BET Goes Online-Only In UK
ViacomCBS’s BET is to become an online-only channel in the UK on April 8. The channel will be officially housed on Channel 5 streamer, My5, as well as on ViacomCBS’s advertising-supported streamer Pluto, where it launches on April 5. Alongside the digital switch, BET has unveiled its first UK originals slate: Cooking series Celebrity Comfort Food; comedy archive series Black to the Future (working title); and We Do That, a format following three well-known hosts as they meet talented Black individuals and try out their various career paths through hilarious challenges. Additionally, BET UK announced the launch of BET Amplifind UK, a regional music talent search. “We are committed to growing the BET brand in the UK, and to continuing to elevate Black love, joy, power and pride worldwide,” said Monde Twala, SVP of BET International.
‘Unforgotten’ Renewed For Fifth Season
ITV has renewed detective drama Unforgotten for a fifth season, but Nicola Walker will not be returning in the role of Cassie Stuart. ITV said: “ITV would like to thank Nicola Walker for playing the brilliant role of Cassie Stuart in four series of Unforgotten which has become one of the best loved and most critically acclaimed police dramas on TV. Nicola and writer Chris Lang decided that Cassie’s story would come to an end last night, but that Unforgotten would continue, in series 5, with a new case, and a new ‘Partner in Crime’ for DI Sunny Khan.” Produced by Mainstreet Pictures, Unforgotten Season 4 has posted record ratings of up to 9.5M viewers.
Dancing Ledge Sets Writing Scheme
London-based Dancing Ledge Productions (The Salisbury Poisonings) and ITV have set eight A-list writers to mentor eight new rising stars in their New Talent Scheme. The initiative is aimed at discovering and nurturing a new generation of TV writers. Confirmed as mentors for this year’s iteration are Abby Ajayi (How To Get Away With Murder, Four Weddings And A Funeral), Jesse Armstrong (Succession, Peep Show), Chris Chibnall (Dr Who, Broadchurch), Noel Clarke (Bullet Proof, Kidulthood), Charlie Covell (The End of the F***ing World), Lisa McGee (Derry Girls, The Deceived), Paula Milne (The Politician’s Wife, Small Island) and Sarah Phelps (Agatha Christie, Dublin Murders). Each will choose a new writer whose work they have been impressed by and who will be given a non-refundable bursary and write a pilot episode for their own original series. The mentor will also help place the project with a production company and/or broadcaster. The timeframe is flexible for each partnership, but will take place throughout 2021. The mentees chosen so far are: Abraham Adeyemi (mentored by Jesse Armstrong), Alex Straker (mentored by Noel Clarke), Nessa Wrafter (mentored by Lisa McGee), Tina Pasotra (mentored by Charlie Covell), Victoria Ibitoye (mentored by Abby Ajayi). The remainder will be chosen and announced throughout the year.
Sky Opens Placements For Under-Represented Groups
Sky has partnered with Creative Access to open up year-long, paid placements for 18 people from under-represented groups. The openings include editorial assistants at Sky Studios, assistant producers at Sky News, and trainee sports reporters at Sky Sports. Sky Studios’ chief content officer Jane Millichip said: “These placements will work across some of our most innovative areas from virtual production to our biggest and boldest new dramas and comedies.” Apply here by April 16.