BBC America targets younger viewers

A high school drama from the creators of the UK hit Footballers Wives and fresh takes on Robin Hood and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde are among the new dramas set to air on BBC America in the next year, the cable channel said Wednesday.

BBC America general manager Kathryn Mitchell said the offshoot of the venerable British broadcaster wants to broaden its appeal to a slightly younger audience, "but we don't want to lose those loyal viewers."

The new series include:

Waterloo Road (eight, hour-long episodes) centers on an inner-city high school where the despondent teachers have given up trying to make a difference as they struggle to cope with their personal problems and nightmare day jobs. The cast includes Jason Merrells, Jamie Glover, and Angela Griffin. It was written by Footballers Wives creators Maureen Chadwick and Ann McManus. It is set to premiere in June.

Robin Hood (13, hour-long episodes), a fresh take on the classic tale targeted for the first quarter of 2007, is being positioned as "BBC's big prime-time drama highlight of the year." In fact, an order of 13 episodes is significant for the broadcaster, which is more associated with initial episodic orders of just six or eight at most.

Jekyll (six, 90-minute episodes) is a modern-day telling starring James Nesbitt in the title role. They share the same body, but Hyde is unaware that Jekyll is now married and will do anything to protect his family from the dark side. It will bow in the second quarter.

Low Winter Sun (two, 90-minute episodes), set in Edinburgh, stars Mark Strong as a police detective who kills for revenge and naively believes he's engineered the perfect crime. It will likely premiere in early 2007.

The four new projects join other shows, including Shakespeare Retold, Love Soup, and Sharpe's Challenge. BBC America is distributed in more than 46 million homes.

Comments (10)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
Yea, they shows are there. I have rated them all.
Reply
Flag
i live in the uk and the bbc make goods shows like spooks,doctor who,the office and the state within (which i can't find about on tv.com)
Reply
Flag
"BBC America targets younger viewers"



Not to mention, lower IQs.
Reply
Flag
BBC america don't show good shows. the UK one is much better. Anyway you have much better networks like ABC, NBC, Fox.
Reply
Flag
Just a note that "Waterloo Road" is on Thursdays on BBC 1 here in the UK (they've had 4 of the 8 episodes so far) and it's a thumbs down from me I'm afraid (I hung in for about 1.5 episodes, but couldn't take any more).

Whether it's because it's on at 8.00pm so can't take risks (which must upset the Footballers Wives writing team, the latter of which airs at 9.00pm...ironically straight after Waterloo Road, but on rival channel ITV1...) or simply that the early seasons of Channel 4's "Teachers" drama totally kicked its butt I don't know, but it's a big letdown from the BBC really.

I'll recommend "Love Soup" when that airs on BBC America - a reasonably watchable drama. Some of the "Shakespeare Retold" episodes are worth checking out too.

BTW, I'm not surprised that BBC America viewers have been disappointed with its content in recent years - I feel the same way about BBC 1 here in the UK...very much pandering to the populist market with rubbish quiz shows, gardening, reality shows and so on. Interestingly, the best stuff on BBC 1 is usually something that's transferred over from the superior BBC 2 channel (e.g. "Have I Got News For You" - one of the few funny shows left on the BBC network).
More+
Reply
Flag
I have been very disappointed in the shows the BBC America has been showing lately. They maybe going for younger viewers, but they are losing olders viewers as they do.

I adore Cash in the Attic. The other shows they have been getting and showing really turn me off and will not watch them.

BBC America is not a part of the BBC. It is owned and operated by the Discovery group.
Reply
Flag
The Robin Hood series sounds intressting, I might check it out.
Reply
Flag
kph1324 its a basic cable channel.
Reply
Flag
I wish i could get this channel. I would love to be able to check these shows out.
Reply
Flag
I have been mostly disappointed with BBC America for the several years that I have subscribed to it. I was expecting more dramas and comedies, and not so much house makeovers, garden makeovers, antique appraisals, etc. The Trailer Park Boys was not even British, it was Canadian.
Reply
Flag

Like TV.com on Facebook