Netflix may be hogging the headlines when it comes to original content, but Sky shows no sign of slowing its own production arm, with a host of new series announced this week.
The broadcast is bringing together an impressive roll call of award-winning actors, writers and producers in what it’s hailed as its most ambitious slate of original productions yet. The six new originals have been penned by writers including Academy Award winners John Ridley (American Crime, 12 Years a Slave) and Neil Jordan (The Crying Game), and BAFTA award winner Rowan Joffe (28 Days Later), and feature all-star casts including Golden Globe winner Idris Elba and Primetime Emmy nominee Julia Stiles; Dawn French and Tim Roth, both BAFTA nominees; Christina Hendricks and Ricky Tomlinson.
The new series build on a successful year for Sky original drama, which includes recent BAFTA nominations for The Last Panthers and The Enfield Haunting, as well as recording-breaking audiences for Stan Lee’s Lucky Man on Sky 1.
Gary Davey, Managing Director, Content, Sky, comments: “We know our original content is highly valued and a reason why customers choose and stay with Sky. Combining the scale and ambition of our Sky original productions with the best of the US and exclusive partnerships with HBO and Showtime, we believe our customers enjoy a better choice of drama at Sky than anywhere else in the world.”
The new productions join eight original drama series already on air or set to air in the coming months on Sky Atlantic and Sky 1 in the UK & Ireland. These include returning series Penny Dreadful, Fortitude, Stan Lee’s Lucky Man and Agatha Raisin, alongside new series The Young Pope, directed by Academy Award-winner Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty, Youth) and starring Jude Law and Diane Keaton, and Hooten & The Lady, starring Michael Landes, Ophelia Lovibond and Jane Seymour, from Tony Jordan’s Red Planet Pictures.
The announcement also follows the recent premiere of Harlan Coben’s The Five, the first original work for UK TV from the international bestselling author, and The Tunnel: Sabotage.
The new original productions are expected to air across 2016/2017. Here’s the line-up:
Sky Atlantic and Showtime team with Academy Award-winning writer John Ridley and Golden Globe winner Idris Elba for a love story set against the backdrop of one of the most politically explosive periods in UK history. Guerrilla follows a young couple whose relationship and values are tested when they liberate a political prisoner and form a radical underground cell in 1970s London. A co-production between Fifty Fathoms and ABC Signature. International distribution is to be handled by Endemol Shine International.
Tim Roth and Christina Hendricks star in this Sky Atlantic revenge thriller penned by acclaimed screenwriter Rowan Joffe. A contemporary take on the Western genre, Tin Star tells the story of Jim Worth, an ex-Met police detective who has started a new life in Canada’s Rocky Mountains. Produced by Kudos. International distribution is to be handled by Sky Vision and Endemol Shine International.
Julia Stiles stars in this glamorous Sky Atlantic thriller created by Oscar-winning writer and director Neil Jordan. Riviera is a thriller set in the world of the super-rich, where art, money, sex and love all come at a price. Produced by Archery Pictures with worldwide distribution by Sky Vision.
In her Sky 1 debut, Dawn French stars in a story of love, heartbreak, food and female friendship set in the beautiful countryside of Cornwall’s Tamar Valley. Written by Dan Sefton (Mr Selfridge), Delicious is the funny, surprising and emotional tale of passionate cook Gina, her hotelier ex-husband, his new wife, Sam, and a secret that is set to upturn all of their lives. Produced by Bandit Television.
Sky 1 heads for the New World in a frontier drama written by Bill Gallagher (Lark Rise to Candleford, The Paradise). Set in 1619 in the early days of the first British settlers in America, Jamestown tells the story of a group of young women as they leave the Old World and their old lives behind them. Produced by Carnival Films with worldwide distribution by NBCUniversal International Distribution.
The Last Dragonslayer
Ricky Tomlinson, John Bradley and Ellise Chappell star in this spectacular Sky 1 drama based on the first of Jasper Fforde’s unique series of novels. The Last Dragonslayer is a family adventure set in the Ununited Kingdoms that follows the story of orphan Jennifer Strange, who reluctantly discovers her destiny is to become the last Dragonslayer. Produced by Blueprint Pictures and GroupM Entertainment.