'Jonathan Strange,' Whithouse's 'Game' get go-ahead
LONDON — The BBC has greenlit a romantic drama from David Nicholls, the screenwriter who adapted the new theatrical version of Dickens’ “Great Expectations.”Nicholls, writer of the novel and subsequent film “One Day,” has penned “The 7.39,” which will air in the U.K. on the Beeb’s flagship web BBC1. The two-part show is being produced by NBCUniversal-owned shingle Carnival Films, best known for “Downton Abbey.” Story focuses on commuters Sally and Carl who fall for each other despite potentially catastrophic consequences. Exec producers are Sally Woodward Gentle for Carnival and Polly Hill for the BBC. BBC 1 controller Danny Cohen unveiled two other new dramas — “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell,” based on the fantasy novel by Susanna Clarke and adapted by Peter Harness, and a new show from Toby Whithouse, creator of high-concept drama “Being Human,” rebooted for Syfy in the U.S. Whithouse is the writer of Cold War spy drama series “The Game,” which takes place in the 1970s. “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell,” set during the Napoleonic wars, is produced by Cuba, the production arm of agent Curtis Brown, in association with Feel Film and Farmoor. “The Game” is produced by BBC Cymru Wales and executive produced by Faith Penhale, Brian Minchin and Whithouse.