It’s a wonderful time to be a Sky customer. With Christmas just a handful of days away, the company are ramping up their efforts to give everyone a healthy dose of seasonal glow - including a special free gift!
To that end, Sky have loaded Sky Cinema with countless festive classics, announced a range of Christmas specials for their own hit programmes and even scheduled a crazy 10 games in 10 days as part of their 10in10 promo on Sky Sports. Of course, it’s also an exciting time for Sky as a company, as a full takeover from 21st Century Fox looms.
But that doesn’t mean they can just forget about their flagship entertainment channel, Sky One, does it? Having taken something of a backseat to huge smash hits on Sky Atlantic like the wonderful Westworld this year, Sky are preparing to bring some fantastic new programmes to Sky One. So, what does 2017 have in store for Sky One viewers? Here’s three huge programmes.
Untitled Russell Howard project – 2017
There’s no denying that when it comes to young British comedians, there’s few with the star power of Russell Howard. The irreverent Bristol comedian made his name on comedy panel shows like Mock the Week, before spinning off onto his own BBC stand up effort – Russell Howard’s Good News.
That latter programme proved to be a huge hit for the BBC, drawing in big numbers to their now defunct BBC3 channel and really helping to turn Russell into the star he is today.
Though currently engaged in a world tour, Russell has signed a two year deal which will see him write and star in a Sky One programme. Little detail has been given about this project, but with the success of the Good News format in mind, it’s fair to imagine we’re in for something quite similar. Sky have confirmed that the 14-part series will be filmed in front of a live studio audience, and produced by Avalon.
Russell Howard said: “I am delighted to be making this new show for Sky. It’s obviously the best part of a year away but I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in.”
Adam MacDonald, director of Sky 1, said: “Russell is brilliantly funny and I can't wait for his intelligent and incisive wit to be a big part of Sky 1. His new show with us will be a fantastic mix of everything we love about Russell and lots of new inventive comedy. It will be an incredible addition to Sky 1.”
Jon Thoday, Avalon Television joint managing director, said: “We are excited to be working on a new show with Russell and delighted by Sky’s ambition for it.”
Britannia – 2017
This epic historical drama, written by Spectre co-writer Jez Butterworth, is the first time Sky and Amazon have teamed up to produce a programme, and the results should be wonderful. A 10-part series set in 43AD, the story sees the Roman army invading Celtic Brittania and has an all-star cast that includes Kelly Reilly, David Morrissey, Zoe Wanamaker and Stanley Weber.
Lead writer Jez Butterworth said: “Besides being hard, hard warriors, the Celts have a belief system which makes them almost invincible. It’s a deep, heavy magic. Last time the Romans tried to invade, the mighty Julius Caesar took one look, turned round and went straight home. Now, almost a century later, the Romans are back. I’m fascinated in what happens when gods die. When an entire, ancient faith stalls, topples, collapses - and a whole new one grows in its place. New names, new faces, to suit the new times. Here we have a war between two pantheons - the Roman gods v the Celtic gods. It’s the Heavyweight Clash of All Time, the one which most shapes who we are today. And we see it all from a human perspective, of individual survival, ambition, courage, lust, loss, revenge. All the stuff the gods have always loved us humans for the most!”
Britannia is due to air in 2017, and should prove to be a huge hit for Game of Thrones fans with Sky One.
Strike Back – 2017/18
Strike Back is, er, back! New team, new section and new enemies, but still the same blend of high-octane action and compelling drama that turned Strike Back into an award-winning phenomena.
Dropping the Section programme into the modern political world of polarisation, disenchantment, violent power struggles and fear, the team are tasked with lethal manhunt to uncover a vast web of interconnected criminal intrigue. Taking them across the Middle East and Europe, will the mission prove too great for our team? You’ll have to wait to find out, because the series starts filming in 2017.
Executive producer, Andy Harries, said: “Strike Back is the show that took Left Bank Pictures onto the international stage and we are thrilled to be back with such an exciting cast and a world class team of writers, directors and producers. With a fanbase spread over 150 countries worldwide, Strike Back is television at its very best, where the military comes first! Our news stars have amazing physical skills which, combined with their military training is going to make the show rock.”
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