Television Business International

BBC One orders raft of new dramas, comedies, formats

British public broadcaster BBC One has ordered a raft of new series including a number of big-budget dramas.

The network has ordered Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell, The 7.39 and The Game as well as new sitcom Father Figure. Other new additions to the network’s 2013 schedule include primetime documentary series The Prisoners And Life-Savers and formats Richard Hammond’s Secret Service and Britain’s Brightest.

Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell is a 6x1hour drama based on Susanna Clarke’s novel and adapted by Peter Harness. It is set during the Napoleonic Wars where magic once existed. The series is produced by Boy A producer Cuba, the production arm of literary and talent agency Curtis Brown in association with Feel Film and Farmoor.

The 7.39 is a two-part romantic drama about two people falling in love on their regular morning commute. It is produced by NBC Universal-owned Carnival Films and is written by One Day’s David Nicholls.

The Game is a Cold War spy thriller set in the world of 1970s espionage. It was created and written by Being Human’s Toby Whitehouse and is produced by BBC Cymru Wales.

Meanwhile, family comedy Father Figure was written by and stars comedian Jason Bryne. It was produced in house by BBC Production.

“The job of running BBC One is all about making television audiences love, both in terms of new programmes and maintaining the vibrancy and creativity of our longer running shows,” said BBC One controller Danny Cohen. “I aim to keep raising the stakes with our drama output on BBC One. Ben Stephenson and I are committed to finding pieces with great ambition, quality writing and memorable performances which portray a captivating range of fictional worlds and landscapes. We aim to keep working with Britain’s very best writers, actors and directors.”