Brit net looks to make a mint off disaster

LONDON — A disaster movie looking at the devastation that ensues when a volcano erupts in Yellowstone National Park is one of the highlights of BBC1’s £178 million ($344 million) winter schedule, unveiled Wednesday.

“Super Volcano,” a no-expenses-spared CGI-laden docudrama co-produced by the pubcaster, Discovery, Germany’s ProSieben, Italy’s Mediaset and Japan’s NHK, is expected to be a big overseas seller.

The program, which uses scientific research as the basis of its depiction of the natural disaster, follows in the wake of “Walking With Dinosaurs” and, more recently, “Pompeii.” Both combined dramatic re-creations with history and science to create what some critics consider to be a new hybrid form of television entertainment.

More traditionally, the winter season features the latest venture from the Bostonian creator of the successful BBC1 “My Family” sitcom, Fred Barron: “The World According to Bex” is a “Bridget Jones”-style show scripted using U.S. team-writing techniques.

Winter drama boosts the return of cult kids show “Dr. Who,” starring Christopher Eccleston as the latest incarnation of the time-travelling doctor.

BBC1, the pubcaster’s flagship station, is airing an adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic “Kidnapped,” starring Iain Glen and Paul McGann, in the Sunday afternoon family slot, which Brits call teatime.

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