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Howards End: Hayley Atwell and Matthew Macfadyen headline in BBC and Starz drama

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Starz and the BBC will join forces for a sumptuous four part adaptation of E.M. Forster’s classic novel Howards End. Hayley Atwell, Matthew Macfadyen and Tracey Ullman will headline the cast with Hettie Macdonald taking on directing duties and Kenneth Lonergan scripting. The series is being produced. Playground in Association with City Entertainment and KippSter Entertainment

Executive produced by Playground in association with City Entertainment and KippSter Entertainment, this four-part limited series explores the changing landscape of social and class divisions in turn of the century England through the prism of three families: the intellectual and idealistic Schlegels, the wealthy Wilcoxes from the world of business, and the working class Basts.

Hayley Atwell (Agent CarterConviction) will portray Margaret Schlegel and Matthew Macfadyen (“Ripper Street,” “The Last Kingdom,” “MI-5 aka Spooks”) will portray Henry Wilcox in the adaptation. Tracey Ullman (“Tracey Ullman’s Show,” Into the Woods, “Tracey Ullman’s State of the Union” and “The Tracey Ullman Show”) will play Aunt Juley Mund. Atwell and Macfadyen have previously worked together on Pillars of the Earth and the superb Any Human Heart (pictured above).

“Starz continues our commitment to bring quality drama to the screen with ‘Howards End’ and we’re delighted to once again work in partnership with the BBC and Colin Callender on this literary period piece,” said Carmi Zlotnik, President of Programming for Starz.

Lucy Richer, BBC Executive Producer, says, “Kenneth Lonergan is one of our truly great contemporary voices, and his adaptation of this adored timeless classic will surprise and delight a whole new audience with its timely and relevant themes.”

Playground’s Colin Callender (“Wolf Hall”), City Entertainment’s Joshua D. Maurer (Papillon) and Alixandre Witlin (“The Last Tycoon”), and KippSter Entertainment’s David A. Stern (“The Last Tycoon”) will executive produce along with Playground’s Sophie Gardiner (“Eureka Street”) and Scott Huff (“The Missing”) and Lucy Richer for the BBC. Laura Hastings-Smith (Hunger) is producing.

Kenneth Lonergan is a playwright, screenwriter and director. He wrote and directed the acclaimed film Margaret and this year’s Manchester by the Sea, which was nominated for six Academy Awards® including Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. The film also received six BAFTA® nominations including a win for Best Original Screenplay. Lonergan also wrote You Can Count On Me, which was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Screenplay. It won the Sundance 2000 Grand Jury Prize and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, the NY Film Critics Circle, among many other awards. He co-wrote the film Gangs of New York which garnered a WGA and Academy Award® nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

Hettie Macdonald is an award-winning theatre, film and television British director best known for her BAFTA Award-winning television film “White Girl” and her award-winning film, Beautiful Thing. Macdonald directed the “Doctor Who” episode titled “Blink,” which won the 2007 Hugo Award and is still today regarded as the finest episode of the modern revival of the “Doctor Who” series. Macdonald also directed several episodes of “Fortitude.”

Howards End will film in and around London. Starz retains all US multiplatform pay TV rights as well as worldwide multiplatform distribution rights to “Howards End.” BBC retains UK television rights.

Rights to use the original novel as source material for the limited series were acquired from Jonathan Sissons at Peters, Fraser & Dunlop, on behalf of the Forster Estate. Senior Vice President of Original Programming Karen Bailey serves as the Starz executive in charge of “Howards End.”

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ABC, Once Upon A Time Won’t Return Until March 2, 2018

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Once Upon A Time Lana Parrilla

ABC have revealed the 2018 premiere for the return of the second half of the seventh season of Once Upon A Time. It will return on March 2, 2018 following a long winter break.

In The Eighth Witch, the winter finale episode of the series, when Drizella threatened the realm with a dark curse, Henry and Ella took extreme actions to protect Lucy and the others; and Regina was forced into making an unimaginable choice. In Hyperion Heights, Roni recruited Henry to travel to San Francisco to search for her sister, but when he learned Lucy has fallen unconscious, Henry rushed to be by her side. Meanwhile, Gothel earned the trust of Anastasia, and the consequences of their budding relationship could prove to be fatal.

Once Upon a Time stars Lana Parrilla as Regina/Roni, Robert Carlyle as Rumpelstiltskin/Weaver, Colin O’Donoghue as Hook/Rogers, Andrew J. West as Henry Mills, Gabrielle Anwar as Lady Tremaine/Victoria Belfrey, Dania Ramirez as Cinderella/Jacinda, Alison Fernandez as Lucy, and Mekia Cox as Sabine/Tiana.

Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz are creators and executive producers. Steve Pearlman and David H. Goodman are also executive producers. The series is produced by ABC Studios.

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ITV2, Survival of the Fittest, Laura Whitmore to Host

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ITV2 have announced a new reality entertainment series called Survival of the Fittest that is to be hosted by Laura Whitmore.

The series, which will be made on the South African savannah, will see Laua welcome two teams of young, hot singles to The Lodge, where they will live together under the searing African sun. Laura will also present all of the main events from South Africa before announcing the winners at the end of the series.

Across the series, the two teams will battle it out in daily physical and mental challenges to determine which sex comes out on top.

Award winning comedian, Brennan Reece, will provide the voiceover for the nightly shows which will update viewers with the latest action from The Lodge.

Laura Whitmore Survival of the Fittest

Laura said: “I’m absolutely buzzing to be part of the Survival of the Fittest team. The ITV family always manages to come up with exciting and innovative formats and this brand new show is the ultimate Boys versus Girls. Having worked on five series of I’m a Celeb… I didn’t think that it was possible to find a backdrop as exotic as the Jungle – cue the African Savannah. I can’t wait to get out there, bring on the battle of the sexes!”

Brennan said: “I am so excited to be a part of the show. The closest I have ever come to being on Safari was a school trip to Chester Zoo one November, no one wants to see a crocodile shiver.”

Survival of the Fittest will be an ITV Studios and Motion Content Group production for ITV2. It was ordered by Head of Digital Channels and Acquisitions, Paul Mortimer and will be overseen by Commissioning Editor for Factual Entertainment, Amanda Stavri. Creative Director of Entertainment Richard Cowles will head up the series for ITV Studios and it will be executive produced by Andy Cadman with Martin Oxley Executive Producer for Motion Content Group.

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Bruce: A Celebration airs BBC One, Next Feb

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Bruce A Celebration

On Wednesday 21 February 2018, the day before what would have been his 90th birthday, BBC Studios is staging a very special event to honour one of this country’s biggest and best-loved entertainers and broadcasters, Sir Bruce Forsyth. The show will be broadcast on BBC One at a later date.

Filmed at the London Palladium – the theatre which helped propel Sir Bruce to stardom – the hour long celebration will have music, dance, entertainment and comedy at its heart. As well as featuring some of Sir Bruce’s favourite songs, the show will also include dance performances and onstage tributes and fond memories of Sir Bruce from guests with whom he shared a special connection. The unparalleled Dave Arch and his Strictly Come Dancing band and vocalists will be onstage to accompany performances.

Charlotte Moore, Director of Content says: “I couldn’t think of a more fitting tribute to our dear friend Bruce than this celebration at the Palladium – a theatre he so loved. Bruce was such a favourite with the BBC One audience who I know will savour this hour of entertainment, music and commemoration of a true showbiz legend.”

Bruce: A Celebration (1×60’) is a BBC Studios production for BBC One. Commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director, Content and Kate Phillips, Controller, Entertainment Commissioning, the executive producer for BBC Studios is Guy Freeman, Editor, Special Events with Ian Wilson as consulting producer. The series producer is Cerrie Frost and the commissioning editor is Jo Wallace.

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