BBC America will roll out six new co-productions and six new acquisitions in the coming months, the first bundle of offerings in a doubled programming budget over the next two years.
The slate, a mix of comedies, dramas, TV movies and miniseries is the first major offering under new GM Kathryn Mitchell, who joined the network in Jan. from Comedy Central.
Leading the co-productions is Viva Blackpool, a musical thriller/romance set in a British ocean town. Co-produced with BBC Drama, the series stars David Morrissey (State of Play, Basic Instinct) and has won two BANFF Awards. Six hour episodes are slated to start in Oct.
Other major co-productions with the BBC include two made-for-TV movies – Friends and Crocodiles and Gideon’s Daughter – from writer Stephen Poliakoff (The Lost Prince, Almost Strangers).
The network, which is distributed by Discovery Networks to 42.5 million homes, aims to increase its reliance on co-productions going forward as a bridge to producing its own shows.
Acquisitions include the BBC’s Bodies, a gritty medical drama set in a gynecology and obstetrics department of a hospital, and Bad Girls, a female prison drama from Shed Productions. Six hour-long episodes of Bodies are slated for fall and ten hour-long episodes of Bad Girls will air later this year.
BBC America averaged 74,000 total viewers in May.