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Rightwing comedians not funny enough for BBC shows, says insider

Rightwing comedians not funny enough for BBC shows, says insider
Source says producers have sought Conservative-leaning performers, but most ‘aren’t very good’

The BBC does not book rightwing comedians for its shows because they are not funny enough, according to an individual involved in making some of the corporation’s best-known comedy programmes.

On Monday the Daily Telegraph claimed that the new BBC director general, Tim Davie, was preparing to axe left-leaning comedy shows, such as Radio 4’s The Now Show and Have I Got News For You because they are “unfairly biased against the Tories, Donald Trump and Brexit”, as part of a push to make the corporation’s output appeal to a broader audience.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Pull the other one: is it time for canned laughter to return to TV?

Pull the other one: is it time for canned laughter to return to TV?
An artificial laugh track hasn’t been used for decades, but with Covid making studio audiences impossible it could be a useful tool

During the disorientating early days of lockdown, a horrible realisation dawned. Despite the impossibility of either a studio audience being present or the panellists all being in the same room, the BBC was going to persevere with Have I Got News for You?. Ian Hislop, Paul Merton and co would ignore the deathly two seconds of silence during which perfectly presentable quips plunged into the vast, empty chasm of an unstable Zoom connection and press on with their jaunty, topical comedy. This turned out to be toe-curlingly awkward – a graphic illustration of how intrinsic audiences were to the success of certain shows.

And yet, as suboptimal as the situation was, really Hignfy had no choice but to carry on. What else was there? Were the Friday schedules
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

U.K. Broadcasters Add Fresh Production Guidelines for Covid Era

U.K. Broadcasters Add Fresh Production Guidelines for Covid Era
U.K. broadcasters BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky, Stv and ITN, along with the Association for Commercial Broadcasters and On-Demand Services, and producers’ body Pact have developed new guidance for producing television safely when cast and crew need to work more closely than two meters apart.

A five-page document that adds to the guidance published in May calls for the establishment of “close contact cohorts” and weekly testing for this group. A “cohort” is defined as a small number of people who “unavoidably need to be in close contact with each other.” This can include both cast and crew. “The screening regime proposed will decrease the likelihood that someone with the virus will be within the cohort,” the document states. “This approach offers a reasonable and sensible level of risk mitigation but it cannot eliminate risk.”

“This mitigation process is different from the concept of creating a Covid-free ‘bubble,
See full article at Variety »

‘Catchphrase’ Becomes First ITV Entertainment Show To Start Filming After Lockdown

‘Catchphrase’ Becomes First ITV Entertainment Show To Start Filming After Lockdown
British broadcaster ITV has announced that long-running game show Catchphrase will become its first entertainment brand to begin filming again following the coronavirus lockdown.

The Stv Productions format will head back to the studio on July 6 to record 10 episodes, with a number of social distancing and safety protocols in place to protect the production team.

Stv Productions has redesigned the set, crew will work in bubbles with staggered start times, people will have to sign health declaration forms, the studio will be cleaned on a daily basis, and there will be no audience.

Host Stephen Mulhern said: “It feels so good to be back in the studio and it’s taken a huge amount of work from the crew and all at Stv Productions who make the show and ITV who broadcast it to get us back up and running safely. We can’t wait to start.”

ITV head of
See full article at Deadline »

Global TV Producers Gear Up for Murder, Mayhem and Mystery

Global TV Producers Gear Up for Murder, Mayhem and Mystery
As most industry folk are unable or unwilling to travel for the present, Variety asked its team of international correspondents to highlight a selection of key scripted shows from around the world. The picks — all set to drop this summer or fall — are designed to appeal to those of an adventurous disposition.

From the U.K. come three shows: a paranormal comedy-drama from Nick Frost and Simon Pegg; a comedy about “a bad person who’s a good mother” from Canadian-born Katherine Ryan; and a submarine-set murder mystery, written by BAFTA-nominated screenwriter Tom Edge.

Another series about a murder that took place on a submarine, this time based on a grisly real crime, looks at the investigation in Denmark into the

murder of journalist Kim Wall.

From France comes a playful show about a cross-dressing detective, set in Paris during the Jazz Age, from the producers of “Call My Agent!
See full article at Variety »

TV tonight: light relief with the Last Leg Locked Down Under

TV tonight: light relief with the Last Leg Locked Down Under
Coming live from Melbourne, London and Huddersfield, the Last Leg presents its take on the week’s events. Plus: Ve Day 75: An Evening Celebration

The lighthearted TV responses to lockdown have been abundant so far, from video-linked episodes of Have I Got News For You to Matt Lucas’s sketches and Grayson Perry’s Art Club. Yet, none have quite managed to capture the mix of anxiety, uncertainty and unexpected humour many of us have been experiencing – which is where the Last Leg comics come in. Live from Melbourne, London and Huddersfield, the trio will present their typically incisive take on the week’s events. Ammar Kalia
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

The week in TV: After Life; Gangs of London; Emergence; Have I Got News for You – and more

The week in TV: After Life; Gangs of London; Emergence; Have I Got News for You – and more
Ricky Gervais’s After Life struggles second time round, as 21st-century London’s answer to Peaky Blinders gets off to a violent start. And how long can live shows survive via video-call?

After Life (Netflix)

Gangs of London (Sky Atlantic)

Emergence (Fox)

Twin (BBC Four) | iPlayer

The Graham Norton Show (BBC One) | iPlayer

The Mash Report (BBC Two) | iPlayer

Have I Got News for You (BBC One) | iPlayer

Ricky Gervais is, take your pick, ever reinventive or ever mutating. A year ago, in Tony Johnson, subject of his latest drama, After Life, he combined aspects of past characters: The Office’s gloriously unself-aware Brent; the more savvy Andy Millman in Extras; the saccharine platitudes that sat so ill in Derek alongside gags about mental health or other disabilities. After Life was a surprising runaway hit on Netflix, for an arguably slight comedy about a very singular, small-town man’s depression
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Quibi Adds ‘Hello America,’ A Satirical News Show With Comic Nish Kumar

Quibi Adds ‘Hello America,’ A Satirical News Show With Comic Nish Kumar
Looks like Quibi subscribers will be getting some of their news from comedian Nish Kumar.

Hello America is a new comedy series featuring the comedian and formatted as a typical morning news show. Broadcasting from London, Kumar and a rotating cast of correspondents will satirically dissect U.S. news and politics from a global perspective.

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No premiere date was announced.

Nish Kumar is a rising comedian in the U.K. He has appeared on British entertainment shows such as Have I Got News For You and Mock The Week as well as Comedy Central’s Joel & Nish vs The World and Netflix’s Comedians Of The World.

He is best known for
See full article at Deadline »

How a TV Drama about a TV Scandal Became a Lifeline in Lockdown (Column)

How a TV Drama about a TV Scandal Became a Lifeline in Lockdown (Column)
As the U.K. lockdown wears on and our reality still feels inconceivable, a TV show about a surreal TV drama became appointment viewing this week, underlining the lifeline that broadcasting has become to millions of people.

Commercial broadcaster ITV consistently drew more than five million viewers across three nights for “Quiz,” from “The Crown” producer Left Bank Pictures, a superb dramatization of the true story of a cheating scandal on ITV’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” in 2001.

Based on James Graham’s eponymous play, the series depicted “Fleabag” star Sian Clifford and scene-stealing “Succession” actor Matthew Macfadyen as couple Diana and Charles Ingram, who were accused of cheating on the hit show via a coughing accomplice in the audience, and eventually stood trial.

Stripped across the week, “Quiz” debuted in its 9 p.m. slot on Monday with 5.3 million and slowly rose to 5.8 million by Wednesday night, well
See full article at Variety »

Paul Merton and Ian Hislop Explain Have I Got News for You on BBC One Broadcast

Paul Merton and Ian Hislop Explain Have I Got News for You on BBC One Broadcast
Engaging in satirical rounds of news and discussion with a revolving round of team captains and panelists has led to a successful run for the British television panel show, ‘Have I Got News for You.’ The BAFTA Award-winning BBC series has long proved that format is a success, as the program has been on the […]

The post Paul Merton and Ian Hislop Explain Have I Got News for You on BBC One Broadcast appeared first on Shockya.com.
See full article at ShockYa »

Executive Producer Jed Mercurio on the Search for Justice in New BBC Drama ‘Bloodlands’

  • Variety
Executive Producer Jed Mercurio on the Search for Justice in New BBC Drama ‘Bloodlands’
When a suicide note is discovered in an empty car pulled from the sea, veteran detective Tom Brannick draws a link to an infamous case about a series of mysterious disappearances whose trail went cold years before. As he wages an obsessive campaign to solve it, he becomes embroiled in an investigation that leads him deep into his own dark past and the troubled history of his country.

Bloodlands” stars James Nesbitt in a drama that shows how the traumas of the past continue to reverberate in the present. The BBC One four-part series is the first commission for Hat Trick Mercurio Television, the production company set up by “Line of Duty” and “Bodyguard” creator Jed Mercurio along with the Jimmy Mulville-run indie Hat Trick Productions. The series was selected to take part in this week’s MipTV Drama Buyers Summit.

The central mystery in “Bloodlands” leads back to The Troubles,
See full article at Variety »

Channel 4 To Host A ‘Wedding In Lockdown’ As Part Of Coronavirus Content Action Plan

Channel 4 To Host A ‘Wedding In Lockdown’ As Part Of Coronavirus Content Action Plan
Britain’s Channel 4 has set out a plan of action to keep British viewers entertained during three weeks of coronavirus lockdown, including hosting an internet wedding.

The broadcaster detailed 12 shows that will form the backbone of its “creative response to the crisis.” They include a mix of newly-commissioned titles, as well as adaptations to existing shows.

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Among the new commissions is Wedding In Lockdown, in which ITV Studios-owned MultiStory Media will help a self-isolating couple celebrate their nuptials over the internet. The proceedings will be overseen by First Dates star Fred Sirieix, while other celebrities will also be part of the unusual festivities.

Other highlights include renowned artist
See full article at Deadline »

ITV & Channel 4 Fight Through Production Shutdown To Make Coronavirus Documentaries

ITV & Channel 4 Fight Through Production Shutdown To Make Coronavirus Documentaries
Exclusive: British networks ITV and Channel 4 are trying to battle through the near-blanket television production shutdown in the UK to make documentaries on how people are coping with the coronavirus.

In one of the bleakest weeks in history for the British television industry, program makers are still trying to find ways to tell human stories about a virus that is creating unprecedented chaos globally.

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MasterChef producer Shine TV is working on an ITV film about Covid-19 in the hope of documenting “changing lives in these unprecedented times.” The Shine documentary has the working title Coronavirus, Isolation & Me and was commissioned by Tom Giles, ITV’s controller of current affairs.
See full article at Deadline »

'Imagine there's an audience – naked': How TV hosts can work an empty studio

'Imagine there's an audience – naked': How TV hosts can work an empty studio
With shows like Have I Got News For You going audience-free, stand-up comedian Tiff Stevenson offers her tips for cracking jokes into the void

As anyone in the midst of a divorce, or indeed a comedian on a sunny day during the Edinburgh fringe knows: The Show Must Go On, in spite of a lack of willing audience. During these times of social distancing, how do you make funny when nobody is watching? It is a question entertainers across the world are now being forced to consider.

As one of the aforementioned two groups of people I can probably teach you a thing or two. Not divorced that is, although depending on how long this quarantine thing lasts I guess you never know. If I’m being honest, it would most likely be him who broke it off, after weeks of being confined with a comedian who has no measurable
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

BBC Planning To Ditch Audiences & Press On With Big Studio Shows During Coronavirus Crisis

BBC Planning To Ditch Audiences & Press On With Big Studio Shows During Coronavirus Crisis
Exclusive: The BBC is drawing up plans to persevere with some of its most famous studio shows during the coronavirus crisis — even though it will have to sacrifice a live audience to make them happen.

Deadline understands that Qi, the Fremantle-produced panel show, will record this week at BBC Television Centre without an audience, while similar ambitions are in place for Hat Trick Productions show Have I Got News For You — which goes back into production next month — and Endemol Shine Group’s Would I Lie To You?.

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Thought is also being given to an audience-free The Graham Norton Show, which is also set to
See full article at Deadline »

James Nesbitt To Star In BBC Irish Noir ‘Bloodlands,’ The First Order For ‘Bodyguard’ Creator Jed Mercurio’s Indie

James Nesbitt To Star In BBC Irish Noir ‘Bloodlands,’ The First Order For ‘Bodyguard’ Creator Jed Mercurio’s Indie
James Nesbitt has been cast as the lead in new BBC One detective drama Bloodlands, which represents the first commission for Bodyguard creator Jed Mercurio’s production company.

Dubbed an “Irish noir,” Nesbitt will play Northern Irish police detective Tom Brannick who connects a suicide note with an infamous cold case with enormous personal significance. The discovery sparks an explosive hunt for a legendary assassin.

Bloodlands is written by newcomer Chris Brandon, who has only penned a handful of episodes of TV3’s Irish police drama Red Rock, and is Hat Trick Mercurio Television’s debut commission.

Hmt Television was set up in 2015 and is co-owned by Mercurio and Hat Trick Productions, the Jimmy Mulville-run indie behind shows including Have I Got News For You and Matt LeBlanc’s Golden Globe-winning Episodes.

Mercurio, Mulville and Mark Redhead are the executive producers for Htm, while Tommy Bulfin will executive produce for the BBC.
See full article at Deadline »

There She Goes: the brutal new comedy busting motherhood myths

This outrageously funny BBC Four show about raising a child with learning difficulties shines a light on the desolation often felt in early motherhood

There is a devastating moment in BBC4’s forthcoming comedy, There She Goes, when new mother Emily can no longer hide her despair. “It’s not that I don’t want to love her,” she says, standing beside her six-month-old’s cot, her face hollowed out by exhaustion and fear. “I just don’t think I can.” Her husband offers an array of platitudes, but his wife is beyond consolation. She knows there is something different about their daughter’s development, and is petrified by the dawning realisation that her baby has a serious learning disability.

Even in a TV landscape swarming with stony-faced sad-coms, it may seem as though the premise of There She Goes is stretching the limits of comedy to breaking point. In fact,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Josh Widdicombe & James Acaster To Host UKTV Comedy Format As Virgin Media Carriage Dispute Rumbles On

UKTV, which is a joint venture between Discovery and BBC Studios, has handed British comedians Josh Widdicombe and James Acaster a new comedy panel show. This comes as its carriage feud with UK cable operator Virgin Media rumbles on.

The multichannel broadcaster has commissioned eight-part entertainment format Hypothetical for its male skewing network Dave. The series is produced by Episodes and Have I Got News For You producer Hat Trick Productions, which is currently working on Anna Paquin-fronted Flack for UKTV.

The show will test two teams of comedians on their ability to deal with a series of ridiculous hypothetical scenarios such as how someone would cope living in a motorway services for a year or how to take a selfie with Nicolas Cage within 48 hours or you die

Each hypothetical will be posed by Widdicombe, while Acaster’s job is to enforce ridiculous rules and score the guests’ attempts at dealing with them.
See full article at Deadline »

Stalin’s Russia Set For TV As ‘Episodes’ Producer Hat Trick Options Simon Sebag Montefiore’s Novel ‘One Night in Winter’

Exclusive: Stalin’s Russia is set to be portrayed on the small screen after Episodes and Flack producer Hat Trick Productions optioned Simon Sebag Montefiore’s novel One Night in Winter.

The book tells the story of marriage, childhood, danger, and betrayal in Stalin’s Moscow during the bleak days after World War II.

The move is a major drama statement for Jimmy Mulville’s Hat Trick, which is best known for producing comedies, including Channel 4’s hit teen series Derry Girls, and panel shows such as Have I Got News For You. However, the company has produced scripted series such as Alison Brie-fronted Doctor Thorne, James Nesbitt’s ITV crime drama The Secret and Jed Mercurio’s medical drama Critical.

Inspired by a true story, the series is set in Moscow as the country celebrates its victory over the Nazis. However, on a nearby bridge, a teenage
See full article at Deadline »

ABC Piloting Quirky British Gameshow ‘The Time It Takes’ With Craig Ferguson

ABC is piloting a remake of quirky British game show The Time It Takes with former The Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson.

The U.S. network has ordered the pilot weeks after it was picked up by the BBC for an eight-episode run. It is being produced by Episodes and Flack producer Hat Trick Productions, best known in the UK for making long-running political comedy panel show Have I Got News for You.

The U.S. pilot is being recorded at the BBC studios in Pacific Quay, Glasgow, on August 4 with Scotland-born comedian Ferguson, who previously hosted Celebrity Name Game, taking over the role of Taskmaster’s Joe Lycett. It has been casting for UK-based American contestants to take part. British comedy website Chortle was first report the news.

The show will see members of the public race to answer as many questions as possible within a specific time limit.
See full article at Deadline »
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