Sky has set 80 original series to hit screens in 2020, an increase of 25 percent year-on-year from 2019, together with a 40 percent boost in the volume of programming from the U.S.
Sky has committed to more than doubling its investment in original content by 2024 through Sky Studios, as well as the proposed development of Sky Studios Elstree, a new state-of-the-art TV and film studio in North London.
The raft of new originals includes The Tail of the Curious Mouse (working title), a story about Roald Dahl and Beatrix Potter starring Dawn French (Absolutely Fabulous, The Vicar of Dibley); the paramedic comedy Bloods, starring Samson Kayo (Famalam, Timewasters) and Jane Horrocks (Little Voice, Absolutely Fabulous); Safe Space, a comedy pilot written by and starring Greg Davies; and the entertainment series Redknapps’ Weekend Warm Up (w/t), featuring the father and son duo Harry and Jamie Redknapp.
Also, Brassic, the hit comedy-drama co-created by Joseph Gilgun and Danny Brocklehurst, is confirmed for a third season. Intelligence, the GCHQ comedy created by and starring Nick Mohammed, alongside David Schwimmer, is confirmed for a second season. Urban Myths will see a fourth run. The political drama Cobra is set for a sophomore season.
There’s also Sweetpea, a new dark comic drama written by Kirstie Swain and adapted from the novel Sweetpea by C. J. Skuse, and You (w/t), a new drama written by Ben Chanan (The Missing, Last Kingdom) and based on the novel YOU by Zoran Drvenkar.
Group CEO of Sky, Jeremy Darroch, said: “2020 is going to be the best year yet for content on Sky—we have over 80 original series and 40 percent more U.S. shows, we have new channels like Sky Comedy, Sky Nature and Sky Documentaries launching and we are announcing ten new commissions today. In an increasingly competitive market, we keep pushing to give our customers what they want, all the best TV, all in one place.”
Sky’s managing director of content, Zai Bennett, said: “In a world where there are more hours of content than ever, we want to make sure that we’re offering our customers the most high-end, engaging TV that quite simply blows them away. We’re creating and investing in our own world-class original content that sits perfectly alongside the best from the U.S. This year we’ll be making more of our customers’ favorite shows than ever before.”