UKTV to premiere shows online as original slate grows
Staff Reporter | On 08, Sep 2015
UKTV will premiere all its returning commissions online, beginning with Dave Gorman Modern Life is Goodish.
The comedian’s hilarious show (read our review here) returns tonight at 10pm on Dave for its third season, but is already available to watch online on VOD service UKTV Play, as part of the network’s new online-first plan.
The move was announced today at annual showcase UKTV Live, with Storage Hunters UK also set to receive an early on-demand premiere: the show, which sees bidders go head to head to buy random items from storage bins, will return on Tuesday 15th September at 8pm and will be available to watch on UKTV Play from Wednesday 9th September.
The announcement was made as network also unveiled its biggest ever slate of original content.
Dave Gorman Modern Life Is Goodish has already been commissioned for a fourth and fifth series, holding the title of one of the highest rating shows for Dave. Steve North, General Manager for the channel, says its “part of a solid foundation of original commissions on Dave”.
Those foundations are being built on rapidly now, as UKTV enters the original content race, not just for Dave, but also for Gold and Watch.
Building on its position as the UK’s number one non-PSB channel, Dave has announced a plethora of returning series, including Crackanory, the show that puts a darkly comic spin on contemporary storytelling, which will return for a third outing with a mix of names that includes Christopher Lloyd, Robbie Coltrane, Jimmy Carr, Sarah Millican and Tasmin Greig.
Brand new to the channel will be The Money Pit, hosted by Jason Manford, which sees ordinary people risk their own money to invest in the bright ideas and small businesses of hopeful entrepreneurs.
Earlier in the year, Dave also announced two more series of sci-fi comedy classic Red Dwarf, slated for 2016 and 2017, plus another season of Hoff the Record, the surprisingly brilliant, semi-improvised comedy that follows the bizarre world of David Hasselhoff (played by David Hasselhoff).
The network’s comedy channel, Gold, has ordered several new shows, including a brand new Comic Strip film from Peter Richardson, which will provide a satirical take on the phone hacking scandal.
The Comic Strip Presents… The Red Top! (a working title) will see Maxine Peake play the lead role of Rebekah, alongside Russell Tovey, Nigel Planer, Johnny Vegas, Alexei Sayle, Harry Enfield, James Buckley, Robbie Coltrane, and Eleanor Matsuura, while Stephen Mangan will play Tony Blair.
Robert Lindsay and Maureen Lipman will lead the cast of Gold’s new three-part scripted comedy series, Bull. The studio-based comedy features the eponymous Rupert Bull (Lindsay), a man who attempts to run his antiques shop aided and hampered in equal measure by his team of dysfunctional staff, which includes Beverly (Lipman).
Sarah Alexander and John Hannah will star in Marley’s Ghosts, a high concept single camera sitcom about a woman who has a rare gift that means she can talk to the dead.
One-off sitcom Do Not Disturb will feature Catherine Tate as estranged wife Anna, who decides not to waste her wedding anniversary booking at a boutique hotel. Unfortunately, her husband has the same idea and, despite Anna’s extramarital affair still firmly on their minds, they begin reconciliation talks, unaware that a semi-naked man is asleep in the bathtub, recovering from a hangover.
Gold completes its original line-up with Legends of Stand-up and Bernard Righton. John Thomson brings his alter ego, legendary club comedian Bernard Righton, to life as a compere in this six-part series, which celebrates the world’s greatest comedians using archive footage.
Excluded from UKTV Play – and the online-first premieres – is premium pay-TV channel Watch, which will add a new Authored Documentary Season to its schedule, with three films that explore the personal impact of technology on the lives and careers of Sara Cox, Grace Dent and Sophie Ellis-Bextor.
The new documentary strand builds on Watch’s wave of recent factual commissions for the channel, including property format Honey I Bought the House, Get Me To The Church, described as The Hangover meets Don’t Tell the Bride, musical culture clash show, Singing in the Rainforest, featuring Myleene Klass, and “food meets poker series” Humble Pie.
“Bold, imaginative and audacious – UKTV’s originations challenge convention and blaze a trail for the continued strong growth of our network, which has increased by nearly a third in the last three years,” says UKTV CEO Darren Childs.