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Singing sensation Nova Jones returns as BBC Children’s recommissions hit series

Singing sensation Nova Jones returns as BBC Children’s recommissions hit

The BBC is set to welcome Nova Jones back to screen as it commissions series 2 and 3, both 10 x 24’ from Northern Ireland based JAM Media.

The adventure series which follows the out-of-this-world exploits of Nova and her crew on board the Jefferson Spaceship sees singer Molly Rainford again take the title role as Nova Jones, the biggest star in the galaxy.

Series one of Nova Jones was streamed over a million times on BBC iPlayer alongside its popular linear run on CBBC.

Sarah Muller, Head of BBC Children’s Commissioning & Acquisitions 7+, says: “After the success of the first series that launched last year on CBBC and iPlayer, we are excited to bring viewers two more series of this vibrant musical comedy. In these new series, we plan to extend the songs so there are even more opportunities for viewers to enjoy Nova’s dazzling performances.”

With filming under way in Belfast, series 2 is due to air later this year with series 3 to follow in 2023.

Nova Jones is distributed by BBC Studios’ newly-formed BBC Kids & Family division globally.

The series is filmed in Belfast with funding from Northern Ireland Screen and Screen Ireland and co-produced by JAM Media for CBBC and RTÉ.

The Executive Producers for JAM Media are Alan Shannon and John Rice and the Executive Producer for CBBC is Sarah Muller.

“The series has truly resonated with UK and Irish viewers and we look forward, through our partnership with Studios, to bringing Nova Jones to a global audience,” said John Rice, CEO Jam Media. “From her confidence, fashion sense, humour and poptastic songs, Nova has a unique potential to speak to a whole generation of kids around the world in this surreal and hilarious series.’

The series was created by Helen Serafinowicz (Motherland) with head writer Andrew Ellard (script editor for Miranda, Detectorists and Red Dwarf). Original songs are written by Matthew Graham and Jessica Hammond (Konica).

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Record quarter for drama as ITV makes full series available to stream

Record quarter for drama as ITV makes full series available

Three out of the top four highest rating new dramas in the UK, across any channel and streamer, are from ITV so far in 2022

With many of the most popular dramas across any channel or streaming service so far in 2022, ITV has had a very strong start to the year in scripted.

New, recently released 28 day consolidated data for The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe shows that the total audience for the first episode rose by a massive 5.4 million viewers in the 28 days after the initial broadcast, with the four-part series as a whole averaging a total audience of over 9 million viewers, up by 5.1 million/123% on the broadcast transmission.

Written by acclaimed screenwriter Chris Lang, and starring Monica Dolan and Eddie Marsan, The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe told the story of the Hartlepool based couple and their infamous insurance scam and gained critical acclaim from reviewers. In total ITV has shown three out of the top four dramas across any channel or streamer in 2022, and six out of the top ten new dramas, and all have more than doubled their audience in the 28 days after their initial broadcast.

These include Including Trigger Point, ITV’s biggest drama so far in 2022, which averaged a total audience of 9.5 million viewers, Our House which averaged a total audience of 7.4 million viewers and No Return, which averaged a total audience of 6.5 million viewers, as well as DI Ray (currently averaging 5.7m viewers) and The Ipcress File, which averaged a total audience of 5.3 million viewers.

The majority of ITV drama full series are now available for streaming following the first episode initial broadcast, as ITV continues its digital-first strategy for key genres, in the run-up to launching ITVX in Q4. This has helped drive the best ever start to the year for drama viewing online with 125 million streams for the four months to the end of April, up 8% year on year.

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Kate Phillips appointed Director of Unscripted in new commissioning structure

Kate Phillips appointed Director of Unscripted in new commissioning structure

BBC Chief Content Officer Charlotte Moore has announced that Kate Phillips will take on the newly created Director of Unscripted role following an internal restructure of BBC Television’s senior leadership team to accelerate the BBC’s strategic priorities.

Unscripted programming plays a vital role across broadcast and on-demand; it is crucial to growing BBC iPlayer and keeping our channels strong. This new structure will bring together all of our commissioning teams across Entertainment, Factual, Arts & Classical Music and Daytime, Early-Peak & Events into a single commissioning unit under the leadership of Kate Phillips, to keep pace with changing audience behaviour and unlock new creative opportunities.

As the Director of Unscripted, Kate will be responsible for the overall commissioning strategy for the full range of unscripted content, harnessing her brilliant relationships with talent and suppliers to ensure the most distinctive and impactful programmes for audiences across the UK. Leading our team of world-class commissioners, Kate will ensure the ongoing strength of our unique specialisms, whilst driving more value from new collaborations between genres and with Nations commissioning teams.

Kate will report to Chief Content Officer Charlotte Moore. These changes will see the closure of the existing Director of Entertainment and Director of Factual, Arts & Classical Music roles and a new Head of Entertainment commissioning role created.

The Heads of Commissioning who will report directly to Kate are:

Arts & Classical Music – Suzy Klein.Daytime, Early Peak & Events – Lindsay Bradbury (acting).Documentaries, History & Religion – Clare Sillery.Entertainment – to be advertised.Natural History & Science – Jack Bootle.Popular Factual & Factual Entertainment – Catherine Catton.

In this new structure, Kate will be accountable for the overall performance and editorial strategy, empowering the respective Heads whilst ensuring the portfolio of commissions align to the agreed audience and supply objectives.

Fiona Campbell will return to her role as BBC Three Controller. The Directors of Comedy, Drama and Film roles remain unchanged.

Charlotte Moore, BBC’s Chief Content Officer says; “Kate’s extensive experience working as Controller of BBC One, running Entertainment for the last 5 years and previously as Channel Executive for BBC One and BBC Three, Creative Director of Formats for BBC Worldwide and her years in production, makes her uniquely placed to lead across this new role as Director of Unscripted. She is an outstanding leader and manager with an exemplary track record in commissioning, working with suppliers and talent and she understands the critical and complex role Unscripted plays on both iPlayer and the channels. By bringing the genres together as a single team, she will streamline development to empower our world class team of commissioners to achieve even greater creative excellence.”

Kate Phillips says : “I’m really looking forward to working closely with our extremely talented Heads and their teams to ensure we continue to commission innovative, impactful and distinctive content for BBC audiences across the UK. This new role will allow our unscripted teams to not only do their best work creatively, but also collaborate more with each other, leading to exciting opportunities for all our on and off screen talent.”

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Miriam Margolyes & Alan Cumming return to Channel 4 to get Lost in Scotland and Beyond

Miriam Margolyes & Alan Cumming return to Channel 4 to

Following a successful first outing for ‘TV’s new golden odd couple,’ Hollywood actors Miriam Margolyes and Alan Cumming are back behind the campervan wheel as their rip-roaring road trip antics continue across Scotland… and beyond.

Miriam & Alan: Lost in Scotland and Beyond (4×60’), produced by Blink Films, will follow the pair as they take in some of Scotland’s most spectacular and far-flung locations before they journey across the pond to their other mutual home, the American West Coast – a place that has shaped both of their lives.

Our dynamic duo will kick off their journey in Scotland, once again meeting a range of quirky and unexpected characters and there’ll certainly be a few surprises in store for both Miriam and Alan.

The next part of their adventure finds the pair swap their campervan for a supersized RV – much to Miriam’s delight – as they take in the sights of the stunning California coastline and reconnect with people and places from this amazing chapter in their lives.

Miriam wastes no time in whisking Alan right off to the apartment where she lived for 16 transformative years, on the palm-lined Ocean Avenue, seeking out her old synagogue and reliving her first encounters in Hollywood. Alan delights in introducing her to some of his favourite haunts and closest friends, as they take in the glorious coastline from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

Throughout their journey, the duo will deliver their unique brand of banter, storytelling and antics as they travel to places packed with memories and personal connections, that mix the funny and outrageous with the poignant.

Alan Cumming: “I can’t wait to get the show on the road again! Driving round my homeland with a potty mouthed octogenarian was one of the most joyous months I’ve ever had, and I’m so glad that joy translated on to the screen. So to do it again and to explore California as well seems almost too much of a carry on!”

Miriam Margolyes: “I thought I’d experienced almost everything, but being driven around Scotland with Mr. Cumming, was such a delightful new pleasure I can’t wait to repeat it. He is funny, kind and wise – and together we laughed and marvelled and remembered. It will be a joy to get going again; I hope I’ve got some surprises left to tickle his fancy.”

Deborah Dunnett, Commissioning Editor for Features and Daytime at Channel 4: “What a pair! I can’t wait for them to unleash more skeletons from deep within their closets.”

Laura Jones, Creative Director at Blink Films and Executive Producer: “What a blast to be back on the road again with this delightful pair! Series 2 promising more surprises, joy and jockstrap obsession as they get lost in far-flung Scotland and the Californian coast.”

Miriam & Alan: Lost in Scotland and Beyond was commissioned for Channel 4 by Deborah Dunnett, Commissioning Editor for Features & Daytime. The 4×60’ series is made by Blink Films; a Tin Roof Media company and the Executive Producer is Laura Jones.

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