Advanced Television

Sky commits to 80 original series in 2020

February 13, 2020

By Nik Roseveare

Sky has announced its largest ever slate of programming for 2020, alongside the commission of 10 new Sky original programmes in drama, comedy and entertainment, as it seeks to combat the rise in SVoD players such as Netflix and Disney+.

The news was unveiled at Sky’s Up Next showcase event in London, where the pay-TV broadcaster shared exclusive previews of new shows due to air this year, with over 25 talent on stage including David Schwimmer, Maisie Williams, Billie Piper, Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan.

Some 80 original series will hit Sky screens in 2020, an increase of 25 per cet year-on-year from 2019, together with a 40 per cent boost in the volume of programming from the US. This is alongside aggregated content from its partnerships with Netflix, BBC, Channel 4 and Channel 5, offering customers all the best TV in one seamless service.

Jeremy Darroch, Sky CEO, said: “2020 is going to be the best year yet for content on Sky – we have over 80 original series and 40 per cent more US shows, we have new channels like Sky Comedy, Sky Nature and Sky Documentaries launching and we are announcing ten new commissions. In an increasingly competitive market, we keep pushing to give our customers what they want, all the best TV, all in one place.”

Zai Bennett, Sky’s Managing Director of Content, added: “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 US. This year we’ll be making more of our customers’ favourite shows than ever before.”

Among the raft of new original programming announced are:

  • The Tail of The Curious Mouse (w/t), a story about Roald Dahl and Beatrix Potter starring Dawn French.
  • Bloods, a paramedic comedy starring Samson Kayo and Jane Horrocks.
  • Safe Space, a comedy pilot written by and starring Greg Davies as a demotivated psychotherapist.
  • Redknapps’ Weekend Warm Up (w/t), a new entertainment series with father and son duo Harry and Jamie Redknapp teaming up for their first TV project together alongside comedian Tom Davis.
  • Brassic, the hit comedy drama co-created by Joseph Gilgun and BAFTA-winning writer Danny Brocklehurst is confirmed for a third series ahead of the second airing in May.
  • Intelligence, the GCHQ comedy created by and starring Nick Mohammed, alongside David Schwimmer, is confirmed for a second instalment ahead of the first series airing next week.
  • Urban Myths the International Emmy Award-nominated series returns for a fourth outing with stars including Steve Pemberton, Robbie Coltrane, Kara Tointon and Katherine Ryan.
  • Cobra, the high-stakes political drama, starring Robert Carlyle and Victoria Hamilton returns for a second series after becoming one of Sky One’s most successful drama series in recent years.
  • Sweetpea, a new dark comic drama written by BAFTA Breakthrough screenwriter Kirstie Swain and adapted from the novel Sweetpea by C. J. Skuse.
  • You, a new drama written by Ben Chanan and based on the novel YOU by Zoran Drvenkar.

This new programming adds to the breadth of Sky original series which are already due to air on Sky in 2020, including The Third Day, Billie Piper’s I Hate Suzie and The Trip to Greece.

Key acquired shows for 2020 include The Plot Against America (starring Winona Ryder), The Undoing (starring Hugh Grant and Nicole Kidman), Run (written by Vicky Jones and exec produced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge), Penny Dreadful: City of Angels (starring Natalie Dormer) and the award-winning Succession (starring Brian Cox).

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