Sky Atlantic Sets Steve Coogan For New Season Of ‘Mid Morning Matters’
After bringing his long-running Alan Partridge character to the big screen last year, Steve Coogan will return as the socially awkward North Norfolk digital radio DJ in a new season of Mid Morning Matters on the UK’s Sky Atlantic HD. Shooting has started on the six-part series that’s produced by Coogan’s Baby Cow. A 2015 airdate is planned. Along with the new episodes, Sky Atlantic has also ordered a one-hour documentary special hosted by Partridge. Before making his feature debut, Partridge, created in 1991 by Coogan and Armando Iannucci, returned to UK TV in June 2012 with two Sky Atlantic specials, Welcome To The Places Of My Life and Alan Partridge On Open Books With Martin Bryce. Coogan won a BAFTA as lead male in a comedy program for Places Of My Life, which was Sky Atlantic’s highest-rated comedy commission. Those programs were followed by a six-part special edition of the first season of Mid Morning Matters. The new series is written by Coogan, Neil Gibbons and Rob Gibbons and produced by Ted Dowd. Executive producers are Coogan and Henry Normal for Baby Cow Productions. Coogan last year was nominated with co-writer Jeff Pope for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for Philomena. The pair won the BAFTA in the same category. Speaking as Partridge today, Coogan said: “I am both thrilled, humbled, gladdened and excited to be bringing Mid Morning Matters back to Sky Atlantic. I expect those who doubted its success feel suitably chastened to never again doubt the wisdom of my career choices and to say nothing in response unless their comments are wholly supportive and positive. I hope I’ve made myself clear … thank you, let’s leave it there.” Here’s a clip (not for the easily offended) from the first season of Mid Morning Matters.
ITV To Air WWII Drama ‘Jambusters’
ITV has commissioned a new six-part drama series with the working title Jambusters to be produced by ITV Studios. Inspired by Julie Summers’ eponymous book, the series is set against the backdrop of World War II and follows a group of inspirational women in a rural Cheshire community. The isolated village couldn’t feel further away from the impending bloodshed on the battlefields, yet it is not immune from the effects of war. As the women see their husbands and sons depart, they band together to help maintain the nation’s fabric in its darkest hour and discover inner resources that will forever change their lives. Simon Block (Lewis) is creator and writer, with some episodes written by Mark Burt (Coronation Street) and Tina Pepler (Downton Abbey). Jambusters will be produced by the ITV Studios department overseen by Francis Hopkinson (Wallander). Catherine Oldfield (Foyle’s War) is exec producing alongside Francis. Sue de Beauvoir (Merlin) is producer. Bruce Goodison (Our War) directs, and casting will be announced before the start of filming in September.
Korea’s CJ E&M Preps Drama Series ‘The Three Musketeers’
Korea’s CJ E&M is producing a new three-season drama series entitled The Three Musketeers for entertainment channel tvN. This is a first for a Korean broadcaster – dramas usually aren’t commissioned for full seasons before a pilot episode airs. The series reunites scriptwriter Song Jae-jung and director Kim Byung-soo from the hit show Nine: 9 Times Time Travel, which has sold to 44 countries and has remakes under consideration in the U.S, China, and Russia. The Three Musketeers is set during Korea’s 17th century Joseon Dynasty and adopts themes from the Alexandre Dumas classic. Jung Yong-hwa, a member of K-pop band CNBLUE, will play d’Artagnan, and Lee Jin-wook will be crown prince Sohyeon of Joseon, aka Athos, who went to Qing Dynasty China and stayed there for eight years after losing a war in 1636. The drama also will feature ancient guards with Korean names corresponding to Porthos and Aramis. In its second season, The Three Musketeers plans to include scenes filmed in China. Season 1 begins airing in August.