BBC reveals details of hot properties on offer at Showcase 2022 TV marketplace

BBC Showcase

Sally Wainwright on Happy Valley S3 + Bluey + new projects from Bash Doran and Daisy May Cooper

BBC Studios has announced the star-studded agenda for its 46th annual Showcase, an exclusive, invitation-only TV market again this year, running from 28 February to 2 March 2022.

In a world where TV broadcasters and streaming platforms are scrambling for content, the three-day event will give global customers the opportunity to discuss early-stage projects and ideas with leading British creatives and producers from both indie partners and Studios production teams.

BBC Showcase will feature dynamic genre sessions highlighting the rich slate of premium content on offer to acquire or partner, alongside industry-leading insights. The broadcast-quality sessions will be hosted by BBC Studios executives and established presenting talent such as Claudia Winkleman, Clara Amfo and Anita Rani, and will provide exclusive access to world-class programme-makers and the most in-demand creative talent:

• Sally Wainwright will give an exclusive insight at BBC Showcase into the third and final series of multi BAFTA award-winning Happy Valley

• The producers of Dynasties II will provide privileged access to on-location filming for the upcoming natural history landmark

• Daisy May Cooper and Selin Hizli will introduce their brand new comedy thriller about maternal paranoia and obsessive friendship at BBC Showcase

• Romesh Ranganathan will present a first look at his upcoming comedy series, Avoidance 

• Writers of The Salisbury Poisonings and upcoming film Freeguard, Adam Patterson and Declan Lawn will talk about their new crime drama Blue Lights

• Nicôle Lecky will reveal what to expect from her new drama MOOD, adapted from her critically acclaimed Royal Court play

• Acclaimed playwright Bash Doran and award-winning director John Crowley will discuss bringing Kate Atkinson’s celebrated novel Life After Life to screen

• Lee Mack, comedian and UK host, will talk with co-creators of Magnum Media’s exciting new gameshow format, The 1% Club

• Hear from the Top Gear hosts on location about what is in store for series 32

• BBC Showcase will hear from the lead stars Tanya Reynolds (Sex Education) and Melissa Saint from I Hate You, a new comedy from the makers of Friday Night Dinner

New at BBC Showcase from Natural History Unit

This year there will also be an in-depth session exploring the upcoming landmark from BBC Studios Natural History Unit, Frozen Planet II. Eleven years since the ground-breaking first series, the production team will share exclusive on location footage highlighting how the series will take viewers to unexpected places and introduce new and charismatic characters.

Showcase 2022 will also hear from the BBC’s most influential decision-makers, BBC Director-General Tim Davie and BBC Studios CEO Tom Fussell, alongside Charlotte Moore, BBC Chief Content Officer, who will discuss future content trends and the creative direction of the BBC.

Louise McNab, Director of Content Sales at BBC Studios, said: “In a time of continued uncertainty there is one thing that our global customers can be assured of – a BBC Studios slate packed with world-class programming, spanning every genre to meet their needs. We have the latest projects from the industry’s most sought-after talent and can’t wait to present them, alongside exciting creative ideas in early stages of development. With a fantastic response to our event last year, we are working hard to match-make customers with creatives based on their content needs and to ensure every moment with us will be time well spent.”

New shows on the slate

Life After Life (4 x 60’): A mesmerising adaptation of Kate Atkinson’s bestselling novel. What if you could live your life again and again until you finally got it right? One snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born and dies before she can take her first breath. On the same night, Ursula is reborn. But this time, she survives. So begins an extraordinary story of fate and second chances that follows Ursula as she navigates the momentous events of the 20th century, through two world wars, the Spanish flu and an encounter with Hitler.
Produced by House Productions for BBC.

Life After Life

Happy Valley Series 3 (6 x 50’): Sally Wainwright’s multi-award winning police drama returns for an unmissable final series. Starring Sarah Lancashire and James Norton. When Sergeant Catherine Cawood discovers the remains of a gangland murder victim it sparks a chain of events that unwittingly leads her straight back to murderer and rapist Tommy Lee Royce. Meanwhile, Catherine’s grandson Ryan is now sixteen and has ideas of his own about what kind of relationship he wants to have with Tommy, the man Catherine refuses to acknowledge as his father. The first two series of this critically acclaimed drama each won BAFTAs for Drama Series and Writing: Drama for Sally Wainwright, with Sarah Lancashire winning Leading Actress for series two.
A Lookout Point production for the BBC, co-produced with AMC.


Happy Valley Season 2

The Birth of Daniel F Harris w/t (8 x 30’): From the makers of The End of the F***ing World comes a distinctive and darkly comic drama about a sheltered teenager who’s thrown into our world for the first time. Danny was a baby when his mum was killed. His grieving dad locked them both away, telling him the world outside was full of monsters. But when Danny turns 18, he’s taken to live with his aunt Sue and withdrawn cousin Aaron. Soon, Aaron starts seeing the world through Danny’s eyes. Slowly, Danny and Aaron emerge from their shells – as Danny tries to find the real monster, the one who killed his mother.
A Clerkenwell Films production for Channel 4.

Chivalry (6 x 30’): Steve Coogan and Sarah Solemani write and star in this timely drama that skewers and satirises the complex state of contemporary sexual politics. Cameron, an acclaimed film producer, needs to detoxify his latest movie or face ruin. Bobby, an ambitious feminist filmmaker, has what he needs to get the job done. All they need to do is reshoot an inappropriate sex scene. How hard can it be? But as Bobby and Cameron bounce between gender tension, a creeping attraction and the nagging feeling that they are just pawn’s in the studio’s secret agenda, a toxic sex scene becomes just the tip of the iceberg. Who really knows how to navigate post-me too sex? How fluid are our politics and how political are our fluids? Guest stars include Wanda Sykes, Sienna Miller, Paul Rudd and Peter Mullan.
A Baby Cow Production for Channel 4

Silent Witness HISTORY Series 25 (6 x 60’): Britain’s longest-running crime drama returns with an explosive 25th anniversary series. Seventeen years after leaving the Lyell, Sam Ryan (Amanda Burton) returns. Starring Emilia Fox, David Caves, Genesis Lynea and Amanda Burton.
A BBC Studios production.

Comedy Thriller from Daisy May Cooper and Selin Hezil (6 x 30’): Twisted comedy thriller about obsessive friendship, maternal paranoia – and a dead cat. Written by and starring real-life best friends Selin Hizli and This Country’s Daisy May Cooper. Nic is grieving a loss that she can’t share with anyone and is unfulfilled in her marriage. Only her son Ollie, who she adores, keeps her going. But when Jen arrives in town her life is lit up with laughter and through this kindred soul her dark secret starts to bubble up. Shot through with whip smart humour, this mischievous and characterful blend of funny and frantic takes female storytelling to a refreshing and dynamic new level. Executive produced by one of TV’s most exciting talents, Jack Thorne (His Dark Materials), this is a warped comedy about just how quickly life can change – and lives unravel.
A Boffola Pictures and Lookout Point co-production for the BBC.


Daisy May Cooper in This Country

The Outlaws Series 2 (6 x 60’): The BBC’s biggest new comedy launch of 2021 with over 11 million streams on BBC iPlayer to date, BAFTA winner Stephen Merchant’s comedy-thriller returns for a second series, featuring Christopher Walken. The Outlaws still have time to serve on their sentences – but now they must face the fallout from their actions. If they thought the criminal underworld or the local police were done with them, they are sorely mistaken. The Outlaws must depend on one another while working with unlikely allies to atone for their sins – but can they save themselves without sacrificing their souls?
A Big Talk and Four Eyes production for the BBC and Amazon.

Avoidance (6 x 30’): Romesh Ranganathan creates, writes and stars in this warm-hearted comedy about a man with severe conflict avoidance issues who is forced to change for the sake of his son. Jonathan’s (Romesh Ranganathan) life revolves around his nine-year-old son Spencer and he’s always deferred the big and small decisions to his partner Claire (Jessica Knappett). So when Claire asks him to leave, Jonathan realises he has no home, no friends and no ambition. Except one: to try and preserve his son’s happiness in the face of his parents’ break-up. Jonathan takes Spencer and runs away. But he only gets as far as the home of sister Danielle (Mandeep Dhillon) and her wife Courtney (Lisa McGrillis). Over the course of the series, the unlikely foursome gradually become a loving but utterly dysfunctional family unit. Can a beta male find some backbone? And can Jonathan avoid passing his failings (and his really bad dress sense) onto his son?
Produced by Ranga Bee and CPL productions for the BBC.

I Hate You (6 x 30’): Whip-smart, laugh-out-loud comedy about two twenty-something best friends (and enemies). From the creator of Friday Night Dinner. Charlie (Tanya Reynolds, Sex Education) is a bit of a worrier. Becca (Melissa Saint) is a little bit wild. Both have dodgy jobs, dodgy dating histories and dodgy livers. Apart, the two are hopeless. Together, they’re absolute chaos. Charlie is arrested for pick-pocketing a police officer and Becca discovers the perils of jogging to jazz. The girls start dating (much) older men and go on a hectic night out that kicks off with a visit to A&E – and winds up with a sneaky snooze under the kitchen table.
A Popper Pictures & Big Talk production for Channel 4.

Louis Theroux’s Forbidden America (3 x 60’) Louis Theroux returns with a series exploring three controversial corners of American society, and meets those accused of dangerous, toxic, and criminal behaviour. He meets the content creators of the far right and their leaders, who are breeding a fast-growing ‘dissident’ nationalist movement. He meets the rappers striving for glory, those who have risen fast and those who have fallen hard. And as the porn industry grapples with its own MeToo movement, he meets the accused and the accusers. Is justice being handed out fairly?
A Mindhouse production for BBC.

Frida (3 x 60’): This compelling portrait of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo strips away the myths to reveal the real Frida – a passionate, radical artist living through extraordinary times. She’s the most famous female artist of the 20th century. But, over the years, Frida Kahlo’s story has been distorted. This series sets the record straight on this extraordinary woman. It reveals how Mexican independence and politics shaped both Frida as an individual and as an artist. It explores the impact of her epic love affair with fellow artist Diego Rivera. And it shows how she ultimately strived to be independent – free from the control and influence of men.
A Rogan Production for BBC

Frozen Planet II (6 x 60’): Eleven years after the phenomenal first series, Frozen Planet (top photo) returns with a spellbinding journey through magical icy lands. From the makers of Blue Planet II. The north and south poles. The snow-draped forests and plains of the north. Remote mountain ranges. These are worlds of surprising variety and beauty – seemingly untouched by human presence. It’s this isolation that makes these places so special. Here, the planet’s most enigmatic animals reign supreme. Wolves hunt huge bison across vast snowy plains. Killer whales use cunning techniques to stalk their prey. And rarely seen Siberian tigers pad quietly through crisp white snow. Frozen Planet II captures these fairy tale animals and lands on the cusp of change.
A BBC Studios Natural History Unit production, co-produced by BBC America and The Open University. The Executive Producer is Mark Brownlow and the Series Producer is Elizabeth White.

Dynasties II (6 x 60’): Family is power – more dramatic than any work of fiction, the world of growing families, power struggles and feuding rivals, is back. A cheetah must prepare her daughters to survive alone. An inexperienced elephant unites her herd facing their greatest challenge – twins. High in the mountains a puma and her cubs face a battle for survival. Family rivalries cause chaos within a clan of hyenas. New alliances must form to care for the young of a troupe of macaques. Will a gang of meerkats survive the drought and rebuild their shattered dynasty? Immersing the audience in every gentle moment, poignant event and heart-wrenching betrayal as they strive to create dynasties fit to rule for generations.
A BBC Studios Natural History Unit Production, co-produced with BBC America, bilibili and France Télévisions. The Executive Producer is Mike Gunton and the Series Producer is Simon Blakeney.

Spectacular Earth (4 x 50’): Get closer than ever before to some of the world’s most stunning natural phenomena and discover the extraordinary global forces that must coincide to make each spectacle happen. Using scientific knowledge and cutting-edge filming techniques mean it is now possible to get thrillingly close to some of the world’s most beautiful spectacles. Specialist jet-ski cameras ride massive waves in Portugal, giant drones fly into one of the world’s most explosive volcanoes and ultra-slow-motion footage captures thousand-foot-long lightning bolts in Arizona. Experts and scientists reveal the global forces at work behind each spectacle. The explanations are fascinating – but our planet is home to such incredible phenomena that sometimes you have to see it to believe it.
A BBC Studios Production.

BBC Showcase

Top Gear hosts

Top Gear S32 (5 x 60’ or 5 x 50’): Freddie Flintoff, Chris Harris and Paddy McGuinness are back for their sixth series at the wheel of Top Gear, all three now with their racing licenses. Series highlights see the trio head to America on a motorsport mission to the home of grassroots racing: Florida, a TV cop car tribute as well as some suggestions for some new Cop Cars that drama producers might like to consider, and the presenters going head-to-head in a heavy-duty challenge as they train to become HGV drivers. Plus, reviews with the Maserati MC20, Rivian R1T and more.
A BBC Studios Factual Entertainment Production.

Bluey Series 3 (52 x 7’): The multi-award-winning pre-school animation, loved by children and their families around the world, is returning for a much-anticipated third series. Bluey and Bingo are excited to meet many new and unexpected friends and discover never-before-seen locations. It doesn’t matter if it’s sunny skies or rainy days, the Heelers always find ways to cook, dance, explore and invent new and imaginative games to play both indoors and outdoors. And even with so much going on in Bluey’s growing world, the core of each episode remains the same; stories with heart and humour, inspired by real family life.
A Ludo Studio production, produced in association with BBC Studios, ABC Australia, Screen Australia and Screen Queensland


BBC Showcase


Surprize Fund (Format): It’s the game that could change your life… you just don’t know it yet. Surprised by their loved ones in studio, our hero discovers they have been nominated by 15 of their closest friends and family who have answered a series of questions to create tonight’s Surprize Fund. Now all our hero has to do is hold onto that money by correctly answering those same questions. But there’s a twist – with each incorrect answer, our hero must choose 3 of their loved ones to eliminate AND lose the money each of them brought to the Surprize Fund. They must choose wisely or risk losing it all in this entertaining, emotional and life-changing gameshow.
Format created and owned by youngest Media and Talpa Concepts.

The 1% Club (Format): Imagine a game show where an eight-year-old has as much chance of winning as an 80-year-old. Or where intelligence isn’t based on how many exams you passed, but is all about how your brain works. The 1% Club is a unique, compelling and funny gameshow that tests the nation’s intelligence, based on a scientific survey. This primetime entertainment format is not about what you learned at school or your ability to memorise facts – it’s about real intelligence. It’s a chance to test how your brain works through a series of questions that often lead to extremely entertaining answers. Everyone is on a level playing field, which means anyone can play along, making it perfect co-viewing for the whole family. Plus, if you’re smart enough, you could earn yourself a place in the 1% Club: an elite group of people who can honestly say they’re smarter than 99% of the population.
The 1% Club was created by Magnum Media who will produce it for ITV.

See also: BBC Showcase 2021 Virtual event launches with Australian co-productions on offer

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