Wednesday, 27 January 2010

TV Talk - Number 1

I think it's called 'sod's law'. I shift the UK TV ratings feature from my World of Stuff blog to give the ratings their own showcase in a dedicated blog - and BARB's ratings collection seems to have gone into hibernation with no new figures released for weeks and nothing since the week ending Decenmber 27th. There'll either be a massive update soon with three weeks worth of numbers being posted in a few days...or not. BNut this new blog isn't just about the numbers, it's about TV news and bits'n'pieces too, odds'n'dos gathered from the press and from around the Net and colelcted here as a handy one-sotp for all that's new in the world of creative TV. rememebr, no lists of contestants in the next series of Strictly here and not a word about who's in and who's out of Big Brother. I just don't care. Neither should you.


First up this week some long-awaited news about the future of 'Primeval', ITV's cancelled/recommissioned Saturday night sci-fi drama. After performing fairly poorly in its 2009 series (but stll better than the dire and instantly-cancelled 'Demons'!)the show was dumped by ITV ong roudns of costs. During the summer the show's creators, Impossible Pictures, beavered away to try and find new finance for the show and in the autumn a new deal with BBC Worldwide/Watch (tiny digital station best knwon for axing Richard Judy last year when no-one watched their new chat show) was announced for the production of two new series (13 episodes in two blocks) to air next year. A few bits and peices have filtered on on what we can expect in the new run. It seems that Jason Flemyng, who stepped into the 'hero' role following the quitting of Douglas henshell three episodes into season three, has moved onto other projects during the production hiatus but has promised to return for three episodes during the series. The rest of the cast will return - including Ben Miller and the multi-talented Hannah Spearitt - and the first couple of episodes will resolve the cliffhanger from series three. Go on, I dare you to remember it! We're also promised more monstrous threats from the future rather than just the usual array of dinosaurs, spiders and other assorted beasties from the past.


A couple of years ago the BBC announced the development of a new sci-fi show for BBC1. 'Outcasts' was being created, inevitably, at BBC Wales (where some other popular shows are currently made) and would chronicle the escapades of a bunch of convicts and ne'er-do-wells trying to eke out an existence on a hostile colony planet. Executive producer Julie Gardner promised us that the show would be about "what it means to be human" and nothing was heard of it again. Gardner's scvuttled off to BBC America now to develop new shows with former Dr Who showrunner Russell T Davies (including, allegedly, an American reboot of 'Torchwood'). 'Outcasts' has just resurfaced though, now announced as 'commissioned' and being produced by Kudos films. Kudos, of coruse, are the people bnehind 'Hustle', 'Life on Mars' and 'Spooks'. With 'Spooks' widely expected to be axed after its next (ninth) series, 'Outcasts', now retooled as a show about colonists struggling on a hostile world, could be an interesting replacement. With other recent genre shows either failing or underperforming on BBC1 - last year's dreary 'Paradox' has been axed and the second series of 'Survivors' is sadly struggling - it's good to see the Corporation keeping faith with the genre instead of just writing off Dr Who's extraordinary and ongoing success as just a fluke of format. TV World will keep you updated on the development of 'Outcasts' as and when...


ABC in America has just announced that their glamour-drama-comedy 'Ugly Betty' currently airing its fourth series, will not return next year...'Supernatural', the hugely-popular US cult horror drama may return for a sixth season next year, despite having always been ear-marked for five series at best; ratings have been climbing this year so more episodes seem a safe bet...BBC1 has commissioned two further series of moody Norwegian detective drama 'Wallander' starring Kenneth Branagh. Series three will arrive at the tail end of this year....a new series of 'Waking the Dead' starring Trevor Eve has also been commissioned for BBC1, due to air in 2011...if you've not had your fill of the living dead just yet, a new post-apocalypse drama 'The Walking Dead' is in development in the US...US pilot 'Rex Is Not Your Lawyer' filmed late last year and starring our very own David Tennant, has not been picked up for a series comedy a second series of the BBC remake of 'Reggie Perrin', starring Martin Clunes, is on the way and a second series of charming traitional sitcom 'Miranda' starring Miranda Hart, has been commissioned after tis first BBC2 run racked up surprisingly-good ratings on a Monday night opposite 'Coronation Street'; expect a rapid promotion/poaching to BBC1 where a new sitcom hit is desperately needed....Lee Mack and Tim Vine's 'Not Going Out' axed by BBC1 last year, has been recommissioned as the BBC try to breathe new life into the post-10.30pm week night slot. New episodes should screen towards the end of this year...Fans of irritatingly-voiced stand-up Michael McIntyre will be pleased - and not surprised, considering its ratings last time - that the BBC have commissioned a second series of his 'Comedy Roadshow' for screening during the summer. Joy.

The BBC have commissioned two further feature-length episodes of the Steve Moffat/Mark Gatiss contemporary take on 'Sherlock Holmes' starring Martin Freeman as Watson and Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes following a pilot film shot in Cardiff last year. In the last few days both Dr Who and Holmes were filming at different ends of the same Cardiff location, being the Museum in the city centre. What larks.

That's it for now. More TV news and comment soon. Any comments, views and even snippets of news and gossip will be warmly received!

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