BBC Two commissions Dolly Parton doc, boards Lena Dunham’s HBO thriller

Lena Dunham

The BBC has revealed a slate of new projects, including HBO drama Industry, which it has boarded as a co-production partner.

Speaking at this week’s Edinburgh TV Festival, BBC Two controller Patrick Holland revealed that the public broadcaster was a partner on the UK-shot financial thriller from Girls creator Lena Dunham, which is currently filming in Wales.

Produced by Jane Tranter’s Bad Wolf, the eight-part series from Mickey Down and Konrad Kay (Gregor) follows a group of young graduates competing for positions at a top investment bank in London.

The boundaries between colleague, friend, lover and enemy soon blur as they immerse themselves in a company culture defined by sex, drugs and ego as well as deals and dividends.

Elsewhere, Holland also said BBC Two will air the next instalment of FX’s American Crime Story.

Impeachment: American Crime Story is the third instalment of the franchise and details the national scandal that saw Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp as principal characters in America’s first impeachment proceedings in more than a century.

The BBC struck a major output deal with FX Networks last year – a three-year pact that covers high-profile dramas such as the Emmy-nominated Pose, which landed on the public broadcaster earlier this year.

Elsewhere, BBC Two has commissioned a feature doc on American country music singer Dolly Parton.

Dolly’s Country (w/t) has unprecedented access to the singer-songwriter behind songs such as ‘Jolene’ and ‘9 to 5’ and unravels her 50-year career. It includes interviews with Parton’s musicians, co-writers and producers who discuss why she is one of the greatest modern songwriters.

Produced by Man Alive Entertainment, Dolly’s Country (w/t) is the latest film from Bafta-winning producer-director Francis Whately since David Bowie: Finding Fame, which aired on BBC Two in January.

Executive producers on the film include Justin Gorman, Dan McGaughey and Hannah Dodson. The film was commissioned for the BBC by Jan Younghusband, head of commissioning for music television. BBC executive producer is Phil Dolling.

Martin’s Close

BBC Four

Meanwhile, Mark Gatiss has adapted M. R. James’ ghost story Martin’s Close into a 30-minute drama starring Peter Capaldi.

The standalone drama finds Capaldi playing John Martin, who is on trial for his life after being accused of murdering a young girl, who has since been seen after her death.

The drama will air this Christmas. It is produced by Can Do Productions with Adorable Media. It is adapted and directed by Mark Gatiss, and produced by Isibeal Ballance. Ben Irving is executive producer for the BBC.

BBC Four is also returning to slow TV with The Last Igloo, which follows a typical day in the life of an Inuit hunter in arctic Greenland.

The Swan Films-made production (1 x 90 minutes) follows the hunter as he travels across the arctic landscape with his dog sled, fishes through the sea ice, and finally builds an igloo.

The doc was commissioned by Cassian Harrison, channel editor for BBC Four, while commissioning editor for the BBC is Emily Smith. The project is produced, filmed and directed by Christian Collerton. Executive producers include Neil Crombie and Joe Evans.

BBC Four has also acquired Country Music – the latest documentary epic from filmmaker Ken Burns.

The eight-part series was filmed across eight years and features many of the biggest country stars. It profiles such artists as the Carter family, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Garth Brooks.

The series will be broadcast as six hour-long episodes followed by two 90-minute episodes.

Country Music is a PBS production, directed by Burns. It is produced by Burns, Dayton Duncan and Julie Dunfey, and commissioned for BBC Four by Younghusband.

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