ITV Announces Primeval Series 5 Start DateBookmark and Share

Thursday, 31 May 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
PrimevalS5The fifth series of Primeval is to be finally shown on terrestrial television.

ITV1 will start airing the six-part series on Saturday 16th June at 6pm. It was originally shown on digital channel Watch in May and June last year under an agreement that saw Series 4 broadcast first on ITV1 before being shown on Watch.

The creature appearing in episode one is a giant burrowing insect, based on a mole cricket, and an ITV press statement said:
The mole cricket is a thick-bodied insect with large beady eyes and shovel-like forelimbs highly developed for burrowing. However, our burrower will be much larger – imagine the Silurian Scorpion with bigger legs, teeth, and much, much stronger.
The series stars Hannah Spearritt as Abby Maitland, Andrew-Lee Potts as Connor Temple, Ben Miller as James Lester, Ruth Kearney as Jess Parker, Ciaran McMenamin as Matt Anderson, and Ben Mansfield as Captain Hilary Becker.

Production on the 13-part spin-off series Primeval: New World began in March in Vancouver and will air on Watch this year. It will feature a cross-over from the original series.
(With thanks to Steve Layton)

(newslink: ITV Press Centre)




Sherlock Takes Top Three iPlayer FiguresBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
 iplayerThe three episodes of Sherlock Series 2 were the three most-requested programmes on the BBC iPlayer for January 2012.

In figures released for the January-April period, episode 1 – A Scandal In Belgravia – broadcast on New Year's Day was top with 2,528,000 requests, episode 3 – The Reichenbach Fall – shown on 15th January was second with 1,913,000 requests, and episode 2 – The Hounds of Baskerville – which aired on 8th January was third with 1,689,000.

This meant that with A Scandal In Belgravia, Sherlock also had the most-requested episode per series that month, receiving more than twice as many as the second-placed Top Gear India Special of 28th December 2011 (included in January's figures with a figure of 1,116,000 requests, downgraded from the December 2011 figure of 1,311,000). The next most-requested episode of January 2012 – and next most-requested episode per series of January 2012 – was the New Year's Day edition of EastEnders, which received 1,097,000 requests.

The premier episode of Being Human Series 4 received 593,000 requests in February, and the first episode of the comedy series Pramface, co-starring Yasmin Paige, received 389,000 requests, making them the tenth and 17th most-requested episodes per series of that month, while in March, episode 2 of Pramface received 541,000 requests, Being Human Series 4 episode 7 had 403,000 requests, and the first episode of Dirk Gently received 343,000 requests, making them the ninth, 13th, and 20th most-requested episodes per series of that month respectively. The film version of Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, co-starring Bill Bailey, got 349,000 requests when it aired in March. Finally, April saw the film Kidulthood, written by and co-starring Noel Clarke, get 342,000 requests.

Monthly performance packs have not been published by the BBC since December 2011. They will return to a monthly publication schedule from next month, said the corporation.

Total requests between January and April this year averaged around 190 million per month, with more than 140 million for TV and around 46 million for radio programmes - up by 24 per cent on the same period last year.

There was a massive increase in requests from mobile and tablet devices. These went up by 94 per cent on April 2011, with 15 per cent of total programme requests coming from mobiles and tablets in April 2012.

Apple announced that the BBC iPlayer app for iPads was the top free app of all time in the UK.

The BBC also reported that demand from internet-connected devices such as Smart TVs, games consoles, and Blu-ray players had continued to grow, with 11 per cent of all requests in April 2012 – up by 57 per cent on April 2011.

The full breakdown for January to April 2012 is available as a PDF here.

Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss told Digital Spy at the BAFTA TV Awards on Sunday that he was writing the first episode of Series 3, adding that it would be based loosely on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Adventure of the Empty House. He said:
It'll be a version of it, because that's the one in which [Sherlock] returns. How much or how little [we change], I don't know yet. As before, we cherry-pick and we choose bits and pieces of other [stories] that we like. They're always less literal adaptations.
(newslink: BBC Media Centre)




Dirk Gently Is CancelledBookmark and Share

Monday, 28 May 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
Dirk Gently star Stephen Mangan revealed today that the BBC Four show had been axed.

The actor tweeted: "It gives me no pleasure whatsoever to report that the BBC have decided not to make any more ‪#DirkGently‬."

A tweet later in the day from the production team said they didn't think another channel would pick up the show, although they offered a glimmer of hope by also saying "but you never know".

A pilot episode that was shown in December 2010 garnered 1.1 million viewers, leading to a three-part series that aired this March - the first drama series to be commissioned for the channel. However, the ratings for it reportedly slipped from 844,000 to under 600,000.

A BBC spokeswoman said:
We've loved having Dirk on the channel but the licence fee freeze means less British drama on BBC4. In future we will focus on the best dramas from around the globe, like The Killing and Borgen, whilst BBC One and BBC Two become the main homes of original British drama.
The episodes, written by Howard Overman, Jamie Mathieson, and Matt Jones, were based on the books by Douglas Adams. The show was produced for BBC Cymru Wales by ITV Studios in association with The Welded Tandem Picture Company.





A TV BAFTA For MoriartyBookmark and Share

Monday, 28 May 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
baftaAndrew Scott picked up the Supporting Actor BAFTA TV Award last night for his portrayal of Jim Moriarty in Sherlock.

Fellow Sherlock actor Martin Freeman, who plays Dr John Watson in the BBC One drama, had been vying with him for the prestigious honour.

Sherlock title actor Benedict Cumberbatch missed out on the Leading Actor gong, which went to Dominic West for his portrayal of Fred West in ITV1's Appropriate Adult. John Simm had also been nominated for the Leading Actor BAFTA, for the role of Tom Ronstadt in BBC One's Exile.

Sherlock lost out to Celebrity Juice in the YouTube Audience Award, but series co-creator Steven Moffat was given the 2012 BAFTA Television Special Award by Cumberbatch and Matt Smith in recognition of his outstanding creative writing contribution to television - see below (video via Radio Times):



Click here for the full list of winners at the ceremony, which was held at the Royal Festival Hall in London.




All Systems Go For Next Series Of Being HumanBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 16 May 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
BHA "very definitely new and nasty, chilling edge" is promised for the next series of Being Human.

The show's official blog reports that story lining, scripting, and pre-production are now under way for Series 5, with the first episode having been written.

It adds that the new series will be "bigger, better, bolder, braver and definitely more terrifying than anything that has come before" but that it will still have "laughs and fun" as previously. It also teases that "calls for a new villain have been answered".

As previously reported, Series 5 will only comprise six episodes - two fewer than all the previous series apart from the first one.




Sherlock Scoops Three TV Craft BAFTAsBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 15 May 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
baftaSteven Moffat has been honoured for his work at this year's BAFTA Television Craft Awards. He said he was "genuinely, utterly thrilled" to be presented with the Writer prize for the Sherlock episode A Scandal In Belgravia.

His wife, Sue Vertue, tweeted: "The Moff wins! Hurrah for my husband @steven_moffat who's just won a #Bafta for #Sherlock. Love him!"

In addition, A Scandal In Belgravia garnered TV Craft BAFTAs for Charlie Phillips for Editing: Fiction, and John Mooney, Jeremy Child, Howard Bargroff, and Doug Sinclair for Sound: Fiction. It is a repeat triumph for Phillips, who won the BAFTA TV Craft Award in the same category last year for the Sherlock Series 1 episode A Study In Pink.

The awards ceremony, held to recognise behind-the-scenes professionals in TV production, took place at The Old Brewery in London, and the other winners were as follows:
  • Costume Design - Charlotte Walter for Birdsong
  • Digital Creativity - Steph Harris, Dan Jones, Sandra Gorel, Adam Gee for Live From The Clinic
  • Director: Factual - David Clews for Educating Essex
  • Director: Fiction - Hugo Blick for The Shadow Line
  • Director: Multi-Camera - Phil Heyes for The X Factor Final
  • Editing: Factual - Editing Team for Frozen Planet (To The Ends Of The Earth)
  • Entertainment Craft Team - Paul Bussey, Nick Collier, Luke Halls, Annabel Raftery for The Cube
  • Make Up & Hair Design - Jacqueline Fowler for The Crimson Petal And The White
  • Original Music - Brian Eno for Top Boy
  • Photography: Factual - Camera Team for Frozen Planet (To The Ends Of The Earth)
  • Photography & Lighting: Fiction - Florian Hoffmeister for Great Expectations
  • Production Design - David Roger for Great Expectations
  • Sound: Factual - Tim Owens, Graham Wild, Kate Hopkins for Frozen Planet (To The Ends Of The Earth)
  • Visual Effects - BlueBolt for Great Expectations
  • Break-through Talent: Kwadjo Dajan (co-producer) for Appropriate Adult
  • Special Award: Colourist Aidan Farrell for outstanding creative contribution to the industry and his extensive work and accomplishments in this field.
(newslink: BBC News)