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Channel 5 to spend more time In the Wild

UK broadcaster Channel 5 has commissioned a batch of shows in the factual space, and renewed comedy Borderline.

Ben FrowChannel 5 director of programmes Ben Frow (pictured) revealed the shows – 4x60mins efforts A Year in the Wild of Alaska and The Dales and Moors: A Year in the Wild and a docu-drama about Queen Elizabeth I series – in his controller session at the Edinburgh International Television Festival yesterday.

The natural history docs come after wildlife series Loch Lomond: A Year in the Wild. The series are coproductions between Endemol Shine Group-owned Tigress Productions and GroupM Entertainment.

A Year in the Wild in Alaska will see specialist natural history cameramen documenting how the flora and fauna survive in some of the toughest environments on Earth, while The Dales and Moors look at the wildlife of Britain’s rugged Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors, which cover 1,000 square miles.

Elizabeth I, meanwhile, will be a 3x60mins series that contrasts the viewpoint of young Queen Victoria with those of her enemies. Oxford Film and Television is attached as producer.

Elsewhere, LittleRock Pictures will make a second season of Borderline.

Frow said the announcements underlined “the evolution of the channel”, adding the shows were “high quality commissions that increase the breadth, range and appeal” of its original productions.

Frow told Edinburgh delegates Borderline had given him “the best” reviews of his career, and that Channel 5 would now look to “jump into the pool of scripted drama”.