Sherlock Takes Top Three iPlayer FiguresBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
 iplayerThe three episodes of Sherlock Series 2 were the three most-requested programmes on the BBC iPlayer for January 2012.

In figures released for the January-April period, episode 1 – A Scandal In Belgravia – broadcast on New Year's Day was top with 2,528,000 requests, episode 3 – The Reichenbach Fall – shown on 15th January was second with 1,913,000 requests, and episode 2 – The Hounds of Baskerville – which aired on 8th January was third with 1,689,000.

This meant that with A Scandal In Belgravia, Sherlock also had the most-requested episode per series that month, receiving more than twice as many as the second-placed Top Gear India Special of 28th December 2011 (included in January's figures with a figure of 1,116,000 requests, downgraded from the December 2011 figure of 1,311,000). The next most-requested episode of January 2012 – and next most-requested episode per series of January 2012 – was the New Year's Day edition of EastEnders, which received 1,097,000 requests.

The premier episode of Being Human Series 4 received 593,000 requests in February, and the first episode of the comedy series Pramface, co-starring Yasmin Paige, received 389,000 requests, making them the tenth and 17th most-requested episodes per series of that month, while in March, episode 2 of Pramface received 541,000 requests, Being Human Series 4 episode 7 had 403,000 requests, and the first episode of Dirk Gently received 343,000 requests, making them the ninth, 13th, and 20th most-requested episodes per series of that month respectively. The film version of Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, co-starring Bill Bailey, got 349,000 requests when it aired in March. Finally, April saw the film Kidulthood, written by and co-starring Noel Clarke, get 342,000 requests.

Monthly performance packs have not been published by the BBC since December 2011. They will return to a monthly publication schedule from next month, said the corporation.

Total requests between January and April this year averaged around 190 million per month, with more than 140 million for TV and around 46 million for radio programmes - up by 24 per cent on the same period last year.

There was a massive increase in requests from mobile and tablet devices. These went up by 94 per cent on April 2011, with 15 per cent of total programme requests coming from mobiles and tablets in April 2012.

Apple announced that the BBC iPlayer app for iPads was the top free app of all time in the UK.

The BBC also reported that demand from internet-connected devices such as Smart TVs, games consoles, and Blu-ray players had continued to grow, with 11 per cent of all requests in April 2012 – up by 57 per cent on April 2011.

The full breakdown for January to April 2012 is available as a PDF here.

Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss told Digital Spy at the BAFTA TV Awards on Sunday that he was writing the first episode of Series 3, adding that it would be based loosely on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Adventure of the Empty House. He said:
It'll be a version of it, because that's the one in which [Sherlock] returns. How much or how little [we change], I don't know yet. As before, we cherry-pick and we choose bits and pieces of other [stories] that we like. They're always less literal adaptations.
(newslink: BBC Media Centre)




Dirk Gently Is CancelledBookmark and Share

Monday, 28 May 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
Dirk Gently star Stephen Mangan revealed today that the BBC Four show had been axed.

The actor tweeted: "It gives me no pleasure whatsoever to report that the BBC have decided not to make any more ‪#DirkGently‬."

A tweet later in the day from the production team said they didn't think another channel would pick up the show, although they offered a glimmer of hope by also saying "but you never know".

A pilot episode that was shown in December 2010 garnered 1.1 million viewers, leading to a three-part series that aired this March - the first drama series to be commissioned for the channel. However, the ratings for it reportedly slipped from 844,000 to under 600,000.

A BBC spokeswoman said:
We've loved having Dirk on the channel but the licence fee freeze means less British drama on BBC4. In future we will focus on the best dramas from around the globe, like The Killing and Borgen, whilst BBC One and BBC Two become the main homes of original British drama.
The episodes, written by Howard Overman, Jamie Mathieson, and Matt Jones, were based on the books by Douglas Adams. The show was produced for BBC Cymru Wales by ITV Studios in association with The Welded Tandem Picture Company.





Dirk Gently returns to televisionBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 28 February 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
This coming Monday (4th March) sees the return of the Douglas Adams inspired private detection Dirk Gently to BBC4, in the start of a new, three-part series.

Starring Stephen Mangan as Douglas Adams’ self-styled Holistic Detective. Perennially broke and morally dubious, Dirk’s methods are based on ‘The Fundamental Interconnectedness of All Things’.

Darren Boyd stars alongside as Dirk’s business partner Richard Macduff, who attempts to rein in Dirk’s more tangential decisions, keep them both out of prison and generally restore order to the chaos that Dirk creates.

Dirk Gently’s one-hour instalment in December 2010 proved hugely popular, attracting 1.1m viewers (3.9% share) on BBC Four, over three times the channel’s slot average.

Created by one of Britain’s most exciting screenwriting talents, Howard Overman (Misfits), from the books by Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently is a dramatic, witty and intelligent series with plots that delight, surprise but ultimately satisfy - and with two characters at the heart of each story that you just want to spend time with, brilliantly portrayed by Stephen Mangan and Darren Boyd.

The series also boasts a sensational cast of regulars returning from the pilot - Helen Baxendale as Macduff’s girlfriend Susan in Episode 2, Jason Watkins as Det. Insp Gilks in Eps 1 and 3 with Lisa Jackson returning as the unpaid, unloved and quite deeply disturbed receptionist Janice Pearce across the series.

The series is created and Episode 1 written by Howard Overman, Episode 2 is written by Matt Jones, Episode 3 by Jamie Mathieson. The series is directed by Tom Shankland and produced by Chris Carey with music composed by Daniel Pemberton.

The show's executive producers are Saurabh Kakkar for ITV Studios and Brian Minchin for the BBC. The series is produced by ITV Studios in Association with The Welded Tandem Picture Company for BBC Cymru Wales for BBC Four.

Stephen Mangan says: "Slipping back into Dirk's pointy shoes to renew my double act with Darren Boyd for three brand new episodes is, for me, about as good as it gets. I wish I WAS Dirk."

Howard Overman says: “It’s a real honour to back in the world of Dirk’s holistic detection methods. He’s the loosest of loose cannons and it’s always fun putting such outrageous lines in his mouth to see them so skillfully delivered by Stephen Mangan and the rest of the brilliant cast.”

The show’s producer Chris Carey says: “Dirk Gently feels like a rare and precious storytelling gift. Douglas Adam’s books are treasure troves filled with brilliant details and profound, hilarious observations that Howard and the other writers endlessly mine to lead them off into new tales for Stephen and Darren to bring memorably to life on screen.”

The following synopsis is for episode one and may contain spoilers






Episode One, Monday 4th March, 9:00-10:00pm, BBC4

In this, the first of three episodes, Douglas Adams' private detective discovers the connection between two unrelated cases: a client who believes the Pentagon are trying to kill him and another whose horoscopes appear to be coming true. When the mysteries collide, Dirk is the only man for the job.

Stephen Mangan plays Dirk, Darren Boyd plays Macduff, Jason Watkins plays DI Gilks, Lisa Jackson plays Janice, Paul Ritter plays Oliver, Cosima Shaw plays Emma, Ken Collard plays Matthew, Colin McFarlane plays Terrence and Miranda Raison plays Kate.









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