Despite some hit and miss responses from the critics the FX and BBC period drama Taboo, starring Tom Hardy and from the pen of Steven Knight, is to get a second series.
The series failed to set critics alight and viewing figures were steady rather than high, but the BBC have gone to great pains in their press release announcing the commission to explain that “overnight ratings are not the only way to measure success of drama series, especially for drama with appeal to young adults.” They also point out consolidated figures were excellent, especially on iPlayer,
Created by Steven Knight with Tom Hardy and Chips Hardy, Taboo is one of the most successful dramas ever on BBC iPlayer and has been a huge hit with younger audiences. It is still available as a box-set on iPlayer and viewing to the series continues to grow. The series launched in a new Saturday night slot on BBC One and through word of mouth and social buzz, drove younger adults to catch up later with its dark, complex and immersive storytelling, led by the mesmerising Tom Hardy.
Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, says: “Taboo has been a phenomenal success and proves overnight ratings are not the only measure of success, as the series even now continues to grow beyond live viewing. Launching in a new Saturday night slot on BBC One provided us with an opportunity to take risks and showcase distinctive drama, and the growing talkability of Taboo has engaged younger audiences, seeing record numbers coming to BBC iPlayer, with the availability of the box set maximising audiences even further.
“A second series can’t come soon enough. My thanks to the incredible creative team behind Taboo, from creators Steven Knight, Tom and Chips Hardy, and Ridley Scott and Tom Hardy’s unforgettable performance. As well as our partners FX.”
Piers Wenger, Controller BBC Drama, says: “Taboo is the perfect storm of on-screen and behind-the-camera talent, and there was never any doubting the capacity of Tom and Steve to create an unmissable cinematic drama event for Saturday nights. It’s been a thrill to see the audience for Taboo build over time and in such large numbers. In series two, Tom and Steve and the show’s brilliant producers are promising something daring, different but equally unmissable, and I’m delighted that the BBC is partnering with FX once again to roll Taboo out to audiences across the world.”
Tom Hardy, Creator and Executive Producer, says: “We are grateful and excited to continue our relationship with the BBC and FX in contributing towards British drama. Fantastic news.”
Steven Knight, creator and executive producer, says: “I’m thrilled that a work which pushes boundaries has been so well received and found such a large and enthusiastic audience in the US and Britain. We have tried to take an impressionistic, rather than figurative, approach to a narrative which we hope more accurately portrays the spirit of an extraordinary time in history. James Delaney will continue to explore many realities as he takes his band of misfits to a new world, thanks to FX and the BBC, partners who could not be more suited to collaborating in ground breaking work.”
Ridley Scott, executive producer, says “We’re thrilled that people want to know what happens next, and that the BBC and FX are up for more adventures with the devil Delaney and the league of the damned. Along with our international distributors Sonar Entertainment, the BBC and FX have been great partners, supporting Taboo at every stage so it could be the dark, dirty brute of a drama that it is.”
Chips Hardy, co-creator and consulting producer, says: “I’m delighted we have the opportunity to build on what was achieved in the first series, and that we can continue to create breakthrough drama to intrigue and entertain.”
Set in 1814, series one follows James Keziah Delaney (Hardy), a man who has been to the ends of the earth and comes back irrevocably changed. Believed to be long dead, he returns home to London from Africa to inherit what is left of his father’s shipping empire and rebuild a life for himself. But his father’s legacy is a poisoned chalice, and with enemies lurking in every dark corner, James must navigate increasingly complex territories to avoid his own death sentence. Encircled by conspiracy, murder and betrayal, a dark family mystery unfolds in a combustible tale of love and treachery.
The new 8×60’ series has been commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content and Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama. It will be produced by Ridley Scott’s Scott Free London and Tom Hardy’s Hardy Son & Baker for BBC One and FX with Sonar Entertainment distributing worldwide outside the UK. Executive Producers are Ridley Scott and Kate Crowe for Scott Free, Tom Hardy and Dean Baker for Hardy Son & Baker, and Steven Knight.
More on the BBC’s reasoning for the second season commission.
BARB data does include some iPlayer (if viewed through the TV set), however, there is additional iPlayer viewing via laptops, tablets and mobiles which is not yet part of the UK’s industry currency.
BARB’s consolidated viewing figure of 5.8 million is within seven days of Broadcast. Viewing within seven days has traditionally been considered BARB’s final published audience. However what Taboo shows us is that this considerably under-estimates the actual number of viewers.
The 7 million is the figure when we consider viewing via TV sets across 28 days (which BARB also measures). For some dramas there is a considerable ‘long tail’ and audience research supports the theory that younger audiences join drama series later with the audience profile getting younger as the data consolidated. While 23 percent of Taboo’s live Saturday night audiences aged under 45, the profile of those watching later was significantly younger: almost half of those watching in the 8-28 day window were under 45.
Sue Gray, BBC’s Head of Audiences, says: “The live broadcast audience remains important and we know audiences highly value collective viewing experiences. However an emerging younger audience group are increasingly influenced by social recommendation and will come when the ‘noise’ around a series becomes compelling. The broadcast moment can fan this flame with BBC One and iPlayer providing a virtuous circle which maximises audience opportunity to engage. Broadcasters and commentators increasingly need to play the long game in their quest to understand audience behaviour.”
The Taboo series 1 box set is available on BBC iPlayer until 27 March.
ITV, Kate Beckinsale to star in The Widow, a Harry and Jack Williams series
ITV have announced that Kate Beckinsale will take the leading role in ITV and Amazon Prime Video Drama, The Widow, from acclaimed writers Harry and Jack Williams. The series will be produced in conjunction with Amazon Prime Video.
In The Widow Kate will play Georgia Wells who has her life turned upside-down with a phone-call in the middle of the night. Her husband of over 10 years, Will, has been reported dead after a plane crash in the Congolese jungle.
Three years later, with her old life now a thing of the past, Georgia learns something shocking. Something that will take her to Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, looking to uncover the truth about his disappearance.
Still haunted by the past, Georgia is grieving for the man she loved and the life they’ve lost, but she hasn’t given up hope.
The Widow has been commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama, Polly Hill, who said: “I’m delighted to announce Kate Beckinsale’s casting in The Widow. She is perfect for the role of Georgia in what is, as always, brilliant, compelling and surprising storytelling from Harry and Jack Williams. We’re very pleased to have secured the series which is an ITV original commission and co-production with Amazon Prime.”
On behalf of Amazon Prime Video, Brad Beale, Vice President, Worldwide TV Content Acquisition said: “We are thrilled to continue our existing relationship with Kate Beckinsale on the heels of her incredible performances in Amazon Studios’ critically acclaimed films.”
“Harry and Jack Williams have created a powerful story, which will be brought to life by one of the world’s most talented actresses, and we are excited to bring this thrilling series to Prime members around the world,” he added.
Commented Harry and Jack Williams: “Kate Beckinsale is a brilliantly talented actress and we’re thrilled she’s joining us on this journey – we couldn’t imagine anyone more perfect for the role. The Widow is our most ambitious and cinematic piece to date and we can’t wait to bring the dark heart of the Congolese jungle to the screen.”
The Widow will be produced by Eliza Mellor (Liar, The Living and the Dead, Poldark, Death Comes to Pemberley) and will be directed by lead director Sam Donovan (Humans, Liar, Utopia) and Olly Blackburn (Donkey Punch, Glue) who is also directing four episodes of the series. Jack and Harry Williams will executive produce the drama.
The series will go into production in January 2018 in South Africa, Wales and Rotterdam.
The Widow will premiere on ITV before airing as an Amazon Prime Original in the US. The series will be available exclusively on Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories for members to watch via the Prime Video app for popular smart TVs, Fire TV, Fire Tablets and Android and iOS phones and tablets.
Channel 9, Married At First Sight 2018 New Series Premieres 29 Jan
What started as something of a social experiment but is now more or less straight reality (but still calling itself a social experiment), Married At First Sight will premiere it’s new series on Channel 9 on Monday January 29 at 7.30pm.
Once again the team – relationship expert John Aiken, neuropsychotherapist Dr Trisha Stratford, and dating and relationship expert Mel Schilling – aim to put relationships to the test in a unique experiment designed to determine if science can predict true love in couples who will get married at first sight.
The experts will undertake the mammoth task of pairing 20 brave singles to create their perfect match as 10 brides and 10 grooms undergo the most intense experiment yet.
The experts will match all our couples on the basis of extensive psychological and neurological testing and profiling.
Each couple meet for the first time on their wedding day, and from the moment they exchange vows their relationships are thrust under a microscope as they experience the highs and lows of marriage at full speed – alongside other couples riding the same rollercoaster.
Once again, the couples will reside under the same roof as relationships are tested like never before.
They’ll get the chance to compare their experiences at often explosive dinner parties – and put their relationships to the test at the most confronting commitment ceremonies we’ve ever seen.
But while some couples will struggle with all the complexities an intense relationship experiment brings, others will find true joy as their fairytale blossoms from first glance.
10 brides. 10 grooms. 10 weddings. Who will find true lasting love?
Netflix, German Supernatural drama Dark given Second Season
Netflix has renewed its first German original production, DARK, for a second season. The acclaimed drama created by Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese has resonated with audiences in Germany and around the world, including the U.S., Brazil, Italy, Turkey, Spain and France among other countries. DARK, a family saga with a supernatural twist, is now one of the most-watched entirely non-English shows on Netflix, a German series that transcends borders to connect with audiences in every country.
Kelly Luegenbiehl, Vice President of International Originals for Netflix, said: “When we first heard about DARK, we realized very early on that we hadn’t seen anything like this show before — in Germany or anywhere else in the world. DARK is a testament that great storytelling transcends geography. We’re excited that our members around the globe are captivated by the mysterious world of Winden, and will now be able to continue to see how the story unfolds.”
Showrunners Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese about the audience reception and the renewal of season two added: “We are overwhelmed by the response to DARK and are thrilled that our story has been a success with a global audience. Viewers have been captivated by the secrets of our protagonists and have taken delight in unravelling the various puzzles that the story presents. To know that we will now embark on our next journey is, for us showrunners, a dream come true. And our fans can be sure that we have plenty of surprises in store for the second season of DARK.”
Producer Quirin Berg concludes: “Jantje Friese, Baran Bo Odar, our wonderful actors and our fantastic team have put an incredible amount of energy into making DARK a unique and gripping series. We thank all of those who have accompanied us on this path. And we thank Netflix for their trust and for the excellent cooperation. We are extremely happy that DARK has by now received such an overwhelming response, both in Germany and around the world, and we are particularly thrilled about the quick decision by Netflix to take it into a second season. We can hardly wait to continue telling the story!”
DARK is now streaming on Netflix, it is set in a German town in present day where the disappearance of two young children exposes the double lives and fractured relationships among four families. In ten, hour-long episodes, the story takes on a supernatural twist that ties back to the same town in 1986.
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