Belgium virus drama among new BBC shows

CordonUK channel BBC Four’s love-affair with European drama has continued with the acquisition of Belgium series Cordon and new seasons of Spiral and The Bridge.

Cordon (pictured) is a 10x60mins drama from Warner Bros-owned Eyeworks that follows events after the Antwerp is hermetically sealed off from the outside world after a deadly virus outbreak strikes the Belgian city.

BBC Four, which skews older than other British public service channels, has also taken season five of French drama Spiral and season three of Scandi noir The Bridge.

BBC Two, meanwhile, has commissioned Neal Street Productions, NBCUniversal’s Carnival Films and Thirteen to produce period drama The Hollow Crown: The Wars Of The Roses and Iain Banks story Stonemouth from BBC Scotland and Slate North. It has also ordered Lovely Electricty and BBC In-House Comedy Production sketch series The Javone Prince Show, a transgender comedy from Tiger Aspect called Boy Meets Girl and bringing BBC Three talk series Backchat across.

BBC Three has commissioned a season of shows about disability, with shows coming from Minnow Films, Makthree Media, Ricochet, Platform Productions, Firecracker Films, BBC In-House Production, Transparent Television, Roughcut Television, and Oxford Film and Television.

New comedies come in the shape of Two Brothers Pictures and Bwark coproduction Fried, and Josh, an in-house sitcom from comic Josh Widdicombe that was piloted exclusively on the iPlayer. Top Coppers is a 6x30mins police comedy from Roughcut, while rom com Toegther comes from Tiger Aspect.

BBC Four also co-commissioned a ‘Gothic Season’ with BBC Two, plus doc series Dancing Cheek To Cheek: An Intimate History Of Dance, 1x90mins science show Spider House, art history shot Treasures of the Indus, and a new Storyville three-parter focusing on modern love.

Channel editor Cassian Harrison took on his post last October after Janice Hadlow stepped down.