Seemed appropriate on ‘Oscar Sunday’, that we begin with greetings from the land of The King’s Speech and Colin Firth. It’s day one at BBC Showcase 2011 in Brighton where we are able to screen literally 1000’s of hours of BBC past, present and future for possible acquisition. It was here, over the years, that we were able to get first glimpses of the likes of Keeping Up Appearances, Vicar of Dibley, MI5, Hustle and, more recently, Sherlock. After looking at the catalogue, this year will not disappoint with lots of new offerings in drama, comedy, documentaries and music genres.
Showcase is made up of attendees from around the world that acquire and broadcast some of the best television on television. Brighton, famous at this time of year for sub-freezing temps, winds that top 60mph and heavy rain, has managed to disappoint us so far with only the freezing temperatures. Fear not, they promised the traditional wind and rain before we leave next week.
Fortunately, we’ll be inside, screening for 10-12 hours a day on your behalf (I promise) as winter rages through the English coast the next couple of days.
Up first in the comedy genre comes Friday Night Dinner, starring Tamsin Greig (Green Wing, Black Books, Episodes) and Simon Bird (The In-Betweeners). An interesting premise about two brothers that struggle to keep a necessary weekly appointment to have ‘Friday night dinner’ over at their parents house.
Over the course of the week, we’ll also get a first glimpse at not only the new Upstairs Downstairs, but other upcoming public television premieres such as Zen, the Italian detective series based on the books by Michael Dinbin, making its way to PBS’ Masterpiece Mystery series later this year. Will report back on not only these, but a show currently watching about the making of The Good Life (Good Neighbors in America), an interesting doc about how they picked the cast, found the house and a really interesting note from Richard Briers about how he incorporated the song, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, into the Tom Good character whenever he wanted to be somewhere else.
All to say, some great, great television to report on in the coming days so check back to see what will potentially coming to the States in the coming year, but also some more behind the scenes from the upcoming PBS premiere of Behind the Britcom: From Script to Screen in March 2011 on PBS stations nationwide.