Second runs of Intelligence and Cobra as well as a third for Brassic and fourth for Urban Myths, lead the announcements for Sky's largest ever slate of programming.
Whilst the first series of Nick Mohammed's comedy Intelligence is yet to air on Sky One (21st February) the series which stars David Schwimmer has already been handed a second series.
The new workplace comedy is set in the UK’s GCHQ, a kind of weedier, geekier version of MI5, where they tackle international and domestic cyber-crime from a desktop.
Speaking about the second series, Nick Mohammed said “I couldn’t be more delighted about setting off alarm bells inside GCHQ all over again” whilst David Schwimmer added "I am thrilled to continue to pretend to be important to National Security."
It was Sky's most successful comedy drama in years so it's no surprise that Sky One have already committed to a third series of Brassic ahead of series two airing in May.
The series, co-created by Danny Brocklehurst and Joseph Gilgun, will once again see Joseph star alongside Michelle Keegan and Damien Molony in the hilarious, ridiculous and deeply poignant series.
Speaking about the news of a third series Gilgun said "I’m so grateful to everyone involved in the making of Brassic season 1 and 2, they’re some of the kindest and most resilient people I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Each and every one of them friends."
"Also the public played a huge role, it’s very relieving to know your life story isn’t incredibly boring. I want to thank my close friends and colleagues and the creative team; David Livingstone, Danny Brocklehurst, Emily Bray and Dave Quayle. As for Sky, I couldn’t imagine making it with any other channel. Big loves Monty and Bennett!"
Whilst Brocklehurst added “I couldn't be more thrilled to be doing a third series of Brassic, the response to series one was overwhelming as people took our gang of potty mouthed misfits to their heart. Sky has been truly amazing in its love and support and I can't thank them enough for allowing us to go again.”
The upcoming second series will pick up with the friends a few months after the events that took place in the finale of series one and sees John Thomson and Bill Paterson join the cast.
Last month, Cobra, written by Ben Richards became one of Sky One’s most successful drama series in recent years, with a cumulative launch audience of 2.2 million so it's no surprise that a second series has been announced with Robert Carlyle and Victoria Hamilton both returning as Prime Minister Robert Sutherland and his loyal Chief-of-Staff Anna Marshall.
Series two will pick up in the aftermath of both solar and political storms, as the Prime Minister attempts to steer the country on a more even course once again assisted by his loyal Chief-of-Staff and a team of dedicated advisers.
An assassination on British soil, however, unleashes a chain of events that threatens to develop into a crisis even more serious than the one from which the country has recently emerged. An apparently invisible global enemy, not playing by the rules and operating outside national boundaries, appears to be bent on our destruction and nobody really knows who is friend and who is foe.
Speaking about returning to the role, Robert Carlyle said “I’m absolutely delighted by the audience reaction and success of Cobra. I look forward to season 2 and welcome the chance to play the PM Robert Sutherland once again”
The final show returning (new shows announced further on) is Urban Myths, which fictionalises some of the most peculiar stories to have ever leaked out of Hollywood, the music industry and the worlds of art and culture.
Returning to Sky Arts with four brand new episodes, this series Urban Myths will tell the tales of Les Dawson, Joan Rivers and Barbara Streisand, Jimi Hendrix and George Frideric Handel and Orson Welles.
Written by and starring Steve Pemberton alongside Mark Addy and John Bradley Urban Myths: Les Dawson’s Parisienne adventure tells the story of the well-loved stand-up comedian’s adventures in Paris in the mid-1950s.
Inspired by his heroes, the writers Jean Paul Sartre and Albert Camus, a young Les Dawson left his home in Manchester to live in Paris in order to pursue his dream of becoming a serious novelist. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite work out as he planned, and he ended up becoming a pianist in a brothel.
Written by Sue Perkins, Katherine Ryan and Jessica Barden will star in Urban Myths: Joan Rivers and Barbra Streisand which is based on Joan Rivers’ recollections of a play she starred in with Barbra Streisand. Streisand has remained tight-lipped about the whole experience.
A sixteen-year-old Barbra Streisand, played by Barden, is in rehearsals for ‘Driftwood’, an off-Broadway play, when a woman, dressed head to toe in fur, bursts through the door. She’s Joan Molinsky, although the world will soon come to know her as Joan Rivers, played by Ryan.
Joan is failing as a club comic and wants to turn her hand to more serious artistic pursuits. Unfortunately, the only part available is ‘Man in Black’, which Joan blithely demands is gender-swapped to ‘Woman in Black’. Joan hasn’t bothered to read the play, and therefore doesn’t realise that the ‘Woman in Black’ and Barbra’s character, Lorna, have a love scene together.
Written by Cara Jennings and Sophie Trott, Urban Myths: Handel and Hendrix stars David Haig, Zach Wyatt, Jonny Sweet and Kara Tointon.
Housemates separated by time, Jimi Hendrix, played by Wyatt and George Frideric Handel, played by Haig grapple with the stresses of the music business in this funny and intimate portrait of two eccentric musical geniuses.
In January 1969, Jimi Hendrix and his girlfriend Kathy Etchingham moved into their first real home in Brook Street in London, the same building that Handel first called home 246 years earlier in 1743 where he wrote The Messiah.
The film imagines the events leading up to a transformative moment when Jimi saw Handel’s ghost which he reported to Kathy.
And finally, Robbie Coltrane OBE stars alongside Craig Ferguson and Saoirse Monica Jackson as Orson Welles in Urban Myths: Orson Welles in Norwich, written by Matthew Broughton. In 1972 Orson was working on ‘F for Fake’, a faux documentary now regarded as his last masterpiece. But ‘F for Fake’ has run out of funds, and Orson is skint says his manager.
However, opportunity comes from the most unlikely of places... in East Anglia! Orson accepts work at a regional television station in Norfolk where he encounters an ambitious local news woman and then swiftly goes missing.
These shows sit alongside new programmes for Dawn French, Samson Kayo, Jane Horrocks, Greg Davies, Tom Davis and Harry and Jamie Redknapp and writers Kirstie Swain and Ben Chanan.
This Christmas Dawn French will star as Beatrix Potter in The Tail of The Curious Mouse (working title), a warm one-off drama inspired by the true story of when a young Roald Dahl met his hero.
The meeting of two literary legends came at a time when Roald at just six-years-old had lost her father and sister and Beatrix was coming to the end of her career.
Following a pilot in 2018, Samson Kayo and Jane Horrocks will team up for Bloods, a new six-part comedy for Sky One written by Nathan Bryon about two paramedic partners, Maleek and Wendy who work for a South London ambulance service.
When tough-acting loner Maleek is paired with over-friendly divorcee Wendy, their partnership looks dead on arrival. But pretty soon they’re giving each other life support
Set within the fast-paced, never-ending rush of 999 call outs, Bloods is described as "an ensemble comedy" which charts Maleek and Wendy’s struggle to gain the respect of their fellow paramedics.
Speaking about the new series Samson Kayo said “I’m super excited to show the world Bloods especially because I almost became a paramedic. Lucky for the NHS, I chose to play the character instead! I’m looking forward to hopefully bringing a bag of laughs to Sky with the lovely team at Roughcut who have some quality comedies under their belt!”
Whilst Jane Horrocks added “I am very much looking forward to working on Bloods and being paired with the extremely funny Samson Kayo. I know nothing of the world of paramedics, but maybe I need to overcome my fear of blood before I start."
Elsewhere, Greg Davies has written a new comedy pilot for Sky One alongside Stephen Morrison called Safe Space which he will also star in as a demotivated small-time psychotherapist heading nowhere fast, until fate intervenes in the form of a new client; his rising star local MP. And a dark web of revelations lead to a serious breach of client confidentiality.
And father and son duo Harry and Jamie Redknapp team up for their first TV project together alongside comedian Tom Davis currently titled Redknapps’ Weekend Warm Up.
The new six-part entertainment series for Sky One sees Harry (the manager), Jamie (the player) and Tom (the fan) invite the biggest and best names in sport and show business to join in front of a live audience for an evening packed full of laughter, topical football talk, celebrity chat, entertaining VTs and Harry’s unique anecdotes.
Speaking about the news series Jamie Redknapp said "When the opportunity came along to work with two of my favourite people I couldn't refuse. Big T is one of my favourite comedians and of course my Dad knows how to crack a joke too. I'm looking forward to getting started and letting you all have a laugh along with us."
Whilst his father Harry Redknapp added “When Jamie asked me to join him on his new chat show, I jumped at the chance. I’ve been watching my son’s work in A League of Their Own and as a pundit on Sky Sports for a long time and wanted to work with him, along with Tom Davis.”
Meanwhile, Kirstie Swain who in 2019 brought us Channel 4's Pure, brings us Sweetpea, a new eight-part dark comic drama for Sky Atlantic adapted from the novel of the same name by C. J. Skuse.
Rhiannon is your average girl next door, living quietly with her boyfriend and little dog. By day her job as an office manager is demeaning and unsatisfying. By evening she dutifully listens to her friends’ plans for marriage and babies. Rhiannon never complains, smiling through it all with reserves of serenity and a sparkling wit. She has become skilled at keeping it together. Being normal. But behind this mask is a ferocious power lying dormant, and a long-buried secret that Rhiannon wishes she could forget.
When a chance encounter with a stranger leads to a shocking act of violence, Rhiannon’s mask slips completely and she is forced to confront the darker side she has long kept hidden. The girl everyone overlooks might just be able to get away with murder.
And finally Ben Chanan who recently brought us The Capture on BBC One will bring his eight-part drama You (working title) to Sky One which is based on the novel of the same name by Zoran Drvenkar.
When Tara O’Rourke kills her estranged father in a drug fuelled rage, she and her best friends are forced to flee across Europe in search of Tara’s long-lost mother. Along the way, the girls have to navigate depleting funds, awkward romances and an inconvenient pregnancy, but the biggest danger comes from Tara’s uncle, Reagan because the girls made the mistake of stealing Reagan’s drug stash… and he happens to be the most feared gangster in Rotterdam.
And all the while, the spectre of a mythical serial killer known as The Traveller inches ever closer…