BBC Programming Heads Down Under With Foxtel
Australia’s Foxtel is getting a burst of BBC programming beginning in August. The BBC First channel will be the new home of premium British drama and comedy in Oz, grouping a bevy of shows together in one place for the first time. Launch titles include recent British hits The Musketeers and Peaky Blinders, along with The Politician’s Husband, single drama Burton And Taylor and the new Alan Partridge mockumentaries. Returning series including Call The Midwife will start airing in 2015. BBC First will be the first window in Australia, with programs debuting there before potentially moving to terrestrial television at least 12 months later. Oz is the first territory to launch BBC First, one of three new global brands announced by BBC Worldwide in October 2013. Banished, written by Jimmy McGovern, will be the first local production for BBC First. Co-commissioned with BBC Two in the UK and produced by RSJ Films/See-Saw Films, the epic seven-part series is loosely inspired by events in 1788 when Britain established a penal colony in Australia. BBC First joins existing BBC channels – UKTV, BBC Knowledge, CBeebies and BBC World News – on the Foxtel platform
‘Almost Human’ Headed To UKTV’s Watch
UKTV’s Watch has entered a deal with Warner Bros International Television to air JJ Abrams’ Almost Human. The 13-episode futuristic series stars Karl Urban, Michael Ealy, Minka Kelly, Mackenzie Crook, Michael Irby and Lili Taylor. Urban plays the sole survivor of a devastating police ambush who wakes from a 17-month coma with one of his legs replaced by a highly sophisticated synthetic appendage. He returns to work and is partnered with a discontinued android with unexpected emotional responses. Together, they fight crime in a dangerous, futuristic landscape, while the mystery surrounding the attack and the larger mythology of this new world starts to unfold. Watch will air the series beginning in May.
‘The Winner Is …’ Bound For Africa
Game show The Winner Is… from Talpa Media is getting a local version in West Africa, produced by AMPN. The competition series features singers of all ages who compete for a cash prize. It aired last year on NBC in the U.S. and has sold to more than 25 countries. A French version is in the works for TF1. It will be broadcast in primetime and produced by Shine France. Also from Talpa, format I Love My Country will be produced by AMPN in Africa. The competitive show sees teams answering multiple questions about their home country; the prize is representative of that country. The series launches May 4 on ETV, Africa’s second biggest channel.