EXCLUSIVE: The BBC is betting big on season two of Heyday Television’s deepfake spy thriller The Capture, promoting it to the coveted Bank Holiday weekend 9pm slot that in recent years has been occupied by Bodyguard, Peaky Blinders and Vigil.
Deadline can exclusively reveal the scheduling for this year’s August Bank Holiday Sunday, which sees Ben Chanan’s Holliday Grainger-starring six-parter graduate from a Tuesday 9pm slot where it posted average rating of 7.7M viewers per episode and was BBC iPlayer’s most requested new title across all genres of 2019. Season two will drop on U.S. streamer Peacock in November.
Season one’s audience increased through the run and Rebecca Ferguson, BBC Drama Commissioning Editor, said it was this “word of mouth” that partly drove the scheduling decision.
Speaking to Deadline, she credited the show’s sophistication paired with entertainment value as the driving force behind its success.
“You have to use your brain but it’s not so intellectual that you can’t relish the pleasure of the entertainment factor,” said Ferguson. “The new slot is testament to quality. When you get to the end of the summer and sit down on Sunday night, you want to watch something gripping and The Capture is just that.”
Chanan said he is “very excited and a little terrified” by the Bank Holiday upgrade.
Although linear TV ratings have been sliding in recent times, the slot remains highly coveted and has attracted millions of viewers to the likes of Peaky Blinders and Jed Mercurio’s Bodyguard over the past few years.
The Capture season one, which also starred The Crown’s Ben Miles and Ron Perlman, followed Lance Corporal Shaun Emery (Callum Turner), who, upon return from Afghanistan, found himself accused of the kidnapping and murder of a barrister backed by damning CCTV evidence, with DI Rachel Carey (Grainger) leading the fight to clear his name.
Chanan has upped the stakes for season two by widening the precinct to politics and the media, securing I May Destroy You breakout Paapa Essiedu as Isaac Turner, a rising star politician with ambitions for the very top.
“The gift of this show is that it is adaptable to different precincts,” said Chanan. “There was no point telling the same story twice.”
The world’s understanding of deepfakes has also increased drastically since season one, added The Missing director Chanan, who said “we were constantly checking the news to see if our story had gone from fiction to fact.”
“Deepfake has become more of a household term and people are being duped into taking video calls with real-life world figures only to find out they’ve been talking to these deepfakes.”
Both Chanan and Ferguson also heaped praise on season-two newcomer Essiedu, with Ferguson hailing an “extraordinary” performance that “navigates various dimensions of one character with extraordinary subtlety.”
The Capture is produced by Heyday Television, which is part of Universal International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group, for BBC One and BBC iPlayer. James Kent (MotherFatherSon) and Philippa Langdale (A Discovery of Witches) are season two directors. Executive Producers are David Heyman, Rosie Alison and Tom Winchester for Heyday Television, Tom Coan for Universal International Studios, with Ben Irving and Rebecca Ferguson for the BBC alongside Chanan and Derek Ritchie. Producer is Kristian Dench. The series will be distributed by NBCUniversal Global Distribution.
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