The BBC has renewed four of its top rated dramas – “The Tourist,” “The Responder,” “Vigil” and “Time.”

Thriller “The Tourist,” starring Jamie Dornan and Shalom Brune-Franklin, is the highest-rating drama of 2022 so far, having launched with 12 million viewers and all six episodes were the most-watched episodes on BBC iPlayer in January.

The second biggest new drama of 2022 so far is crime thriller “The Responder,” starring Martin Freeman, which launched with some 10 million viewers across 30 days. Like the first season, the second will be set and filmed in Liverpool.

In 2021, Scotland-set submarine mystery “Vigil,” starring Suranne Jones, was the U.K.’s most-watched new drama launch since “Bodyguard” in 2018. It drew an audience of over 13 million viewers across 30 days for episode one, and the series overall had an average of 12.6 million viewers. The second season will also be set in Scotland.

Prison drama “Time,” starring Sean Bean and Stephen Graham, was one of 2021’s highest performing new dramas with some 12 million viewers over 30 days for the series overall. The second series will feature a new cast and be set in an all-female prison.

Charlotte Moore, BBC chief content officer said: “The BBC is on fire creatively and the return of four of our biggest dramas over the last year demonstrates the sheer scale and range of storytelling on the BBC.”

“The Tourist” (6×60’) season 2 is written by BAFTA-nominated and Emmy-winning producers and screenwriters Harry and Jack Williams (“The Missing”), who alongside Christopher Aird will serve as executive producers for All3Media’s Two Brothers Pictures and Tommy Bulfin for BBC One and iPlayer.

“The Responder” (5×60’) season 2 is written by ex-police officer Tony Schumacher and produced by Dancing Ledge Productions for BBC One and iPlayer. Laurence Bowen and Chris Carey are executive producers for Dancing Ledge and Mona Qureshi for BBC. Fremantle, which has a minority stake in Dancing Ledge, is handling global distribution.

“Vigil” (6×60’) season 2 is written and created by Tom Edge and made by World Productions (“Line of Duty”), supported by Screen Scotland, for BBC One and iPlayer. It is executive produced by Simon Heath and Jake Lushington for World Productions, Gaynor Holmes for BBC and Tom Edge. ITV Studios is handling global distribution.

“Time” (3×60’) season 2 is written by Jimmy McGovern and is a BBC Studios production for BBC One and iPlayer.

Lazy loaded image
Courtesy of Discovery+

Meanwhile, Discovery U.K. has commissioned season 6 of true crime series “Faking It” (6×60’) from Shearwater Media, which will air on Quest Red in the summer. Dropping from April on Discovery Plus are several hour-long specials tackling the murder of Sarah Everard in the U.K. by police officer Wayne Couzens; the murder of Gabby Petito by her fiancé Brian Laundrie in the U.S.; the conviction of R. Kelly for sexual abuse and sex trafficking; and convicted British killer Mick Philpott, ten years on from killing six of his own children.


AMC Networks has launched streaming bundle AMC Plus in India, on Apple TV channels on the Apple TV app at a cost of INR199 ($2.60) a month. Programming includes vampire thriller “Firebite,” stop-motion animated comedy “Ultra City Smiths,” and upcoming original productions like western “That Dirty Black Bag” and crime drama “61st Street.” AMC Plus will also premiere multiple Australian Academy Award winning film “Nitram” on March 30. AMC’s British-focused streamer Acorn TV is available at no extra cost to AMC Plus subscribers or as a standalone streaming service on Apple TV channels for INR99 ($1.29) a month.

Lazy loaded image
“That Dirty Black Bag” AMC

Elsewhere, following the international launches of Kartoon Channel! in the Middle East, North Africa and across Latin America, Genius Brands International, Inc. is expanding the brand in the Asia Pacific region with the launch of the channel on Samsung TV Plus in Australia starting March 23. Led by managing director of Kartoon Channel! worldwide Paul Robinson, Genius Brands is working with Hong Kong-based agent Lightning International to further expand the reach of the channel internationally through launches on FAST channels, AVOD, SVOD, OTT, mobile devices and more.


Emanuel Rotstein, formerly senior director of programming at A+E Networks Germany for the linear and non-linear pay-TV channels The History Channel and Crime + Investigation, has joined Bavaria Fiction as head of documentaries, reporting into Marcus Ammon, managing director, content. Rotstein is responsible for setting up the non-fiction production unit at Bavaria Fiction and is in the process of putting together a development team.

Arnaldo Smet has been appointed as director of communications and marketing for CNBC International, based in London and reporting into John Casey, president and managing director. He joins from eOne where he served as VP, marketing, EMEA.

Factual label Arrow Media has appointed Stephen Dost to the New York-based role of executive producer. He will split his role between development and production. Dost previously co-founded New York based production company Red Marble Media.


The new director of the Sarajevo Film Festival and producer Jovan Marjanović, director and winner of last year’s Grand Prix Jessica Beshir (“Faya Dayi”) and Beatrice Fiorentino, general delegate of the Venice Film Festival’s Critics’ Week, will serve on the International Feature Film Competition jury at Switzerland’s Visions du Réel film festival. The Burning Lights Competition will be judged by Chiara Marañón (director of content at MUBI), Swiss director Cyril Schäublin (Berlin winner for “Unrest”) and Argentinian producer Gema Juraz Allen (“Lina from Lima”). The jury of the National Competition is composed of Czech film critic Martin Horyna, programmer for the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, director Katy Lena Ndiaye (“Time is on Our Side”) and Swiss producer Olivier Zobrist (“Das neue Evangelium”).

Director Nelson Makengo (“Up at Night”), Ivana Kvesić, the new director of the Fantoche International Animation Film Festival and producer and distributor Justin Pechberty (“My Quarantine Bear”) make up the jury of the International Medium Length and Short Film Competition. The new Prix Istituto Svizzero will be awarded to a Swiss director whose film features in the official selection and consists of a one-month residence at the Istituto Svizzero in Rome. The visions sud est award jury is composed of Swiss film critic Pamela Biénzobas (Locarno Film Festival), Swiss distributor Stefanie Rusterholz and Swiss curator and programmer Delphine Jeanneret (head, Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur).