- Comedy drama series forms part of rich content slate for BBC Studios Showcase 2024 with outstanding creative talent across all genres.

- Titles include The Jetty, Kidnapped: The Chloe Ayling Story, Spent, Sherwood S2, Asia, Inside no.9, Solar System w/t, Columbia - The Final Flight, Amanda and Alan’s Italian Job, Deadly Mission Shark, and formats Around the World in 80 Weighs and Bargain King.

30 January 2024

Ahead of its launch to international buyers at BBC Studios Showcase (26 – 27th February 2024), BBC Studios today announced the pre-sale of Hartswood Film’s highly anticipated comedy drama series Douglas is Cancelled to public service channel ARTE in France and Germany.

Written by globally renowned Screenwriter and Executive Producer Steven Moffat (Doctor Who, Dracula, Sherlock), the 4 x 45” series stars Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey, Paddington), as respected news presenter, Douglas, and Karen Gillan (Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Who) as his sharper, savvier co-anchor, Madeline.

Douglas is regarded as a national treasure and apparently, can do no wrong, until he makes an ill-advised joke at his cousin’s wedding, which is overheard by a fellow guest, who threatens to expose his comments on social media. Speculation is rife and during the on-going hysteria and digital storm, Douglas’s alleged indiscretion is dissected, analysed and blown out of all proportion. Everyone appears to have an opinion and Douglas is struggling to escape the controversy. It’s a chaotic and unmanageable situation, but can Douglas count on the support of his agent and colleagues? What will Douglas do next? Is he a casualty of ‘cancel culture’? With 2 million followers, what is Madeline’s motivation to social post on Douglas’s behalf? Friend or foe? That is the question.

Co-starring Ben Miles (Hijack, The Crown), Alex Kingston (A Discovery of Witches, Treason), Nick Mohammed (Ted Lasso, Intelligence) and Simon Russell Beale (Firebrand, Thor: Love and Thunder) the series will air on ITV1 and ITVX in the UK. Commissioned by ITV’s Head of Drama Polly Hill, it is produced by Hartswood Films in association with Sky Showtime who will broadcast across European markets including the Nordics, Spain, Portugal and The Netherlands.

Douglas is Cancelled forms part of the new content slate being unveiled at BBC Studios’ annual Showcase which continues to be the biggest single studio content event in the UK.  

Rebecca Glashow, CEO, BBC Global Media & Streaming said “We are thrilled to announce a diverse and compelling content slate for BBC Studios Showcase 2024 that has been developed to meet the needs of our wide-ranging, global client base. We have continued to evolve our Showcase event based on a deep understanding of our client’s content needs. Showcase 2024 will feature a curated agenda with exclusive previews and insights so that each customer has an unrivalled and unique experience. We can’t wait to welcome clients and partners once again to Showcase this February.”

Scripted highlights include Firebird Pictures’ The Jetty (4 x 60”), a four part crime thriller starring Jenna Coleman (Wilderness, The Serpent) which asks big questions about sexual morality, identity and memory, in the places that Me Too has left behind.

Kidnapped: The Chloe Ayling Story (6 x 30”) is a factual drama from BBC Studios’ River Pictures in association with ZDF Neo. It tells the story of Chloe Ayling, a British model who was abducted in Italy in 2017, in full for the first time and goes behind the headlines to shine a light on the shocking truth.

Critically acclaimed returning dramas include House Production’s Sherwood Series 2 (6 x 60”) which explores more characters and stories from the wider community of Nottinghamshire, delving into the issues and relationships that have long shaped them. Blue Lights Series 2, the authentic and gripping drama from Two Cities and Gallagher Films about ordinary people doing an extraordinary job also returns with Siân Brooke, Katherine Devlin and Nathan Braniff reprising their roles as PSNI recruits.

Created and starring Michelle de Swarte (The Baby) and produced by Various Artists Limited, Spent (6 x 30”) is a comedy series which follows the story of a former catwalk model who finds herself broke, pushing 40 and struggling to find somewhere to sleep. The party is officially over and Mia must now come back down to planet earth with a bump and learn to navigate her new reality, it’s not quite the champagne reception she was hoping for.

Inside No.9 Series 9 (6 x 30’), Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton’s critically acclaimed and BAFTA Award-winning comedy anthology series produced by BBC Studios Comedy Productions, returns for a final series with six new stand-alone stories.

A BBC Studios Comedy/Witchcraft Industries co-production, Diane Morgan writes, directs and stars in Mandy Series 3 (6 x 15’) as the nation’s hero of the zero-hours economy. In this series Mandy battles her own personal cost-of-living crisis in a number of short-lived, ill-thought-through and poorly-paid jobs.

The broad range of factual titles on offer include Asia (7 x 60”) a new, ambitious landmark series from BBC Studios Natural History Unit and co-produced by BBC America and ZDF, which tells the story of biggest continent on Earth through its epic landscapes and spectacular wildlife.

Filmed using the very latest technology and through the eyes of expert international and local wildlife camera crews, Big Cats 24/7 ( 6 x 60”) will give viewers an unprecedented insight into the individual lives of lions, leopards and cheetahs in Botswana’s awe-inspiring Okavango Delta – one of Africa’s last great wildernesses. A BBC Studios Natural History Unit production, co-produced by PBS.

After The Planets and Universe, Professor Brian Cox explores the amazing events unfolding in the planets and moons of the Solar System around us every day. From the BBC Studios Science Unit and co-produced with PBS, Solar System w/t (5 x 60”) will take viewers on five epic journeys through our solar system to reveal the incredible events that are happening out there, right now, as revealed by our very latest space missions.

Columbia - The Final Flight  (3 x 60”) combines first-hand testimony with previously unseen archive to chart the in-depth story of the space shuttle tragedy. Hearing from those closest to the story - the astronauts’ families and the staff at NASA - some of whom have never spoken before, this multi-part series from Mindhouse Productions for CNN and the BBC explores how and why the disaster happened in unprecedented detail.

Leading the factual entertainment slate is Voltage TV’s Amanda and Alan’s Italian Job Series 2 (8 x 30” and also available as a format) which sees two of Britain’s best-loved celebrities and real life best friends, join forces to renovate a crumbling property in Italy.

Mothership’s Around the World in 80 Weighs (5 x 45’ and also available as a format) sees six people from across Britain, who are each living with obesity, travel the globe to find out why the world is getting fatter. They come face to face with the sometimes stark realities of the obesity crisis in different countries and meet people in who may be able to help them to live healthier lives and lose weight along the way. At the end of each leg of their journey they are weighed together on a giant scale, to see if their hard work – and the shocking things they’ve seen - have helped them achieve their goals.

Strictly Come Dancing stars Anton du Beke and Giovanni Pernice leave the ballroom behind and pack their passports as they head to Spain in Anton and Giovanni’s Adventures in Spain (3 x 60). Made by BBC Studios Entertainment productions, the travelogue sees Anton rediscover his Spanish roots as he introduces Giovanni to a host of delights the southern European country has to offer. The pair’s previous trip to Giovanni’s beloved home in Sicily, Anton and Giovanni’s Adventures in Sicily (3 x 60’) is also available to international buyers.

Whilst new content from Kids and Family includes Deadly Mission Shark (10 x 30). BAFTA-winning BBC natural history presenter, Steve Backshall, takes ten young  trailblazers on an extraordinary oceanic adventure in the Bahamas to learn about the challenges sharks face as they come under threat of extinction and how they could help to save them in the future. A BBC Studios Natural History Unit Production.

Formats on offer include hit Danish format Bargain King which sees two teams of celebrities go head-to-head in a competitive antiques based game show to earn the most money across three rounds. The duos must put their best game face on as they sell, auction and bargain to win the competition - and their very own antique prize. Almost 700 episodes have already been produced for TV2.

Now in its 48th year, BBC Studios Showcase 2024 will offer a bespoke experience tailored to customer’s content needs. From match-making opportunities with the creative teams behind BBC Studios’ outstanding labels, world class production units and indie partners to discuss projects in development, through to genre-specific presentations highlighting the rich slate of premium content on offer with insights from leading British creatives about their latest projects.

Inspiring panels exploring the themes of innovation in factual television and the transition of successful podcasts into exciting television projects will also form part of the wide-ranging agenda for 2024.

Customers will have exclusive access to the premiere screening of the upcoming landmark natural history series from the BBC Studios Natural History Unit, Mammals, introduced by Executive Producer Roger Webb and Series Producer Scott Alexander. Scripted buyers will also have the opportunity to view brand new episodes from highly anticipated drama titles at the event.




For more information, please contact:

Louise Loffel

Head of Communications EMEA

BBC Studios