Advanced Television

Sky expands unscripted slate

January 30, 2023

By Nik Roseveare

Sky has announced 12 new unscripted original commissions coming to Sky Documentaries, Sky Crime, Sky Nature and Sky Arts this year.

On Sky Documentaries, new feature doc Zuckerberg: King of the Metaverse (w/t) will piece together the events of Mark Zuckerberg’s life along with the creation of Facebook and Meta, combining rarely seen archive footage and exclusive interviews to take a close and personal to one of the most powerful figures of the 21st century.  Daley (w/t) is an account of the life and career of athlete Daley Thompson (pictured) and tracks his eight gold medals and four world records as he became the first athlete ever to hold wins in the Olympic, World, Commonwealth and European competitions simultaneously.

Crime fans can tune in to Dublin Narcos, from the team behind BAFTA Award-winning Liverpool Narcos, tracking the rise in violence, addiction and organised crime in Dublin from the 1980s to present day. The Wicklow Mountains west of Dublin are the backdrop for Gone: Ireland’s Vanishing Triangle (w/t), exploring the mystery of six women who went missing without trace in the darkly wooded hills between 1993 and 1998. New docu-series Who Killed Lin and Megan Russell? (w/t) explores one of the most shocking multiple murders of the 90s as Michael Stone, after serving 25 years in prison, prepares a last appeal against his murder conviction. Meanwhile, a complex ecological crime story is unpicked in The Great Rhino Robbery (w/t), exploring how the rhino horn came to be more valuable than gold. One-off feature documentary Forced Out (w/t) asks why being gay in the Armed Forces remained illegal until as late as 2000, telling the story of the men and women dishonourably discharged because of their sexuality.

On Sky Nature Steve Backshall returns with his next series Whale with Steve Backshall which will take viewers on a journey across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans to uncover the world’s most popular yet endangered whales and dolphins.

Poppy Dixon, Director of Documentaries and Factual Commissioning, commented:“Showcasing a richly diverse range of stories, characters and tones – from the man who built our obsession with social media, to the shocking treatment of our gay veterans, from a spate of bizarre international rhino horn robberies to the triumphs and trials of Daley Thompson, as well as the Dublin-based follow up to our award-winning series Liverpool Narcos, and much more beyond – I couldn’t be more excited about our latest slate of projects in 2023 for Sky Documentaries and Sky Crime.”

Music fans can find an iconic dream team on Sky Arts this year, as AC/DC’s Brian Johnson and Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler join forces for new six-parter Brian Johnson and Mark Knopfler’s Good Times. The rock legends will romp through the history of popular music alongside special guests including Sam Fender and Emmylou Harris. The music continues with Greatest Guitar Riffs, as some of the world’s best guitarists explore the power of the riff in gigs past and present and its place in pop culture.

Art enthusiasts can look forward to new feature documentary Decoding Turner, following two plucky enthusiasts alongside art historians and academics as they reveal the startling hidden codes they believe are woven into his paintings.

Additionally, Master Crafters will return to Sky Arts later this year with new host, musician comedian and actor Bill Bailey. Bill Bailey’s Master Crafters: The Next Generation will see the comedian and musician join junior crafters and experts as they explore wood carving, stained glass and silversmithing.

Phil Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts and Entertainment, said: We have a range of treats for our loyal Sky Arts lovers over the next few months, whether they want to argue over the best guitar riffs, marvel at the hidden symbols in JMW Turner’s paintings or spend quality time with a rock legend or two. Joan Jett to Mavis Staples and everything in between.

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