Channel 5 has announced a raft of commissions for 2023 including new factual and unscripted formats and dramas and recommissions of popular returning series.
The brand-new series and formats cover topics and areas from travel, family, and animals to ‘blue light’ shows, history, drama and ‘event’ TV. The shows will feature talent from Michael Palin and Tim Peake, to Ruby Wax, Jay Blades and for drama Ross Kemp, Robert James-Collier and Gaynor Faye joining an existing Channel 5 line up including Stephen Fry, Anneka Rice, Dan Walker and Jeremy Vine.
The new commissions were announced at Channel 5’s Upfront, hosted by Chief Content Officer, Ben Frow.
British astronaut Tim Peake will take viewers on a journey into space in a mission to uncover the mysteries of the universe in 3 x 60’ series Tim Peake: Secrets of Our Universe. Michael Palin and Alexander Armstrong make a return to Channel 5, continuing their explorations of countries around the globe; and comedian Ruby Wax gets marooned on a desert island in a new two-part survival series Ruby Wax Castaway (w/t).
Jay Blades steps back in time to learn more about the extraordinary history of London’s East End – the area where he grew up – in Jay Blades: History of the East End.
In Forensics: Murder Scene, cameras follow the scientific support unit and homicide investigation team of one of the country’s largest police forces, West Yorkshire Police. Each episode follows one case from investigation to 999 call and sentencing.
Three-part series Traffic Cops: Crash Scene Investigation, follows the painstaking work of the North Yorkshire Police crash investigation team. Each episode covers the entire investigation, from the life-saving attempts at the crash scene to the final coroners decision, as investigators try to provide answers for the families involved.
Six-part series Wife on Strike (w/t) takes a “fresh look at domestic life.” Live-in partners hand over the sole running of the house to their unwilling and ill-prepared other halves.
Channel 5 has commissioned a number of new scripted shows for 2023. In The Inheritance, Robert James-Collier, Gaynor Faye and Jemima Rooper play siblings who are left reeling after the unexpected death of their Father, played by Larry Lamb. “Secrets are exploded, relationships ripped apart, and lives lost as they try desperately to claw back their inheritance and make sense of what is happening around them, asking is blood really thicker than water?”
Ross Kemp makes his return to acting after 15 years to star as Police Detective Tony Warden in four-part thriller Blindspot. Kemp is cast, alongside newcomer Beth Alsbury who plays Hannah, a disabled woman with a wry sense of humour, who believes she has witnessed the prelude to a murder while monitoring the CCTV on a rough estate. “Undeterred when her fears are dismissed by the apathetic, and possibly corrupt, policeman in charge of the case, Hannah finds her own life in danger as she fights to discover what really happened in the blind spot.”
Thenew titles join returning series including Susan Calman’s Grand Day Out, The Yorkshire Vet, Motorway Cops, Cause of Death, All Creatures Great and Small, Dalgleish and currently on air, The Madame Blanc Mysteries.
Other new content coming to Channel 5 in 2023 includes: new Ben Fogle series, Endurance: Race to the Pole; The Pet Psychic; Challenge Anneka; Nick Knowles into Death Valley and dramas including the soon to air The Catch; Black Cab and The Good Friend.
Paramount’s Chief Content Officer, UK, Ben Frow said: “Our aim is to deliver an exciting, diverse and eclectic schedule of originated content for our viewers that reinforces our public service remit, whilst demonstrating how the creative and the commercial can work hand-in-hand to make exciting and rewarding television. Of course, it always helps to be working with such stellar talent!”
Tim Peake: Secrets of Our Universe 3 x 60, a VIS UK production. Commissioned by Lucy Willis Commissioning Editor Non Scripted UK Originals Channel 5/Paramount+. Oliver Wright Executive Producer for VIS.
Tim Peake shares his unique personal experience, exploring the mysteries of our universe – from the planets in our solar system and the galaxies beyond.
Ruby Wax Castaway (w/t) 2 x 60’ Burning Bright Productions. Commissioned by Guy Davies, Commissioning Editor Non Scripted UK Originals Channel 5/Paramount+. Executive Producer for Burning Bright Productions, Clive Tulloh and Louise Quayle
The two-part series follows Ruby Wax as she experiences life as a true castaway on a remote uninhabited island off the coast of Madagascar, documenting her entire experience using her own hand-held camera and body-cams.
Jay Blades: History of the East End 3 x 60’, a Hungry Jay Media production. Commissioned by Daniel Pearl Commissioning Editor Non Scripted UK Originals Channel 5/Paramount+. Executive Producer Dan Baldwin and Mel Smith for Hungry J Media
Jay Blades explores the extraordinary history of his home – the east end of London. From law makers, to law breakers Jay finds out about the people who made the East End so special …
Forensics: Murder Scene 6 x 60’ ITN Productions. Commissioned by Guy Davies, Commissioning Editor Non Scripted UK Originals Channel 5/Paramount+. Executive Producer for ITN Productions Caroline Short.
With unprecedented access, this landmark observational documentary series will follow the scientific support team (forensics) and the Homicide Investigation Team of one of the country’s largest police forces – West Yorkshire. From the moment a murder is reported we film the process from within the blue police tapes at the scene, and the subsequent investigation though the eyes of the forensic team and the detectives determined to crack the case. As each murder investigation progresses, the series will focus on the forensic clues revealed at the scene to piece together the victim’s last moments and provide evidence to find the perpetrator, revealing how these often silent, vital clues help detectives piece together exactly how a murder took place – and most importantly, who committed it. Each episode will feature one case and will follow the investigation from the 999 call to conviction of the killer.
Wife On Strike 6×60’ Proper Content production. Commissioned by Denise Seneviratne Commissioning Editor, Non-Scripted UK Originals, Channel 5/Paramount +. Executive Producer Proper Content, David DeHaney.
Wife on Strike is a brand-new entertaining format looking at domestic modern life. Arguments about chores are familiar to anyone who lives with other people: but who really takes on more than their fair share? And what can we do about it? Provocative, revealing and utterly compelling the series lifts the veil on households across the UK – and leads to them to an inventive solution.
The Inheritance 4 x 60’ from Lonesome Pine Productions and Peer Pressure, as produced in association with Eccho Rights (a Night Train Media company). The series was ordered for Channel 5 by Paul Testar, Commissioning Editor, Drama, Channel 5 and Paramount+. Executive Producers are Lesley Douglas and Aschlin Ditta for Lonesome Pine, Richard Cook and Angela Squire for Peer Pressure and Herbert L. Kloiber, James Copp for Night Train Media, and Adam Barth for Eccho Rights. Eccho Rights will handle international sales for the title. BAFTA nominated Aschlin Ditta (Doc Martin, The Catherine Tate Show, French Film) also penned the series, and acclaimed Director Aku Louhimies (Unknown Soldier, Rebellion) is also on board.
The Inheritance follows the story of three siblings, Daniel, Sian and Chloe, who are left reeling after the unexpected death of their Father, Dennis. When it turns out they are not left anything in the will, they embark on a dangerous journey to figure out whether his death was truly a tragic accident, or whether it was in fact murder. So, a family who look harmonious and loving start to show the cracks borne of years of secrets and jealousy. Secrets are exploded, relationships ripped apart, and lives lost as the siblings try desperately to claw back their inheritance and make sense of what is happening around them…asking the question, is blood really thicker than water?
Blindspot 4 x 60’ from Clapperboard. The series was ordered for Channel 5 by Sebastian Cardwell, Deputy Chief Content Officer, UK, Paramount and Paul Testar, Commissioning Editor, Drama, Channel 5 and Paramount+. Executive Producers are Mike Benson and Andy Morgan for Clapperboard. Rob Kinsman (Fracture, Shakespeare & Hathaway, Doctors) will serve as Writer for the series alongside BAFTA-winning Director Jordan Hogg (Screw, Ralph & Katie, Ackley Bridge). Newen Connect (Newen Studios Group) will distribute the series internationally.
Blindspot is the story of Hannah Quinn (played by newcomer Beth Alsbury), a disabled woman with a wry sense of humour, who works monitoring the CCTV on a rough estate. One day she sees a man she knows is a violent criminal lead a young woman into a blind spot in the camera coverage. He emerges alone but when the police arrive there is no sign of the woman, who appears to have vanished into thin air. Hannah is convinced that she has been murdered, but her fears are dismissed by the apathetic, and possibly corrupt, policeman Tony Warden (played by BAFTA award-winning documentary maker, actor and author Ross Kemp) in charge of the case. Hannah remains undeterred and will soon find her own life in danger as she fights to discover what really happened in the blind spot.
Alexander Armstrong in Sri Lanka 3 x 45’ Burning Bright Productions. Commissioned by Guy Davies, Commissioning Editor Non Scripted UK Originals Channel 5/Paramount+. Clive Tulloh and Louise Quayle, Executive Producers for Burning Bright.
Following the successful series ‘Alexander Armstrong in South Korea’ which aired last year, Alexander Armstrong returns to set off on another adventure of a lifetime, this time exploring Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is the pearl of the Indian ocean, known for its verdant tea hills, ancient ruins and fiery cuisine – and thousands of elephants! Alexander Armstrong explores this extraordinary, beautiful island from top to toe. But beyond the guidebook tour lies the paradise island with a huge history of strength and resilience. From civil wars, natural disasters and the crisis of 2022 that saw 700,000 people storm the President’s home – Alexander is also on a quest to find out what makes Sri Lanka a nation that has not only been through the mill, but knows how to bounce back.
Traffic Cops: Crash Scene Investigation 3 x 60’ a Mentorn production. Commissioned by Adrian Padmore Commissioning Editor Non Scripted UK Originals Channel 5/Paramount+. Executive Producer Tayte Simpson for Mentorn.
The series reveals the challenging and painstaking work of the North Yorkshire Police crash investigation team. With unique and unprecedented access each episode covers the entire investigation, from the life-saving attempts at the crash scene to the final coroners decision, as investigators try to provide answers for the families involved.
Pic credit: Nick James
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