ITV Unveils First Factual Commissions for ITVX


ITV has revealed its first slate of factual commissions for ITVX, its new streaming platform set to launch in the U.K. in November.

Rolf Harris: Hiding in Plain Sight (w.t.) will explore how entertainer Rolf Harris sexually abused children and young women for years while displaying a public persona of a nonthreatening eccentric.

The two-part series, produced by Optomen Television, will feature interviews with Harris’ victims, the police who investigated him and colleagues who worked alongside him. It will also explore his wife and daughter’s decision to stand by him, despite the discovery that he had abused the latter’s friend when she was just 13.

From 72 Films (Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty, 9/11: One Day in America) in association with All3Media International, The Royal Family (w.t.) will provide a rare insight into the Queen’s personal experience of the events that shaped her family’s fortunes and the history of the United Kingdom over the decades of her reign. Using rare archive footage and new interviews with key figures, including some who have never previously spoken on camera, the five-part series will give viewers a look behind the scenes of the Queen’s life.

ITV also ordered A Year on Planet Earth, narrated by Steven Fry. Featuring a story arc across the seasons and filmed in over 60 different locations, the docuseries will reveal the ways in which all life is connected and how massive natural events affect the lives of individual animals as the Earth makes its way around the sun. The series is produced by Plimsoll Productions and comes from a multi-award-winning natural-history team, including Tom Hugh-Jones (Tiny World, Planet Earth II) and Dr. Martha Holmes (Blue Planet, Hostile Planet).

The new true-crime series A Murder in the Family (w.t.), comprised of three stand-alone films, investigates shocking murders in which the victim and perpetrator were related. Using footage from victims’ social media and police bodycams, text messages and call recordings, each story is pieced together from the victims’ point of view without voiceover, allowing the victims, their friends and families to tell the stories in their own way. Knickerbockerglory TV is producing the series.

In Laura Whitmore Investigates, the titular TV personality takes on a series of controversial issues in immersive, investigative films. The first investigations in the series will be produced by Rumpus Media.

ITV also commissioned a new season of Social Media Murders, which originally aired on ITV2. The true-crime series explores shocking cases that resulted in the murder of a young person who met the culprit through social media. The three films in the first season were produced by Firecracker Films, Crackit Productions and Knickerbockerglory Productions. The second season, which will premiere on ITVX, will feature five films.

Lastly, Olivia Attwood will feature in a new series for ITVX following the success of her recent ITV2 show, Olivia Attwood: Getting Filthy Rich. The new show, produced by Optomen Television, will investigate how science and social media are redefining beauty. Attwood will embed herself with patients and practitioners, discovering the range of procedures now available and why so many people are eager to undergo them. She will even try some out for herself.

“We’re excited about the opportunity ITVX presents for us, and with our commissioning, we want to broaden the palette of factual in very different and surprising ways,” said Jo Clinton Davis, controller of factual at ITV. “Documentary boxsets with directorial ambition on a diverse range of subjects lead our developing slate, alongside series from new factual talent, including Laura Whitmore Investigates, which we are delighted to announce. This is just the beginning of a range of new opportunities as the world of factual opens up on ITVX, with much more to come.”