead TV Content for Europe and Africa

  • Variety
Former BBC scripted content portfolio director Liam Keelan has joined the Mouse House.

The London-based exec will take on the newly created regional role of VP of original productions for television, where he is to oversee content for both channels and fledgling streaming service Disney+ in Europe and Africa.

Leading a team of development and production executives in the U.K. and across the region, he will be responsible for scripted, unscripted, factual entertainment and animated originals across the company’s various genres with a focus on general entertainment and family.

Original content will land on Fox, Disney Channel and Disney+. Keelan will report into Diego Londono, executive VP of media networks and content.

Keelan first joined BBC Studios (formerly BBC Worldwide) in 2013, but departed last March following a restructuring at the producer-distributor.

Keelan spent six years as Director of Scripted Content, BBC Worldwide. Prior to this, he was Global Editorial Director.
See full article at Variety »

BritBox Snaps Up Rob Lowe’s ‘Wild Bill’, Martin Freeman’s ‘A Confession’ & Jason Watkins’ ‘McDonald and Dodds’ – TCA

  • Deadline
BritBox Snaps Up Rob Lowe’s ‘Wild Bill’, Martin Freeman’s ‘A Confession’ & Jason Watkins’ ‘McDonald and Dodds’ – TCA
Rob Lowe’s ITV drama Wild Bill, cop drama McDonald and Dodds (starring The Crown’s Jason Watkins), Martin Freeman’s A Confession and Sticks and Stones (starring Killing Eve’s Ken Nwosu) are the latest British titles to be snapped up by streamer BritBox.

This comes after the ITV and BBC joint venture unveiled its latest commission, Father Brown spin-off Sister Boniface, earlier this morning.

The announcements were made as part of BritBox’s Winter TCA press tour session.

“From day one, BritBox has delivered the known, the now and the new authentic British programming experience, whether it’s through groundbreaking originals and specials or proven international favorites,” said BritBox President and Founder, Soumya Sriraman. “Day in and day out, viewers are flocking to BritBox for premium UK entertainment they won’t find anywhere else in North America.”

Wild Bill stars Lowe as Bill Hixon, a high-flying Us police
See full article at Deadline »

TCA: British Streamer BritBox Adds Shows, Including ‘A Confession,’ With Martin Freeman

  • Variety
BritBox, BBC Studios and ITV’s streaming service in North America, has added several co-productions, live specials, renewals and short series to its lineup, BritBox president Soumya Sriraman announced Tuesday at the Television Critics Assn. gathering in Pasadena.

Among the shows coming to the service are “A Confession,” an original drama from Jeff Pope, starring Martin Freeman (“Sherlock”) and Imelda Staunton (“Vera Drake”), about divergent paths to justice for two women when the confession of a violent criminal is ruled inadmissible; the six-part mystery series “Wild Bill,” starring Rob Lowe; “Sister Boniface,” about a crime-solving nun, a spin-off of the mystery series “Father Brown”; a co-production with ITV from Mammoth Screen, “McDonald and Dodds,” about a pair of mismatched police detectives, starring Jason Watkins; and Mike Bartlett’s three-part psychological thriller “Sticks and Stones,” starring Ken Nwosu.

During the TCA session, Sriraman also led panel discussions on BritBox’s exclusive season 10 return of “Vera,
See full article at Variety »

BritBox North America Orders ‘Father Brown’ Spin-Off Drama ‘The Sister Boniface Mysteries’

  • Deadline
BritBox North America Orders ‘Father Brown’ Spin-Off Drama ‘The Sister Boniface Mysteries’
BritBox North America, the streaming service operated by the BBC and ITV, has commissioned a drama based on a character that first appeared in the hit British daytime show Father Brown.

The Sister Boniface Mysteries will star Lorna Watson (Watson & Oliver) after she featured as sleuthing nun Sister Boniface in the first season of crime-fighting period drama Father Brown on BBC One.

BBC Studios will produce the 10-part spin-off drama, having made eight seasons of Father Brown since 2013, and it focuses on light-hearted murder mysteries in 1960s England.

Created by Jude Tindall (Father Brown), Sister Boniface is using advanced techniques for tracking down killers and acts as a scientific advisor to the police, working alongside Detective Inspector Sam Gillespie and Detective Sergeant Felix Livingstone.

Watson said: “She is such a fun character to play. Quirky, funny, endearing and a total brain when it comes to forensics. In many ways she
See full article at Deadline »

Britbox Orders Detective Series ‘The Sister Boniface Mysteries’

  • Variety
Britbox Orders Detective Series ‘The Sister Boniface Mysteries’
Lorna Watson (“Watson & Oliver”) is set to star in a detective series for BritBox North America, “The Sister Boniface Mysteries.” Set in 1960s rural England, the series of light-hearted murder mysteries follows the investigations of Sister Boniface, Bride of Christ, vintner and crime scene investigator.

The 10-part drama, created by Jude Tindall, is produced by BBC Studios Productions, and will be distributed internationally by BBC Studios. The show was executive produced by Will Trotter.

Watson reprises her role as Sister Boniface, following her appearance in the first season of “Father Brown.”

In the 1960s, when police forensics is rudimentary by today’s standards, Boniface – with an I.Q. of 156, a Phd in forensic science, and a fully equipped crime laboratory is an invaluable aid to the police. In her role as official Police Scientific Advisor, Boniface works alongside the dashing detective inspector Sam Gillespie and Felix Livingstone, a high-flying Bermudian detective sergeant.
See full article at Variety »

Billy Burke, Aaron Poole And Christopher Webster Join Liam Hemsworth For Quibi Action Thriller

  • Deadline
Billy Burke, Aaron Poole And Christopher Webster Join Liam Hemsworth For Quibi Action Thriller
Exclusive: Billy Burke, Aaron Poole and Christopher Webster are set to join Liam Hemsworth, Christoph Waltz and Natasha Liu Bordizzo in Quibi’s forthcoming untitled action thriller.

The series comes from Scorpion creator Nick Santora, producer Gordon Gray, Silver Reel Pictures and CBS Television Studios. Santora will write and executive produce the series. Emmy-nominated director Phil Abraham (Mad Men) will helm and also executive produce.

Here’s the logline: Desperate to take care of his pregnant wife before a terminal illness can take his life, Dodge Maynard (Hemsworth) accepts an offer to participate in a deadly game where he soon discovers that he’s not the hunter but the prey. The action-thriller explores the limits of how far someone would go to fight for their life and their family. Burke, Poole and Webster’s roles are being kept under wraps.

Burke recently starred in Zoo and NBC’s Revolution. His film
See full article at Deadline »

‘Father Brown’ Heads to BritBox Along With New Original Series ‘The Bay’

BritBox is expanding its content slate with two original series, a slate of live programming, and the introduction of the long-running series “Father Brown,” the company’s president Soumya Sriraman announced Thursday.

Speaking at BritBox’s TCA presentation, Sriraman introduced a new BritBox original series, “The Bay” and announced the acquisition of “Gavin & Stacey’s” 2019 Christmas Special, based off a British sitcom written by James Corden. Release dates for the two programs were not disclosed.

Starring Morven Christie (“Grantchester”) and Jonas Armstrong (“Ripper Street”), “The Bay” follows a family liaison officer who is assigned to a missing person’s case that becomes more personal than expected, which ultimately puts her wellbeing in danger. With two BAFTAs and three British Comedy awards under its belt, “Gavin and Stacey,” which follows the merging of two quirky families, returns for a one-hour special that will feature show creator Corden.

Joining the two shows
See full article at The Wrap »

BritBox Unveils Originals, Lands Streaming Rights to ‘Death in Paradise’

  • Variety
Streaming service BritBox will bring British crime drama “The Bay” to its subscribers, as well as the upcoming “Gavin & Stacey” Christmas special.

The streamer, which in North America is an equal joint venture between ITV and BBC Studios, has also landed popular U.K. shows including “Death in Paradise,” which is currently on Netflix in the U.S. but will be exclusive to BritBox in the Svod rights window. BritBox, which has about 650,000 subscribers, has also scored rights to several live events.

BritBox president Soumya Sriraman announced the new programming at the streamer’s TCA presentation, which featured panel sessions on its original Kelly Macdonald drama “The Victim” as well as “Father Brown” and “Mum.”

The Bay,” a serialized crime drama in the vein of “Broadchurch,” will be a BritBox original. It stars starring Morven Christie (“Granchester”) and Jonas Armstrong (“Ripper Street”). In the U.K. it went out
See full article at Variety »

The Last Word: Patti Smith on Performing With Her Kids and What William Burroughs Taught Her

The Last Word: Patti Smith on Performing With Her Kids and What William Burroughs Taught Her
Patti Smith has never shied away from life’s tragic side. But when she calls up Rolling Stone in October, she’s in an upbeat mood.

“On the road, they have these LG televisions and when you turn them on, it says: Life Is Good. I love that,” Smith says. “Actually, I say it out loud when I turn it on: ‘Life is good.’ Because there’s a million reasons why we can say that things are terrible in the world, but when you get down to it, you know,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

British Actresses Launch Campaign for Equal Representation on Stage and Screen

With two-thirds of screen time going to men, actresses in the UK turned activists this week and launched the Equal Representation for Actresses (Era) campaign for gender equality in television, film, and theater. Dozens of actresses and sympathetic actors turned up for the speeches at BAFTA in London wearing the Era 50:50 pin which has already been paraded on the red carpet by Emma Thompson and Emma Watson.

The crowd at the launch included Lily James, Gemma Arterton, Ophelia Lovibon, and James Nesbitt. Olivia Colman introduced the two founders of Era, Polly Kemp and Elizabeth Berrington, who started the debate two years ago when a group of actresses met in London’s Soho and began to question the casting and creative decisions made by programmers and film-funders, which resulted in such an unequal share of screen time and employment opportunities. A British casting director confessed that in the last three years,
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

The Final Years of King Baggot – From the ‘King of the Movies’ to Bit Player

The King Baggot Tribute will take place Wednesday September 28th at 7pm at Lee Auditorium inside the Missouri History Museum (Lindell and DeBaliviere in Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri). The 1913 silent film Ivanhoe will be accompanied by The Rats and People Motion Picture Orchestra and there will be a 40-minute illustrated lecture on the life and career of King Baggot by We Are Movie Geeks’ Tom Stockman. A Facebook invite for the event can be found Here

Here’s a look at the final phase of King Baggot’s career.

King Baggot, the first ‘King of the Movies’ died July 11th, 1948 penniless and mostly forgotten at age 68. A St. Louis native, Baggot was at one time Hollywood’s most popular star, known is his heyday as “The Most Photographed Man in the World” and “More Famous Than the Man in the Moon”. Yet even in his hometown, Baggot had faded into obscurity.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

‘The Royals’ Ups Genevieve Gaunt; ‘The Patriot’ Promotes Chris Conrad

Genevieve Gaunt, who recurred on Season 2 of E!’s The Royals as Wilhelmina, a love interest for William Mosely’s Prince Liam, has been promoted to series regular for the third go-round. Co-produced by Lionsgate and Universal Cable Prods and written, directed and executive produced by Mark Schwahn, the series stars Elizabeth Hurley as calculating Queen Helena. United Agents-repped Gaunt also appeared on BBC One series Father Brown and Land Girls. Chris Conrad (Young Hercule…
See full article at Deadline TV »

The Royals Promotes Genevieve Gaunt to Series Regular for Season 3

The Royals Promotes Genevieve Gaunt to Series Regular for Season 3
It sounds like The Royals‘ Liam has finally found his new Ophelia, after all.

RelatedThe Royals Season Finale: Simon’s Killer Revealed, Plus 2 Other Insane Twists

Genevieve Gaunt, introduced during the E! drama’s second season as Wilhelmina, a love interest for the pouty prince, has been promoted to a series regular for Season 3, TVLine has learned exclusively. Equal parts polo player and party girl, Wilhelmina — affectionally referred to as “Willow” — first appeared in the Season 2 premiere.

In addition to The Royals, Gaunt has appeared on a number of British TV series, including Land Girls and Father Brown. She
See full article at TVLine.com »

Homeland's David Harewood joins cast of ITV's Beowulf drama

David Harewood has joined the cast of ITV's upcoming epic drama Beowulf.

The Homeland star will play warrior Scorann in the channel's re-imagining of the classic tale.

He joins the previously announced Kieran Bew as Beowulf, William Hurt as Hrothgar and Joanne Whalley as Rheda.

Created by James Dormer, Tim Haines and Katie Newman, the 13-episode series is set in the mythical Shieldlands, a dangerous place populated by both humans and fantastical creatures.

Also starring in the project are Ed Speleers (Downton Abbey), David Ajala (Black Box), Ian Puleston-Davies (Coronation Street), Ellora Torchia (Indian Summers), Gisli Orn Gardarsson (Spooks), Susan Aderin (The Last Detective), Kirsty Oswald (Ripper Street), Laura Donnelly (Outlander), Edward Hogg (Indian Summers), Alex Price (Father Brown), Jack Rowan (Silent Witness) and Itoya Osagiede (Okora: The Prelude).

Filming on Beowulf began last month in North East England.

Harewood's casting arrives just a day after he signed up for
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Harry Potter then and now: What do 12 of the child stars look like today?

It's been a whopping 14 years since Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone made its big screen debut.

A lot has changed since then - most notably the child stars which the movie franchise made famous.

Now - after the internet was astonished to see what Harry Potter's Neville Longbottom looks like now - Digital Spy has donned our sorting hat to see what the now-muggles look like today...

1. Harry Melling as Dudley Dursley

Post-Potter, Harry Melling has had parts in Merlin, Just William and Garrow's Law. Last year, he also performed a one-man play in New York called peddling and starred opposite Scarlett Johnson, Patsy Ferran and Felix Scott in The Angry Brigade.

2. Matthew Lewis as Neville Longbottom

We nearly lost our Snitch when we saw the transformation Matthew Lewis has had since his days as Neville Longbottom. He's gained a beard, good looks and also a role in BBC Three comedy Bluestone 42.
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Harry Potter star Katie Leung for new BBC Two drama One Child

Katie Leung is to star in upcoming BBC Two drama One Child.

The Harry Potter actress will lead the cast of the two-part 90-minute drama written by Guy HIbbert and directed by The 7.39's John Alexander.

One Child sees Leung play a young Chinese-born woman adopted by Anglo-American parents, who makes her way across the world on a personal voyage to discover who she really is.

Writer Guy Hibbert said: "I wanted to visit a contemporary Chinese city to discover what I felt was the most important story to tell from the point of view of the ordinary Chinese citizen. It is, of course, corruption - as it is in far too many countries throughout the world.

"My story is set amongst the poorest in the city and amongst the richest, the new billionaire class, abusing power alongside provincial Party officials.

"I have also looked at the effect of
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Father Brown Season Two

  • bestbritishtv
Father Brown Season 2

Daytime drama Father Brown was one of the surprise British TV hits of 2013. Mark Williams starred as the crime busting Catholic cleric who spent his free-time unraveling baffling mysteries in Miss Marple era Britain. A second 10-part season of the show premieres on 6 January on BBC1. Father Brown will remain in its mid-afternoon time slot despite the clamor from some fans to move it to a more traditional early evening drama slot.

In the first installment of the new season, Father Brown is asked to perform an exorcism at the home of Charlotte McKinley (Lizzy McInnerny). She believes she’s being haunted by her long-dead sister. Brown suspects that the sister is alive and well. Either way, he sets out to solve the mystery of the strange-goings on at Cudely Manor.

N Conrad

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See full article at bestbritishtv »

Blandings Comes to the U.S.

  • bestbritishtv
Blandings Acorn Media

Kieran Kinsella

Prepare to be amused because on 3 September, Acorn Media are releasing the BBC’s hysterically funny Blandings on DVD. The six-part character-based comedy is based on the Blandings Castle stories by P.G. Wodehouse (Jeeves and Wooster). Like most of his work, Blandings pokes fun at the aristocracy and the class divisions that formed the backbone of Downton Abbey-era Britain.

Timothy Spall (The Syndicate) is the king of the castle as it were. He plays Lord Clarence Emsworth — the pig-loving, Lord of the Manor who dreams of leading a quiet life. His biggest problem is his domineering younger sister Connie, Lady Keeble (Jennifer Saunders). Widowed some years before, she has taken to creating and enforcing rules in the Blandings Castle. While Connie is a stickler for the rules, Clarence’s second son Freddie Threepwood is anything but. He is a profligate who can’t behave
See full article at bestbritishtv »

Big Finish Revive The Avengers

  • bestbritishtv
Steed The Avengers

B Van Heusen

The Avengers is one of the most popular shows in British TV history. Sadly, many of the episodes from the first year of the show no longer exist. However, Big Finish — the production company behind the Doctor Who audio stories — are bringing the lost episodes back to life.

Production is under way on audio adaptations of the original season one scripts. Writer John Dorney has adapted the stories for the new format. Julian Wadham (Father Brown) plays Steed, Anthony Howell (Foyle’s War) takes on the role of Dr Keel while Lucy Briggs-Owen is cast as Carol Wilson. Guest stars include Doctor Who duo Colin Baker and Sophie Aldred. The finished stories will be released on CD and in digital format early next year.

Click here to friend Best British TV on Facebook or here to follow us on Twitter. You can also find
See full article at bestbritishtv »

By George, Gently is Back !!!

  • bestbritishtv
George Gently

Kieran Kinsella

The utterly captivating crime drama George Gently is making its return to the U.S. with Acorn Media’s May 28 release of George Gently season 5. If you’re not familiar with the series, it is centered around a police detective from London who reluctantly relocates to the North of the country. Martin Shaw plays the dour 60s era detective while rising star Lee Ingleby plays his cocky sidekick Bacchus. It is similar to Endeavour, only darker, and reminiscent of Vera – only much better – and I actually really like Vera.

Series 5 features four stand-alone stories that cover issues ranging from child kidnappings to grizzly murders. We’re all familiar with the racial tensions that divided the U.S. in the swinging 60s but race relations were also a major talking point in the UK as the break up of the British Empire lead to an increase in immigration.
See full article at bestbritishtv »
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