Advanced Television

WBD UK announces 50 hours of new content

June 19, 2024

Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) UK & Ireland has commissioned 50 hours of new and returning shows for its linear channels and discovery+.

A new 8×60 series, James May & The Dull Men’s Club (w/t) will see the British television presenter and award-winning journalist solve essential conundrums. Teaming up with the ‘Dull Men’s Club’ Facebook phenomenon, May and his ‘Dull Men’ will try and bring a little bit of order and rationale to the chaos of modern existence. Produced by Plum Pictures, each episode will explore questions that the team wants to test, including why your washing machine can’t double-up as a cooker.

WBD UK & Ireland has also commissioned Ant Anstead: The Naked Mechanic (w/t), a new 8×60 series produced by ITN Productions that combines the intricacies of car restoration with the take-outs of home renovation. The series will follow motor specialist Ant Anstead, known for his work on Master Mechanic and Wheeler Dealers, who has bought a 500-year-old farmhouse in rural Bedfordshire, in desperate need of repair, for his mum and dad. Anstead discovers very quickly that the only thing more unpredictable than restoring classic cars is restoring a heritage house. Both James May & The Dull Men’s Club and Ant Anstead: The Naked Mechanic will air on Quest later this year.

Adding to the slate of talent-fronted series, Vinnie Jones in the Country is back for a second season after a successful first run. The Lime-produced 6×60 series will see Jones stretch himself both financially and emotionally as life in the country moves at pace having just bought a new farm. Season 2 will be available on discovery+ in late 2024.

One of WBD UK & Ireland’s most popular genres, True Crime, will be bolstered by the return of Faking It. The long-standing series, which has previously explored high-profile stories and criminal cases centred on fabrications and false confessions across popular culture, politics and prolific crime, is back this summer with body language expert, Dr Cliff Lansley, linguistics professor, Dawn Archer, and forensic psychologist, Kerry Daynes. This time the experts will explore the telltale signs, verbal slips, unwitting gestures and psychology behind controversial influencer Andrew Tate, convicted serial killer Levi Bellfield, and ‘The Grindr Killer’ Stephen Port.

Andrew Tate: Icon or Toxic? A Faking It Special will look at Tate’s responses to his alleged crimes which include charges of rape and human trafficking in Romania. Serial Killer Serial Liar Levi Bellfield: A Faking It Special investigates the dubious confessions and devastating crimes of convicted serial killer Bellfield. His surprise statement in 2023 that he was the secret killer of Lin Russell and her daughter, Megan, aged six, in 1996, has led to an official review of the case. The Grindr Killer Scandal: A Faking It Special examines the words and actions of Port, who murdered four men he met through online dating sites. Eight police officers face gross misconduct investigations over the handling of the case. The Faking Specials will land on discovery+ this summer.

Staying with True Crime, WBD UK & Ireland has also commissioned brand-new 999 Murderer Calling (w/t), a Shearwater-produced series coming to Quest Red later this year. Each episode will feature two stories of gripping 999 calls where the caller was the killer, and each call was part of a callous and premeditated plan to evade justice.

A healthy serving of new content on Food Network, the only food-dedicated channel in the UK, is also confirmed for the second half of 2024. Tom Kerridge Secrets of the Pub Kitchen, a 10×30 series produced by Bone Soup, will invite viewers into the kitchen of the acclaimed British chef’s Michelin-starred pub, The Coach. Kerridge reveals his trade secrets and shares dishes to cook at home. Roux Back Down the River, back for a second season, sees Michel Roux embark on a culinary voyage down the Thames in this 5×60 series produced by Sidney Street – the two new series will air on Food Network in September. Meanwhile Marcus in the Med: Mallorca, a 10×30 series produced by Plimsoll Productions, will bring summer sun to viewers in July as Marcus Wareing immerses himself in Mallorcan culture and cooking as he discovers new dishes and hidden restaurants on this stunning island.

Charlotte Reid, VP Commissioning WBD UK & Ireland, said: “We are excited by this slate of new and returning series for both discovery+ and our linear channels. We’re delighted to be working with brilliant new and returning talent including James May, Ant Anstead, Vinnie Jones, some of the best chefs in the business in Tom Kerridge, Michel Roux and Marcus Wareing, as well as continuing to build on our successful Faking It series with new specials examining politics, popular culture and prolific crime.”

The series were commissioned by Charlotte Reid and executive produced for WBD by Deirdre Dowling, Rebecca Reilly, Romy Page and Matt Reid.

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