Edinburgh TV Festival: Channel 4 has announced a raft of new commissions, including Bash Doran period thriller Jerusalem and Stephen Mangan-starring comedy Hang Ups.

The commissions also include a new Formula 1 documentary fronted by Guy Martin, as well as new Grayson Perry series Rites of Passage.

The shows are made by indies including 42, Twenty Twenty, North One Television, Slam Films, Swan Films, Optomen, Various Artists and Big Talk Productions.

Jerusalem (w/t) is a new 6×60’period thriller set in the aftermath of the Second World War. Written and created by Bash Doran (Boardwalk Empire, Smash, Masters of Sex), Jerusalem (w/t) revolves around Feef Symonds, a bold and ambitious 20-something woman who joins the Civil Service in 1945.

Feef agrees to spy on her own government for the Americans, who have a hidden agenda in making sure England’s burgeoning Socialist ambitions don’t play into Soviet hands.

Jerusalem is produced by 42 and Twenty Twenty Television and will be Executive Produced by Eleanor Moran (Rome) and Rory Aitken (Watership Down) for 42 and Tim Carter (Garrow’s Law) for Twenty Twenty Television. Josh Varney and Ben Pugh will act as co-executive producers for 42.

The 6X60’ series was commissioned for Channel 4 by Simon Maxwell, Head of International Drama, and Beth Willis Head of Drama and is co-funded by Channel 4 and all3Media international, with TX and casting details to be announced.

Guy Martin’s Pit Stop
In this North One Television single doc, Martin works as part of an elite Formula 1 pit crew at the Belgian Grand Prix with Williams Martini Racing.

Ahead of this, Martin joins Williams Martini Racing, at the team’s UK factory, where the chief mechanic will run him through the major tasks he’ll be expected to perform during the race weekend. During the race weekend Guy will be tasked with setting up the pit garage, assisting with building the multi-million dollar car, and will participate in two 90 minute practice sessions on Friday, a further hour practice session on Saturday, the three stage qualification process and the race itself.

The Producer/Director is James Woodroffe, and Executive Producer is North One Television.

Hang Ups
Written by Robert Delamere and Stephen Mangan, who also stars, Hang Ups is an comedy about an unconventional therapist trying to keep his unconventional life, and patients, from falling apart.

Stephen Mangan (Episodes, Green Wing, Dirk Gently) stars as Dr. Richard Pitt, a therapist with a chequered professional career, who finds himself at a crossroads in life – a crossroads precipitated by the startling realisation that his life appears to be falling apart at the seams…

Adapted from the Emmy-nominated series Web Therapy created by Lisa Kudrow, Dan Bucatinsky and Don Roos, the series will begin filming later this year and will air on Channel 4 in 2018.

The series is commissioned by Fiona McDermott, Head of Comedy at Channel 4. Rachel Springett is Commissioning Editor for Channel 4. The series will be produced by Slam Films. Kevin Loader and Stephen Mangan will serve as Executive Producers, Producer is Louise Delamere and the Director is Robert Delamere.

FremantleMedia International signed a development deal with SLAM in 2016 and will distribute Hang Ups internationally.

Grayson Perry: Rites of Passage (w/t)

In a four-part series for Channel 4, Perry will explore the landmark events in all of our lives – birth, coming of age, marriage and death. He’ll travel the world for inspiration, spending time with communities in the Amazon, Indonesia and Japan to see how they treat these great moments. Back home Grayson will collaborate with British families to devise rites of passage ceremonies that will mark a genuine milestone in their lives.

Commissioned by Channel 4’s Head of Specialist Factual John Hay, the film will be made by the Bafta-winning team – producer/director James House and executive producers Neil Crombie and Joe Evans at Swan Films.

This 90 minute one-off programme will explore gender-fluidity in the UK. Ten young Brits will live together under one roof for a week, with participants from the LGBTQ community embodying modern definitions of gender and others representing more traditional identities – all with strong opinions on the subject.

Genderquake (w/t) was commissioned by Channel 4 Factual Entertainment commissioning editor Ian Dunkley and will be made by Optomen. Nick Hornby and Tina Flintoff, joint CEOs, will executive produce the programme with series producer Hamish Fergusson.

Dead Pixels
Channel 4 Comedy has commissioned ‘Dead Pixels’ (W/T) (6×30’), a part-live action, part-computer animation series for E4. Based on his 2016 Channel 4 Blap, ‘Avatards’, it will be written by Jon Brown (Loaded, Fresh Meat, Veep) and will be Executive Produced by Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong (Fresh Meat, Peep Show).

Commissioning Editor for Channel 4 Comedy will be Rachel Springett. Dead Pixels is written by Jon Brown, it will be Executive produced by Peep Show writers Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong, and is produced by their new production company Various Artists Ltd for TX in 2018.

Friday Night Dinner
Big Talk Productions and Popper Pictures have been commissioned to produce a fifth series of Friday Night Dinner for Channel 4.

Friday Night Dinner is written and produced by Robert Popper.

Friday Night Dinner is executive produced by Kenton Allen, Chief Executive of Big Talk Productions and Caroline Leddy. Martin Dennis returns as director with Robert Popper directing one episode. The new six part series will shoot early 2018 transmit later that year on Channel 4.

Staff Reporter

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