The BBC has unveiled three new drama commissions for flagship channel BBC One from leading writers, including a new four-part drama from “Sherlock” co-creator Steven Moffat. New dramas from Sarah Solemani and Gwyneth Hughes were also announced by BBC director of content Charlotte Moore at the Edinburgh TV Festival.
The broadcaster also announced a new comedy and two factual pieces, including one on mental health featuring Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge.
“Sherlock” and “Doctor Who” showrunner Moffat’s new drama, “Inside Man,” is a crime thriller about a U.S. death row inmate and a woman trapped in a cellar under an English vicarage, who cross paths in the most unexpected way. Produced by Hartswood Films, the four-part serial will go into production in late 2020.
Solemani (“Barry,” “Aphrodite Fry”) will adapt Jo Bloom’s novel “Ridley Road” into a four-part drama. The drama, produced by Red Production, focuses on the rise of fascism in 1960s London and one young woman’s fight against it.
Hughes, whose credits include ITV and Amazon Studios’ recent adaptation of “Vanity Fair,” is behind “When It Happens to You”, which explores the issues around abortion in Northern Ireland and the families affected by it. It is produced by Studio Lambert, which made the BBC’s BAFTA-winning drama “Three Girls.”
“Bumps” is a comedy pilot written by Lucy Montgomery and Rhys Thomas and produced by Kudos. Billed as a cross-generational comedy, it stars Amanda Redman as an energetic 63-three-year-old divorcee with two grown-up kids, but with seemingly no grandchildren on the horizon.
In factual, the documentary “A Royal Road to Wembley: Tackling Mental Health” focuses on men’s mental health through the prism of soccer, with access to Prince William, over the course of a year. It follows the prince’s work around mental health, and also tells the stories of men who have been affected by, or are currently experiencing, mental health issues. It is being made by Goalhanger Films, where it is being executive produced by Tony Pastor. William’s brother, Prince Harry, is currently developing a documentary series on mental health, partnering with Oprah Winfrey for Apple TV+.
Presented by David Attenborough, “Extinction: The Facts,” will be a one-hour special for BBC One, which investigates what the future holds for the planet. It is made by the BBC Studios Science Unit.
Speaking at Edinburgh, Moore said the BBC was committed to telling British stories and commissioning for British audiences, and also supporting new talent, as part of a way to stand out at time of growing competition from streaming companies.
Moore also flagged the importance of British media regulator Ofcom’s recent decision to allow the BBC to air shows on its catchup service, BBC iPlayer, for 12 months after first broadcast, saying the previous 30-day window “wasn’t fit for purpose.”
“With this in mind we’re increasingly looking to commission programs that will work across both the linear channels and BBC iPlayer,” said Moore.