LONDON — New BBC topper Mark Thompson has said he will cut back on Hollywood movies in a bid to reassert the pubcaster’s public service credentials, but blockbuster pics are prominent in the outfit’s yuletide schedules.
Lineup boasts terrestrial premieres of “Shrek,” “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” and “102 Dalmatians.”
Pubcaster will also bow high-profile British pics over the festive fortnight. These include BBC Films’ “Stage Beauty,” starring Billy Crudup and Claire Danes, “Bend It Like Beckham” and “Chocolat.”
‘Holmes’ for the holidays
The home-produced TV fare includes a new Sherlock Holmes drama, “Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Season,” plus a season celebrating the work of British screenwriter Dennis Potter that kicks off with a 90-minute documentary from the “Arena” team.
Also included is the family entertainment special “Pride,” about a pride of lions, that juxtaposes live action alongside animation, with Helen Mirren and Kate Winslet voicing two of the big cats.
Meanwhile, satcaster BSkyB has poached the rights to televise the Oscars from the BBC.
Oscarcast will return to Sky’s pay TV channels in February, following three years on the BBC, with live coverage of the Hollywood event on the Sky Movies channel.
Sky also will screen extended highlights and other tie-in programming on Sky One.
Sky’s Oscar-related output will include a monthlong season of features on Sky Movies, coverage of the build-up to the event on Sky News, Hollywood-themed programming on Sky Travel and documentary tie-ins on the Biography Channel.
Sky is in the midst of a subscription drive following a slowdown in subscriber growth.