Sky has announced eight new commissions for 2018 following Group Chief Executive Jeremy Darroch’s pledge earlier this year to increase investment in original productions by 25%.

Managing Director, Content Gary Davey said: “There’s never been a more competitive time to be in the content business and I’m incredibly excited by the scale, quality and authenticity of the UK TV industry right now. Next year will see over 50 Sky Original Productions on air and over 20 of these will be returners – a testament to the popularity of our shows – and it doesn’t stop there, with our increased investment, the focus for 2018 remains getting even better on screen.”

Bounty Hunters from writing team Jack Whitehall and Freddy Syborn gets a second series that will see Barnaby (Jack Whitehall) and Nina (Rosie Perez) back for the second instalment. Bounty Hunters is a Cave Bear and Tiger Aspect Production for Sky and will be produced by Ben Cavey and Pippa Brown.

Riviera 2 sees Julia Stiles reunited with cast members Lena Olin, Roxane Duran and Dimitri Leonidas for a second series of Sky Atlantic’s most successful original. Riviera is a Sky Original Production in association with Altice. Produced by Archery Pictures, Primo Productions and Sky, the Executive Producers are Kris Thykier, Paul McGuinness and Cameron Roach. International distribution is being handled by Sky Vision.

Gangs of London (w/t) is set in present day London. When the head of a criminal organisation is assassinated, the sudden power vacuum his death creates threatens the fragile peace between the intricate web of gangs operating on the streets of the city. Coming to Sky Atlantic in 2019, Gangs of London (w/t) is created and executive produced by Gareth Evans, director of the award-winning The Raid film franchise and co-commissioned with Cinemax. The series was developed and will be produced by Pulse Films (American Honey) in association with Sister Pictures.

Urban Myths: When Bowie Met Bolan brings to life the story of when Davie Jones first met Mark Feld. As struggling teenage musicians, they were both summoned to their manager Les Conn’s office in Denmark Street one morning and, in lieu of them making him any actual money by selling any records, asked to repaint his office. Starring Luke Treadaway as David Bowie, Jack Whitehall as Marc Bolan and Ade Edmondson as Les Conn, the show is directed by Jim O’Hanlon, produced by Richard Grocock, written by Freddy Syborn and executive produced by Simon Welton. When Bowie Met Bolan is made by Lion TV for Sky Arts. International distribution is being handled by Sky Vision.

Urban Myths: The Dali and The Cooper tells the true story of Alice Cooper’s encounter with Salvador Dali in New York in 1973. Over the course of a few days, Alice Cooper was invited to one of the most surreal dinner parties ever by Dali before being asked to pose in a photo-shoot for one of the world’s first holograms while wearing a tiara made up of $2million worth of gems while brandishing a shish-kebabbed statuette of the Venus De Milo. Starring David Suchet as Salvador Dali, Noel Fielding as Alice Cooper, Shelia Hancock as Gala Dali and Paul Kaye as Shep Gordon. Written by Roger Drew and Ed Dyson, the show is directed by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, produced by Krishnendu Majumdar and Richard Yee, with composers Jarvis Cocker and Richard Hawley.  The Dali and The Cooper is a Me & You production for Sky Arts. International distribution is being handled by Sky Vision.

Urban Myths: Public Enemy (feat. Kev Wells) tells the story of how rap revolutionaries Public Enemy were stranded in Broomhill after their tour bus left without them, and they had to rely on a local bloke and his old Ford Focus to get them to their show on time. Starring Philip Glenister as Kev Wells, Paterson Joseph as Chuck D and Abdul Salis as Flavor Flav. A Happy Tramp Production, written by Neil Webster, directed by Ben Palmer and produced by Jane Bell. International distribution is being handled by Sky Vision.

Ronnie Wood: Artist in Residence takes Ronnie Woods into the UK’s most iconic cultural institutions, from the Royal Opera House to the Royal Albert Hall and from Shakespeare’s Theatre to Sadler’s Wells. Wood will “immerse himself in each institution – meeting the characters, observing the production, the preparations, the place and all the people involved.” He’ll sketch, paint and reveal through his art, and the experience he has in creating it, a unique insight into what makes each place so special. The executive producer is Ian Sharpe and producer-director is Chris Walker. The series is made by Somethin’ Else for Sky Arts.

Loot starts in a small British town, where eight ordinary citizens are about to play an extraordinary game; they’ve been tipped off that some valuable treasure has been abandoned. If they can lay their hands on it and hide the loot for two weeks from detectives determined to track them down, it’s all theirs to keep. But as news of the missing treasure sweeps through the town and the crack team of detectives gets to work, will these unusual suspects have the cunning and nerve to outwit the investigators? Or will the detectives, using old-fashioned sleuthing techniques combined with modern technology, be their downfall? Produced by Shine TV, the creative director is Tim Whitwell, executive producer is Matt Bennett, series editor Tom Hutchings and the series producers are Gayl Paterson and Ben Allen.

Staff Reporter

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