Idris Elba, BBC3 Team For Drama Shorts; Stephen Fry Joins Sky’s ‘Yonderland’ – Global Briefs

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As BBC Three moves from being a linear channel to an online-only destination next month, the new service has unveiled a slate of upcoming programming. This includes a six-part drama from Skins writer Jess Brittain and a collaboration with Idris Elba’s Green Door Pictures on a series of London-set drama shorts. The shorts will feature chance encounters between two people and hail from new and up-and-coming writers. New actors will star alongside established talent. Elba says he’s looking forward to “giving new writers and actors a chance to show what they can do.” Brittain’s Clique will focus on two female friends starting life as undergraduates in Edinburgh. It’s created by Brittain who is writing with Kirstie Swain and Milly Thomas. A co-production from BBC Drama and Balloon Entertainment, it sees one of the friends drawn into an elite group of alpha girls who travel in a seductive world of lavish parties, populated by Edinburgh’s highest-powered businessmen and women. But it’s a world underpinned by sordid compromise, and as pal Holly exposes its deeply corrupt core, the danger mounts from all angles.

Stephen FryStephen Fry has joined the third season of Sky 1’s fantasy family comedy Yonderland. The series, created, written by and starring Horrible Histories‘ Mathew Baynton, Simon Farnaby, Martha Howe-Douglas, Jim Howick, Laurence Rickard and Ben Willbond, is produced by Working Title Television. Shooting starts this spring with international distribution handled by Sky Vision. A mix of live-action and puppetry, the story centers on Debbie Maddox (Howe-Douglas), a suburban stay-at-home mom who is told she’s the ‘Chosen One’ by an elf who appears in a portal in her cupboard and transports her to Yonderland, a magical place threatened by the evil Negatus. Fry’s character, Cuddly Dick, is a former Elder who returns to Yonderland having been imprisoned for years by the now-dead Imperatrix. He’s described as a charming, avuncular eccentric who loves nothing more than to spread love and kindness. Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner say, “We are delighted to be bringing Yonderland back for a third series. In Cuddly Dick, our incredibly talented writers have created a very funny and surprising character to add to the other assorted idiots of Yonderland, and to have Stephen Fry joining to the team to play him is the icing on the cake. We could not be more pleased.” Here’s a clip from the first season:

keshetKeshet International has entered a first-look distribution and development deal with UK-based production outfit Woodcut Media. Under the agreement, KI will have exclusive access to Woodcut’s new non-scripted factual crime slate for worldwide distribution. The pact is another step towards KI growing a larger finished, English-language offer. Woodcut’s credits include documentaries The Krays: The Prison Years for The Discovery Channel; Broadmoor: A History Of The Criminally Insane, Frankie Fraser’s Last Stand and Fred Dinenage: Murder Casebook, all for Crime & Investigation Network. In 2015, Woodcut ramped up its crime programming activities by expanding its team and hiring Jinal Patel as Executive Producer. Previously Senior Commissioning and Acquisitions Editor at A+E Networks UK, she exec produced two of the most successful series for Crime & Investigation with Britain’s Darkest Taboos and Crimes That Shook Britain.

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