ITV has commissioned West Road Pictures to produce “Ridley,” a new detective drama starring “Line of Duty” and “Blood” star Adrian Dunbar. The series is created and written by “Vera” lead writer Paul Matthew Thompson and West Road Pictures managing director Jonathan Fisher (“Blood,” “Hollington Drive”). They will executive produce the series.
“I couldn’t be happier to be getting started on ‘Ridley,’ as we continue to build the West Road production slate with our second commission for ITV,” said Fisher of the announcement. “ITV has a fine tradition of nurturing much-loved detective series, and it’s a real privilege to be bringing ‘Ridley’ to the channel.”
“Ridley” follows a detective inspector pushed into retirement from the force after 25 years investigating homicides. Convinced he is still in his prime, Ridley welcomes an invitation from his replacement and former protégé Carol Farman to aid her on a particularly complex case, eventually leading to more consulting jobs.
“Ridley” will start shooting this fall with further casting and personnel announcements expected closer to production. The series is produced in association with All3Media International which will distribute the series globally.
BBC has commissioned “Tonight With Target,” a new music entertainment show from New Wave and Fremantle company Naked. The six-part series will be hosted by popular BBC Radio 1Xtra presenter DJ Target (“The Rap Game U.K.”) and celebrate the global success of British Black musicians while featuring performances from leading acts. Target will be joined in studio by stars from the worlds of sport, film and TV, and will himself head out to important cultural locations across the U.K. to seek out new talent and catch up with established performing artists. Executive producers for the series include New Wave’s Mouktar Mohammed and Trenton Harrison-Lewis and Naked’s Tom O’Brien and Gregor Lauder.
BARB, the agency responsible for delivering the U.K.’s television audience measurement via commissioned research, has significantly increased its sample size. The representational panel of U.K. homes has been increased from 5,150 to 7,000. This is the largest-ever increase in reporting sample since BARB’s launch in 1981. BARB has hired Kantar to install new metering technology in these homes.
In addition, BARB is now in the final stages of planning the launch of audience figures for SVOD and video-sharing platforms. As well as reporting aggregate-level viewing to these streaming services, the agency will report content ratings for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney Plus.
ViacomCBS International Studios (VIS) has inked a first look deal with Vaquero Cine, the production house of one of Mexico’s biggest stars, Luis Gerardo Méndez, and mover-and-shaker producer Gerardo Gática, The face of a new entertainment era in Mexico, Méndez stars in Paramount Plus’ first Spanish-language series “Envoys,” produced by VIS and showrun by Oscar winner Juan José Campanella, as well as in the upcoming season of “Narcos: Mexico.” He broke out in Greg Alazraki’s 2013 comedy “The Noble Family,” the second highest-grossing Mexican film of all time, and in series “Club of Crows,” Netflix’s first fully foreign-language show. Gática produced Alonso Ruizpalacios’ “Museum” and the Oscar shortlisted “I’m No Longer Here.” Under the deal, Méndez and Gática are now charged with creating, developing and producing exclusive Spanish-language scripted and non-scripted content for VIS and Paramount Plus.
As part of the company’s ongoing expansion at its London-based division, Gaumont U.K. has appointed Myar Craig-Brown as its new creative director to oversee its growing drama slate, focused on the international marketplace. In her new role, she will report directly to executive producer Alison Jackson, head of the U.K. branch. Craig-Brown joins the company after five years as executive producer for drama at Wall to Wall and will bring with her an established network of relationships with commissioners, on-screen talent and writers.
Former The Globe Theatre artistic director and filmmaker Dominic Dromgoole will direct and produce “Folio! Folio!” a new feature film celebrating 2023’s 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s Folio. The film’s screenplay was penned by Richard Bean and Clive Coleman, writers of 2020 Venice player “The Duke.” Shooting is scheduled for summer 2022. Dromgool is also developing a documentary on the Folio with Angelica Films. Set in 17th century England, “Folio! Folio!” kicks off when The Bard kicks the bucket and follows his friends John Heminges and Henry Condell as they work to collect William’s works into the first Folio of Shakespeare.