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Channel 4’s eccentric comedy Flowers will bloom again.
A second series of the dark comedy will see the return of Olivia Colman’s Deborah and her depressed husband Maurice (Julian Barratt), the broadcaster has announced.
The six-part run will look at a new era of their marriage and whether they can survive the challenges laid bare in series one, including Maurice’s suicide attempt and Deborah’s infidelity.
The Flowers’ twins Donald (Daniel Rigby, Black Mirror, Eric and Ernie) and Amy (Sophia di Martino, The Darkest Universe, Friday Night Dinner) will also be back, as will the character of Shun, the Flowers’ Japanese factotum played by the writer Will Sharpe.
The recommission is a sign of Channel 4’s faith in the show: it opened in April with 710,000 viewers for episode one. Overnight ratings dropped to 400,000 in the middle of the run before rallying to 680,000 for the series finale.
The show’s consolidated viewing was an average of 1m viewers per episode across the five episodes.
Deputy Head of Comedy Nerys Evans, who commissioned the show for Channel 4 said: “Covering deeply complex issues like fidelity, mental health, sexuality and fraying family bonds, Will Sharpe’s hilariously awkward and heart-breaking show offers another unmissable look at the Flowers’ messed up world.
“Will’s scripts and the show’s perfect cast are so brilliant at making you wail with laughter one minute, and well up the next. I couldn’t be more excited for the family’s return to Channel 4.”
LONDON: Channel 4, Lupus Films and Walker Productions have brought Olivia Colman, Pam Ferris, Mark Williams and Michael Rosen on board the voice cast for the animated special We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.
Colman (Broadchurch, The Night Manager) has signed on to voice Mum, while Ferris (Matilda, Call the Midwife) will portray Grandma and Williams (Harry Potter, Father Brown) will provide the voice for Dad. Rosen, who wrote the best-selling book on which the half-hour film is based, will play the bear. The film is slated to air on Channel 4 this Christmas.
The story follows the adventures of a group of siblings and their dog Rufus as they set out on an adventure in search of bears. The kids encounter many obstacles such as snowstorms, oozing mud and dark forests, but the real challenge begins when the group is separated. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is produced by Lupus Films in association with Bear Hunt Films, Walker Productions and Herrick Entertainment for Channel 4. It is distributed internationally by Union Media.
Piers Wenger, the head of drama for Channel 4, said, “We’re delighted to welcome Olivia, Mark and Pam on board this fantastic family adventure, and Michael playing the bear is an inspired touch. It’s a brilliant cast for a brilliant, classic story; I can’t wait for Christmas.”
Camilla Deakin, producer for Lupus Films, commented, “We are thrilled to have attracted the services of such a high-caliber cast to bring our grown-up characters to life. Olivia Colman, Pam Ferris and Mark Williams are wonderful actors with highly distinctive styles and we’re delighted that they are joining us for this timeless adventure, along with Michael Rosen, who makes a very convincing bear!”
Colman added: “What appealed to me about the story is the bond the family have—they care for and look after each other. Another wonderful aspect of the story is that it’s kids enjoying a natural adventure with their imaginations, fresh air and the wilderness. I love that they commit to their adventure…I would like to go with them!”
“Watership Down,” the 1972 Richard Adams novel that was adapted into an animated film just six years later, will be adapted once again for a computer-animated mini-series produced by Netflix and the BBC.
“The thing about Watership Down is that it’s an epic adventure story,” Rory Aitken, executive producer, told The Telegraph U.K.
A tale about displaced rabbits looking for a new home, “Watership Down” has become well known for its brutal violence over the years, but that will change somewhat with the new series.
“It’s not a terrifying, brutal story,” said Aitken. “I think that in a way we want to restore the reputation that the book should have as one of the great adventure stories of all time. It’s grown this reputation for being scarring and horrific and brutal, and actually that’s not what the essence of the story is. While we won’t shy away from the darkness in the book, visually it won’t be as brutal and scarring.”
The anthropomorphized rabbits of the adventure story will be voiced by Sir Ben Kingsley, who will play General Woundwort, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, and “Star Wars” star John Boyega.
In addition to toning down the shocking scenes of animal violence seen in the original film, project heads say the new mini-series will feature more prominently the voices and storylines of the work’s female characters.
Gemma Arterton, Olivia Colman, and Anne-Marie Duff will voice Clover, Strawberry, and Hyzenthlay, respectively.
“The idea is to bring it to a wider family audience. While ‘Watership Down’ is never going to be for young children, it will be for the whole family to watch together,” said Aitken.
The mini-series is reportedly being produced in four parts, and has a budget around 20 million pounds, according to the Daily Mail.
The series will premiere on the BBC, and be available on-demand thereafter on Netflix.
Award winning drama Broadchurch resumes filming in Dorset this summer with an impressive ensemble cast confirmed to appear in the third and final series.
David Tennant and Olivia Colman reprise their roles as DI Alec Hardy and DS Ellie Miller with Jodie Whittaker and Andrew Buchan returning to play Beth and Mark Latimer.
They will be joined by National Television Award winner Julie Hesmondhalgh, BAFTA winner Georgina Campbell along with Sarah Parish, Charlie Higson and Mark Bazeley who take significant roles in the eight part series to be co-produced for ITV by Kudos, Imaginary Friends and Sister Pictures.
Arthur Darvill also returns as local Vicar Paul Coates, Carolyn Pickles as newspaper editor Maggie Radcliffe and Adam Wilson as Ellie’s son Tom.
The new series will herald a brand new case for Miller and Hardy with the detectives reuniting to investigate a serious sexual assault.
“This is the final chapter of Broadchurch,” said Chris Chibnall. “We have one last story to tell, featuring both familiar faces and new characters. I hope it’s a compelling and emotional farewell to a world and show that means so much to me.”
The series explores the consequences of a serious sexual assault as a Dorset community comes under the scrutiny of Hardy and Miller’s investigation. Based on a year of research with Dorset-based organisations who specialise in dealing with victims of sexual assault, and police advisors who specialise in investigating crimes of sexual violence, Broadchurch’s final chapter looks at the emotional cost to all of those involved and the irreparable damage to friendships and relationships.
ITV’s former Director of Drama Steve November and Controller of Drama Victoria Fea have commissioned the new series.
“Broadchurch is as ever stylishly written, provocative and thought provoking,” said Victoria. “We’re pleased with the direction Chris and Jane have taken this series and the extraordinary cast they’ve assembled.”
Broadchurch will be executive produced by Chris Chibnall (Malaterra, The Great Train Robbery, Torchwood) for Imaginary Friends and Jane Featherstone (River, Humans, Gracepoint) for Sister Pictures. Dan Winch (Indian Summers II, What We did On Our Holiday) will produce the final series. Broadchurch is a co-production with Kudos, an Endemol Shine Group company.
“Broadchurch has been an important part of my life and I am so delighted and privileged to be working with Chris and the team again as we embark on the very final series,” said Jane Featherstone. “We will return to the town and characters we know so well as they find themselves caught up in a new and compelling story which will test the strength of the community and the people who live there, and will, I hope, be a fitting end to this trilogy.”
On behalf of co-producers Kudos Chief Executive Officer Diederick Santer said:
“Kudos are delighted to be working in partnership with Chris and Jane once again, on what promises to be the thrilling final chapter of Broadchurch.”
The series will be directed by Paul Andrew Williams (The Eichmann Show, Murdered by My Boyfriend), Daniel Nettheim (Doctor Who, Humans, Line of Duty) and Lewis Arnold (Banana, Prey, Humans).
Filming will commence this summer in Bridport, West Bay and Clevedon, which have featured as locations in Broadchurch series one and two.
This spring will see the launch of Channel 4’s innovative new six part dark comedy-drama starring Olivia Colman and Julian Barratt with the half hour episodes written and directed by Will Sharpe.
“Flowers is the kind of deliciously dark world we love at Channel 4. The word ‘dysfunctional’ doesn’t come close to describing quite how brilliantly peculiar the Flowers family are. Will Sharpe’s wonderful writing and direction coupled with an amazing cast has led us to an unbelievably original piece and we are delighted to have it on the channel.” – Channel 4’s Deputy Head of Comedy, Nerys Evans
Flowers is an imaginative, cinematic show about an eccentric and dysfunctional family struggling to hold themselves together. Maurice (Barratt), the author of illustrated children’s books The Grubbs, and music teacher wife Deborah (Colman) are barely together, but yet to divorce. As Maurice fights inner demons and dark secrets, Deborah tries to keep the family together at all costs and becomes increasingly suspicious that Maurice is in a secret homosexual relationship with his Japanese illustrator Shun (played by show creator Will Sharpe).
The Flowers family live in a creaky, messy, crumbling old house with Maurice’s ailing mother Hattie (Leila Hoffman) and their maladjusted 25-year-old twins Amy (Sophia Di Martino – Friday Night Dinner, Mount Pleasant) and Donald (BAFTA-winning Daniel Rigby – Eric and Ernie, Cardinal Burns, Undercover). Both are competing for the affection of neighbour Abigail (BAFTA-winning Georgina Campbell – Murdered By My Boyfriend) as they struggle to burst through the confines of their arrested development. Anna Chancellor plays Aunty Viv, Deborah’s vivacious sister.
Swinging from the profane to the profound, the Flowers family and their often self-inflicted crises, are surrounded by odd neighbours who become the agents of further heartache and misfortune. Despite living on top of each other the family will do anything to not communicate, pushing them and their struggles with love and life to extreme and ridiculous places.
“I feel very lucky to be making Flowers with Kudos, Channel 4 and Seeso. They’ve been really supportive and pushed me to make bold decisions on a show that aims both to celebrate and challenge the traditional family sitcom format. The characters in this show are all trying to break free in some way. In part, it’s a comedy about the different ways of feeling trapped or alone and how difficult it can be to admit that’s how you’re feeling.” – Will Sharpe
It will air on Channel 4 in the UK and Seeso in the States this spring
The 42-year-old actress has admitted she’s hoping to reprise her role as detective sergeant Ellie Miller in the ITV drama in three months’ time providing the storylines are ready and rest of the cast are available to crack on with filming.
Speaking on ‘This Morning’ on Thursday (18.02.16), she said: ”I think we start [filming ‘Broadchurch’] in May. But that can change, depending on availability and scripts and things.”
The ‘Peep Show’ star can’t wait to slip into her grey suit again this spring and, although she’s nervous, she knows writer Chris Chibnall will impress yet again with his explosive scripts.
Asked if she’s nervous about the show living up to its expectation, she explained: ”That’s quite scary, but luckily that’s Chris’s job, the writer. I love it, it’s like a family.”
The second series wrapped up last February and, shortly after it left screens, Chris teased that he already had ideas in mind for what the loveable characters will tackle next.
He said at the time: ”This third chapter has been a glint in my eye for a long time and I’m thrilled to be writing these characters once again.”
And fans are no doubt eager to find out what happened to Joe Miller (Matthew Gravelle) after the show finished on a cliffhanger when he was found not guilty for the brutal murder of Danny Latimer (Oskar McNamara) and whether he took his wife Ellie’s advice to flee their close-knit small town in Dorset for good.
It would almost be easier to list the stars who haven’t just been announced for the 2016 edition of ‘Letters Live’ – the theatrical event in which your favourite stars read a series of funny, heart-breaking, silly real-life letters of note out-loud – than the ones that are.
Almost, but not quite: Benedict Cumberbatch, Sir Ian McKellen, Caitlin Moran, Gillian Anderson, John Bishop, Jarvis Cocker, Olivia Colman, Russell Brand and Louise Brealey are just some of the participants who’ll chip in over the course of the show’s run at the Freemason’s Hall. So pretty darn good, then.
The organisers are keeping tighter-lipped than usual about what the actual readings will be this time. But you know, they’ll be good, and frankly who cares when FAMOUS PEOPLE.
One you can expect not to see is Kylie Minogue reading Nick Cave’s infamous 1996 letter to MTV, asking that his nomination of Best Male Artist at that year’s MTV Europe Awards be withdrawn.
For more information and to book tickets that are £35-£75 go to the Event Site
The final series of Peep Show is almost upon us, with the final miserable misadventures of the El Dude Brothers’ set to begin on 11 November, 2015.
Episode 1 will air at 10pm, and has the following synopsis (as per the British Comedy Guide):
‘Last time we saw Mark and Jeremy they had just been mildly electrocuted in a field, abandoned by Dobby despite their declarations of love.
It looked like the end of the El Dude Brothers. But now time has passed, and while Jez has some rather constrictive new living quarters, and Mark has a new flatmate and has landed a bank job, it seems that the wounds have not yet healed. Jeremy is reluctant to apologise, at least until the time is right. Mark on the other hand – content thanks to Napoleon’s correspondence – is determined not to show any emotional scars.
The pair have to put their differences aside however in order to celebrate with a newly clean and healthy Super Hans. But despite his best efforts a good detox can only last so long. When Jeremy goes cap in hand to ask for a loan it appears Mark might have his chance for revenge…’
Filming on the six final episodes wrapped in September, with David Mitchell admitting it got a bit “emotional”.
Olivia Colman is set to return as Sophie, while Matt King will also be back as Super Hans.
Don’t expect a happy ending for the ne’er-do-wells though.
“They will be in horrible pain as usual,” Webb previously told the Daily Mirror of Jez and Mark’s fate. “They will not win the lottery, they will not have a happy ending.”
Olivia Colman and Julian Barratt are gearing up to film Flowers, with cameras due to roll in three weeks.
The dark comedy is a six-parter from Kudos for Channel 4, in association with NBCU’s new comedy focused subscription VOD platform, and follows the earlier non-TX pilot which filmed at the end of last year.
BAFTA-nominated Will Sharpe writes and directs the show, which revolves around an eccentric family, the Flowers, living in a decrepit house and barely holding family life together against a backdrop of crises, secrets and lies.
When the commission was first announced, Channel 4’s deputy head of comedy, Nerys Evans said, “Flowers is the kind of deliciously dark comedy we love at Channel 4. The word dysfunctional doesn’t even come close to describing quite how brilliantly peculiar the Flowers family are. Will Sharpe’s genius coupled with an amazing cast has led us to an unbelievably original piece and we are delighted to have it on the channel.”
Naomi De Pear, who developed the series, acts as producer; on PI you will also find the casting director, line producer, production designer, studio, shoot dates and location manager.
The week commencing 9 November is a busy one for new projects – cameras also begin to roll that day on the two new series of Red Dwarf and noir detective thriller Marcella. Production details on these details can also be found on PI.
And some bad news to finish with: fans of Colman will have to wait a lot longer for the third series of Broadchurch. The actress said on BBC Radio 4’s Loose Ends on 17 October that the series would not film until the summer of 2016.