Yes, Prime Minister To Return To TV After 24 YearsBookmark and Share

Thursday, 29 March 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
The hit political sitcom Yes, Prime Minister is to be revived for a new series - 24 years after its last TV episode.

The classic comedy channel Gold has commissioned six new episodes from the BBC - the satirical show's original home. It will be written by the TV series' original authors, Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, who will be basing it on their theatrical production of two years ago.

Yes, Prime Minister, which ran for 16 episodes over two series between 1986 and 1988, was a sequel to the equally popular Yes, Minister and starred Paul Eddington as PM Jim Hacker, Nigel Hawthorne as his Permanent Secretary, Sir Humphrey Appleby, and Derek Fowlds - who was formerly married to Adrienne Corri - as his Principal Private Secretary, Bernard Woolley. Both shows' opening title sequences were drawn by the artist Gerald Scarfe, who is married to Jane Asher.

The new episodes will be set in the present day and will see Hacker at the head of a coalition government, facing, says Gold:
the greatest economic crisis in a generation, with European economies going down the toilet, a tempting energy deal from an unusual source, a leadership crisis with his coalition partners, a Scottish independence referendum and the greatest moral dilemma he has ever faced.
Jane Rogerson, of Gold's parent company UKTV, said: "The political landscape in Britain today is the perfect setting for Yes, Prime Minister to return."

Mark Freeland, the head of BBC In-House Comedy, said: "The much-extended tour of Yes, Prime Minister in theatres up and down the country proved that this iconic comedy has lost none of its satirical bite."

Casting is yet to be announced. Eddington died in 1995 and Hawthorne in 2001.

It is Gold's first commission since it was announced last month that it would inject "double-digit millions" into creating original content over the next two years. As part of the overall investment by UKTV, sister channel Dave recently finished recording a new six-episode series of Red Dwarf, to be shown later this year.
(newslink: BBC News)




Being Human Series 5 To Have Fewer EpisodesBookmark and Share

Monday, 26 March 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
BBC Three has commissioned a fifth series of Being Human for next year - but it will only comprise six episodes.

Series four, which ended last night, was eight episodes long, as were series two and three. The reduction in the number of episodes for series five will see the show return to its first series length.

Of the characters seen in series four, creator and executive producer Toby Whithouse would only say that werewolf Tom, played by Michael Socha, and vampire Hal (Damien Molony) would be back. He added:
The response to series four has been terrific. We're thrilled that the audience has taken the new cast into their hearts with such enthusiasm and affection and we're delighted to have this opportunity to expand their world further, exploring new characters and telling new stories. A heartfelt thank-you to all the fans for their unstinting support and to the BBC for letting us mess up the sandpit for a fifth year.

Zai Bennett
, the controller of BBC Three, said:
In Being Human, Toby has created an extraordinary, funny, touching, supernatural world and I'm thrilled to be bringing it back for a fifth series.

The show is made by Touchpaper Television for BBC Cymru Wales, and managing director Rob Pursey said:
When we first made the pilot episode for Being Human we knew we had something special. But we didn't dream we'd be making a fifth series. It's a testament to the ambition of the writing and the performances that it's stayed so fresh. We're very grateful to the BBC for continuing to support a drama that doesn't play by the usual rules.
Series four's viewing figures averaged 950,000 per week.

(newslink: BBC Media Centre)




Sherlock Series 3 Filming AnnouncedBookmark and Share

Thursday, 15 March 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
Sherlock Series 3 will start filming early in 2013, says co-executive producer Beryl Vertue.

But she added that it was still too early to say when it would be transmitted.

Series 2 of the BBC One drama aired in January this year and ended with Sherlock Holmes, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, faking his own death after a rooftop showdown with Jim Moriarty (Andrew Scott).

In the meantime, Cumberbatch (the son of Wanda Ventham) is filming for the next Star Trek movie, set to be released in May 2013, and The Hobbit, the latter of which stars Martin Freeman - Sherlock's sidekick Dr John Watson - in the lead role of Bilbo Baggins and is scheduled to be released this December.

Sherlock was co-created by Vertue's son-in-law Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss.

newslink: Radio Times







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