BBC1 Unveils 25 Hours Of New Drama…

Following the BBC’;s success in drama at the BAFTAs, Danny Cohen, Controller, BBC One, and Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning, are trying to keep the momentum going by unveiling new BBC1 commissions.

Commenting on the Awards, Stephenson said: “I’;m very proud of all the BBC Drama BAFTA winners, I’;m especially thrilled that Sherlock picked up the much coveted best series award. Series Two of Sherlock will kick off a big year for drama on BBC One. 2012 will be a year of huge cultural significance and BBC One Drama promises to match that ambition by bringing audiences stories with real scale that connect with the hearts and lives of British people.”

According to Stephenson, “Danny Cohen and I have just commissioned 25 hours of new drama for BBC1 at 2100 in 2012, this includes two series (Anthony And Cleopatra and Savage), three serials (Inside Men, May Day, Restless) and two singles (Noah and Bert And Dickie). I believe this demonstrates a bigger commitment to original British drama production than any other broadcaster in this country.”

The most significant new arrival is Anthony And Cleopatra, a 6 x 60-minute series, written by Sally Wainwright and made by Red Production Company. The series tells the story of two old school friends, both widowed and in their 70s, who unexpectedly fall for each other when they meet again after nearly 50 years. May Day, meanwhile, is a 5 x 60-minute serial from Kudos, which explores the aftermath of what happens when a young girl goes missing, feared dead.

Restless is a 2 x 90-minute serial scripted by William Boyd and based on his own book (the producer is Endor). Bert And Dickie (90-minutes) is an in-house production which takes the Olympics as its theme. It tells the story of Bert Bushnell and Dickie Burnell, who are teamed together to race in the double sculls at the 1948 London Olympics.

Also of interest is Noah, Tony Jordan’;s exploration of the classic Noah’;s Ark story, told from a very human perspective (Produced by his company Red Planet). One of Jordan’;s recent works for the BBC told the story of The Nativity.

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