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The Moorside review – Sheridan Smith finds a new way into the familiar, awful Shannon Matthews story

Neil McKay’s drama told a story with less focus on Broken Britain and more on the community that came together in a crisis. Plus: Britain’s Greatest Hoaxer

I thought I knew this story. Well, it was such a strange one, and it changed as it went along. It started with the disappearance of a nine-year-old girl, Shannon Matthews, in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire. It was a story of missing, and searching, and fearing the worst. Then it became one about Shannon not being Maddie and her family not being the McCanns. It was a story about the media, and politics, and Britain; a country divided by latitude and class and by the bits that weren’t broken and the bits that were. Then Shannon turned up, under the bed of mum Karen’s boyfriend’s uncle; and it was about kidnap, false imprisonment, perverting the course of justice and Wt-actual-f.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

BBC Commissions Agatha Christie Drama ‘The Witness for the Prosecution’

BBC Commissions Agatha Christie Drama ‘The Witness for the Prosecution’
The BBC has commissioned a TV adaptation of Agatha Christie’s crime drama “The Witness for the Prosecution” from writer Sarah Phelps, who also adapted Christie’s “And Then There Were None” and J.K. Rowling’s “The Casual Vacancy.”

The two-parter will be directed by Julian Jarrold (“The Crown,” “Appropriate Adult”) and is produced by Mammoth Screen and Agatha Christie Prods., and co-produced by Acorn Media Enterprises and A+E Studios. Streaming platform Acorn TV will air the show in the U.S. Mammoth Screen and Agatha Christie Prods also produced “And Then There Were None,” which garnered an audience of more than 8 million for the BBC and aired on Lifetime in the U.S.

“The Witness for the Prosecution” is set in 1920s London. “A murder, brutal and bloodthirsty, has stained the plush carpets of a handsome London townhouse,” the BBC said in a statement. “The victim is the
See full article at Variety - Film News »

European Pay TV Operator Sky Takes Stake in Sugar Films

London — European pay TV operator Sky has taken a minority stake in Sugar Films, an independent production company founded by senior television professionals Kwadjo Dajan, Narinder Minhas, Lucy Pilkington, Nav Raman and Pat Younge. Former Discovery Networks Intl. president and CEO Mark Hollinger will also take a stake in the company and becomes chairman.

Founded last year, Sugar aims to produce “bold, popular and provocative television and digital content for mainstream and diverse audiences.” It has already secured a number of commissions including a digital shorts series with Channel Four and the recently announced “White Boys and Black Heroes,” a documentary for BBC2 presented by Adrian Chiles about the wider social impact of the growth of black professional footballers in Britain. Sugar also has a number of further projects in paid development with other broadcasters.

Younge, the former BBC chief creative officer and ex-president of Travel Channel Media, is managing director of Sugar,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Emily Watson to received Donostia by Amber Wilkinson - 2015-09-16 16:22:51

Emily Watson will receive the Donostia Award in recognition of her career. Photo: Courtesy of San Sebastian Film Festival Emily Watson will receive the Donostia Award at this year's San Sebastian Film Festival. The award for the Oranges And Sunshine star is in recognition of her film career and comes in the same year she was awarded an OBE. Watson will collect the Award at a gala on September 25 in the Kursaal Auditorium.

The Islington-born actress made her film debut in Lars von Trier's controversial Breaking The Waves and other films include Hilary And Jackie, Punch Drunk Love, War Horse and Gosford Park.

Watson also participated in the television series Appropriate Adult, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination and won the Best Actress BAFTA. Her television credits include The Politician’s Husband, The Secret Life Of Marilyn Monroe and A Song For Jenny.

...
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

San Sebastian Honors Emily Watson With Donostia Award

San Sebastian Honors Emily Watson With Donostia Award
Barcelona — Emily Watson will receive a Donostia Award career achievement award at this September’s 63rd San Sebastian Film Festival, the highest-profile Spanish movie event.

Watson burst onto the film scene with Lars von Trier’s “Breaking the Waves” (1996), in which she potrayed a woman blindly, obsessively in love with her husband. This work established her as one of the most talked-up British actresses of her generation, snagging her an Oscar nomination, among other numerous recognitions.

Two years later, Watson earned another Oscar nom for Anant Tucker’s “Hilary and Jackie,” in which she played the British cellist Jacqueline du Pre.

Watson, a London Drama Studio alum, began her career on the stage in the Royal Shakespeare Company featuring in works of Lillian Hellman (“The Children’s Hour”), Henrik Ibsen (“The Lady From the Sea”) and Anton Chekhov (“Three Sisters”).

Watson has worked with Tim Burton (“The Corpse Bride”), Robert Altman
See full article at Variety - Film News »

House of Fraser British Academy Television Awards 2015: Full Winners List

It’s just concluded tonight in London and so we’ve got the full list of those hard-working stars of the small screen, who excel in one of the fastest changing formats of entertainment and impressing more and more all the time, it’s the House of Fraser British Academy Television Awards 2015 winners! The ceremony was hosted by Graham Norton at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and was broadcast on BBC HD.

There were two awards for The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, with Jason Watkins receiving his career-first BAFTA in the hotly contested Leading Actor category. In the Supporting Actress category Gemma Jones, who was last nominated in 1977, received her first ever BAFTA, for Marvellous, the feature-length biopic of Neil Baldwin. Marvellous was also successful against strong competition in the Single Drama category. Georgina Campbell won the BAFTA for Leading Actress for her harrowing portrayal of a victim of
See full article at The Hollywood News »

BAFTA TV Awards 2015: Jeff Pope talks Cilla, success and his future endeavours

Philomena, Mrs Biggs, The Widower and most recently Cilla - Jeff Pope has made a career out of plowing real-life stories to produce drama on both the big and small screen; and it's paid off, with the writer winning two BAFTAs and an Academy Award.

His latest accolade is a BAFTA TV Special Award - an honour presented in recognition of an outstanding creative contribution to television, with previous recipients including TV exec Jane Tranter, director Paul Greengrass and dramatist Alan Clarke.

Pope started his career in journalism - working as a reporter and researcher - and says the skills he learned have kept him "in good stead" throughout his career as a screenwriter.

"It was dealing with stories - things that had happened, facts," he explains. "It's getting the material and shaping it."

Pope also credits his journalistic roots with inspiring his passion for 'true to life' drama - series,
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Cilla writer Jeff Pope will receive this year's BAFTA TV Special Award

The writer of ITV's Cilla biopic will be honoured with this year's BAFTA TV Special Award.

Jeff Pope, whose other works include Mrs Biggs, Mo and Appropriate Adult, is receiving the accolade for his creative contribution to television.

The award was last presented in honour of Alan Clarke in 2009.

Pope said: "Alan Clarke was a hero of mine, and I am delighted to have been honoured with this award in his name.

"I have been lucky enough to work with some extraordinarily talented people, and this is a moment in my life to look back with gratitude to all those who have helped me achieve.

"Writing is all about facing down the tyranny of the blank screen, but my message to all aspiring writers is that once you've hit that first key, you discover it's really not so difficult as you'd imagined."

The British Academy Television Awards will be hosted
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Dave Navarros favourite TV

The Janes Addiction guitarist and goatee enthusiast on his telly wills and wonts

Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey with Neil deGrasse Tyson. Im an armchair science nerd and I was a huge fan of the original show, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, with Carl Sagan. If the world at large was a little bit more informed about whats happening in the universe we may not have so many problems here on Earth. I also tend to watch a lot of British television. Theres a series called Happy Valley, which Im really into, and also Southcliffe. And another called Appropriate Adult.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Cilla Black drama launches with nearly 7m viewers | TV ratings - 15 September

ITV biopic starring Sheridan Smith is broadcasters best-rating new drama since Broadchurch, beating BBC1s New Tricks

ITVs Cilla Black biopic starring Sheridan Smith began with nearly 7 million viewers, the broadcasters best-rating new drama since last years Broadchurch.

The three-part drama Cilla, written by Jeff Pope, whose credits include ITVs Fred West drama Appropriate Adult and Steve Coogan film Philomena, was watched by 6.7 million viewers, a 29.7% share of the audience, between 9pm and 10pm on Monday.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Cilla; Glue review a lorra, lorra reasons to love ITVs Cilla Black biopic

It may not sound too promising but the singers career doubles as a fantastic portrait of Liverpool in the grip of Merseybeat madness

Im not going to lie, I wasnt convinced that Cilla Black merited a three-part biopic. Look at the other biographical stuff Jeff Pope, who wrote Cilla (ITV), has been involved with. Pierrepoint, about Albert the hangman; he killed a lorra lorra people. Likewise the moors murderers and Fred West, subjects of See No Evil and Appropriate Adult, respectively. Ok, so Mrs Biggs didnt kill anyone, but that one starring Sheridan Smith as this does was about the aftermath of the crime of the century.

Cilla though, what has she done? Well people like her, and she hosted a couple of very popular TV shows in the 1980s and 1990s. And before, she was a singer, had a lot of success in the charts, and hung around a
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

New BBC One drama, comedy series revealed

BBC One controller Charlotte Moore has revealed details of a number of new programmes heading to the channel.

Speaking at the Edinburgh Television Festival, Moore revealed that she had commissioned several shows to broaden BBC One's drama, factual and documentary offerings.

The first of these, The Living And The Dead, is a new six-part fantasy drama from the creators of Life On Mars and Ashes To Ashes. It begins shooting next year and, according to Moore, is "steeped in real history and mythology that will scare the audience and awaken the dead".

Set in Somerset in 1888, the hour-long episodes will follow the story of Nathan Appleby, a farmer who has made it his mission to prove the existence of an afterlife. Described by the creators as a "complex and compelling man", Appleby will experience paranormal activity - encouraged by the Society for Psychical Research - until his obsession begins
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Michael Gambon, Keeley Forsyth on set of Jk Rowling's The Casual Vacancy

Michael Gambon and Keeley Forsyth were pictured on the set of Jk Rowling's The Casual Vacancy TV adaptation over the weekend.

The Cotswold town of Northleach was transformed into the fictional and seemingly idyllic English village of Pagford for the upcoming mini-series, based on Rowling's best-selling 2012 novel.

Gambon, who starred as Dumbledore in the Harry Potter film franchise, was seen looking dishevelled in a suit with a yellow tie half-way around his neck. He plays Howard Mollison, the owner of the Pagford delicatessen, in the movie.

Julia McKenzie also stars as Howard's wife Shirley Mollison, and was photographed taking a stroll on set alongside Hetty Banes, who plays Mo.

Former Coronation Street star Forsyth plays Terri Weedon, who was pictured caught up in a scuffle by a fruit and veg stall with on-screen daughter Krystal Weedon (newcomer Abigail Lawrie).

The Casual Vacancy centres on the apparently perfect location of Pagford,
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

All-Star Cast Confirmed For Jk Rowling’s ‘The Casual Vacancy’ BBC Adaptation

We have received huge news from the BBC of their first confirmed cast for the adaptation of Jk Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy, due to screen on BBC One.

The mini-series, that’s in association with HBO, has a great cast confirmed that includes Michael Gambon, Keeley Hawes, Rory Kinnear, Monica Dolan, Julia McKenzie, and they’re also introducing newcomer Abigail Lawrie.

BAFTA Award-winning actor Michael Gambon is set to play Howard Mollison, owner of the Pagford delicatessen, with Julia McKenzie playing his wife Shirley. Howard’s son Miles is being played by Rufus Jones (W1A) with his wife Samantha Mollison being played by Keeley Hawes (Ashes To Ashes). Rory Kinnear, who recently won the Olivier Award for Best Actor for his role as Iago in Nicholas Hytner’s production of Othello at the National Theatre, is to play Barry Fairbrother, Keeley Forsyth (Coronation Street) is playing Terri Weedon with
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Jk Rowling's The Casual Vacancy: Michael Gambon to lead BBC One series

Michael Gambon and Keeley Hawes are to star in BBC One's adaptation of Jk Rowling's The Casual Vacancy.

Rory Kinnear, Monica Dolan and Julia McKenzie will also appear in the mini-series, based on Rowling's 2012 novel.

The Casual Vacancy centres on Pagford, a seemingly idyllic English village. Behind the pretty façade, however, is a town at war.

Gambon will play Howard Mollison, owner of the Pagford delicatessen, with McKenzie playing his wife Shirley.

Howard's son Miles is being played by Rufus Jones (W1A) with his wife Samantha Mollison being played by Keeley Hawes (Line of Duty).

Rory Kinnear (Penny Dreadful) is cast as Barry Fairbrother, while Monica Dolan (Appropriate Adult) will play Tess Wall.

Also among the cast of the three-parter are Keeley Forsyth, newcomer Abigail Lawrie, Simon McBurney, Richard Glover, Marie Critchley and Michelle Austin.

Production on The Casual Vacancy - produced by BBC One in association with HBO
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Sheridan Smith and Reece Shearsmith to star in ITV murder drama

The Widower is based on Malcolm Webster, who killed his first wife in a staged car crash and tried to do the same to his second

Sheridan Smith and Reece Shearsmith are to star in an ITV drama about Malcolm Webster, who was convicted of murdering his wife in a staged car accident and trying to kill his second in a copycat crash.

Co-written and executive produced by ITV Studios' award-winning factual drama screenwriter and film-maker Jeff Pope, The Widower tells the story of how, over 13 years Webster, a seemingly mild-mannered nurse, set about poisoning and murdering his first wife, plotted the same scheme against his second wife and moved on to try to deceive his third fiancée.

Webster, to be played by Shearsmith, lost his appeal against his convictions in December. He was found guilty in 2011 of murdering his first wife, Claire Morris, in Aberdeenshire in 1994, and the
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Goodson-Thomas joins Ingenious

  • ScreenDaily
Goodson-Thomas joins Ingenious
Production exec Katie Goodson-Thomas joins as director of production and acquisitions.

Production executive Katie Goodson-Thomas has joined UK financier Ingenious as director of production and acquisitions.

Goodson-Thomas has previously worked with Jon Finn, Graham Broadbent, Damian Jones and David Thompson. She was most recently head of film for Chris Coen.

The executive will work closely with Fox Searchlight president of production Claudia Lewis and La-based director of production, Richard Gold, and she will be tasked with searching the UK for new investment projects.

She will also manage Ingenious and Fox Searchlight’s existing slate of joint development projects, including Shimmy written by Gwyneth Hughes (The Girl, Miss Austen Regrets, Five Days); I Dreamed A Dream, based on the Susan Boyle biographical stage musical, currently being adapted by Neil McKay (Appropriate Adult, Mo); and Season To Taste, based on the memoir by Molly Birnbaum and currently being adapted by Heather McGowan (Tadpole, Old Fires).

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See full article at ScreenDaily »

Downton Abbey, Broadchurch and beyond: how ITV got back on top

TV thriller Broadchurch was an extraordinary hit. Perhaps most surprising was the fact that it was on ITV, not always seen as the home of edgy entertainment. But that's changing

There was something out of the ordinary about Broadchurch, the TV murder mystery that kept nearly 10 million viewers guessing until the killer of 11-year-old Danny Latimer was revealed this week. The work almost entirely of a single writer – unusual for an eight-part drama – it featured only one murder (the average episode of Midsomer Murders has four).

Most surprising of all, perhaps, was that Broadchurch was on ITV, not necessarily a channel known to viewers as the home of edgy (or edge-of-your-seat) thrills. At the risk of hyperbole, ITV claims it is the most tweeted-about TV drama ever, with a reported 260,000 tweets from 137,000 people – making it, to use a pre-Twitter phrase, genuine watercooler television.

ITV's director of television, Peter Fincham, who
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Sundance Gets Serious About Series

Sundance Gets Serious About Series
Can lightning strike twice at AMC Networks? Sundance Channel is looking to get on the AMC track this year with its aggressive push into original scripted series, starting April 22 with the premiere of “Rectify.”

(From the pages of the April 16 issue of Variety.)

The channel’s makeover is in the hands of an energetic Brit who cut her professional teeth producing radio and TV programs for the BBC before heading Stateside. Sarah Barnett (pictured above, right, with ‘Top of the Lake’ star Elisabeth Moss), who was upped to Sundance Channel prexy in February, brings a producer’s eye to the tricky task of steering the cabler into new territory. Although Sundance has steadily added original series during the past decade, most viewers know the cable net as a haven for esoteric (and then some) indie films.

“I felt we needed to create more urgency around coming to the network,” Barnett said.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

ITV developing real-life crime drama 'The Widower'

ITV is developing a new real-life crime drama titled The Widower.

The project will be based on the life of Malcolm Webster - a nurse who was convicted of killing his first wife and attempting to murder his second, Broadcast reports.

It is currently unclear if The Widower will be made as a one-off or a multi-episode drama.

The dramatisation is being co-produced by Jeff Pope for ITV Studios - Pope previously worked on Fred West drama Appropriate Adult.

Starring Dominic West and Emily Watson, the two-part Appropriate Adult was a critical success for ITV, winning three BAFTAs in 2012. Watson's performance also received Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations.

Octagon Films and Nz Films are developing The Widower with ITV Studios.
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »
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