Advanced Television

Channel 5 recommissions Crackit’s A&E After Dark

July 17, 2020

Crackit Productions has been commissioned by Channel 5 to produce a second series of the hit documentary series, A&E After Dark.

The six-part series peaked with a consolidated audience of over 2.4 million viewers, winning its primetime slot and making it the highest-rating series on Channel 5 in 2020. The programme performed well for a young audience delivering a 12.5% of 25-34s and adding 42% on the slot average.

With unprecedented access to Hull Royal Infirmary, the exclusive, no-holds barred content came at a time when NHS staff have never been more appreciated by the public.

Over six weeks, viewers saw the reality of what life is like for NHS staff working the night shift at A&E departments across the UK, witnessing confrontations at the hospital to everyday accidents, road traffic collisions and drug and alcohol related admissions, which often resulted in aggression and disruption for the staff.

In addition, Channel 5 has also asked Crackit Productions to develop the After Dark brand and produce another access-documentary series, Police After Dark, which will begin filming later this year.

Sebastian Cardwell, Deputy Director of Programmes, ViacomCBS UK said: “Crackit delivered an engaging and agenda-setting series which enthralled viewers bringing in a younger demographic. We want to ensure that we can deliver more content from A&E departments and other emergency services.”

Elaine Hackett, CEO at Crackit Productions, said: “The response to the series was incredible and we’re thrilled that Channel 5 have recommissioned us and committed to developing the ‘After Dark’ brand into other areas.

“The ‘after dark’ element allowed us to show what it’s truly like for NHS staff to work the nightshift – the night-time throws up unique incidents that arise when daylight diminishes, allowing us to deliver an arresting, agenda-setting series.

“We are indebted to all the staff and patients who allowed us to feature these emergencies in such a candid way. Filming within A&E departments is always challenging. The nightshift gave us an even more complex landscape to navigate but we were determined to portray it in all its visceral detail.

“To be able to widen out our production to focus on the realities of capturing life ‘after dark’ with our UK police-force is also a real testament to our access experience and capabilities.”

Crackit Productions has built a strong reputation for access-documentaries – and a slate of previous commissions specialising it’s focus on A&E departments including three series of Casualty 24/7; a series for Channel 5 following the day-to-day running of an A&E unit in Barnsley Hospital; and two series of BBC One’s Secret Life of the Hospital Bed, an access series to eight NHS hospitals.

A&E After Dark was commissioned by Sebastian Cardwell, Deputy Director of Programmes, ViacomCBS UK and the executive producers are Jon Connerty and Elaine Hackett. The second series is due to start filming next month.

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