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Wednesday 19 June 2024

Apple TV+ Unveils Trailer for Riveting New Crime Drama “Women in Blue”

Women in Blue

Image: Apple TV Press

By Jon Donnis

Apple TV+ has released the trailer for its upcoming Spanish-language crime drama "Women in Blue" ("Las Azules"), a 10-part series featuring an entirely Hispanic cast and crew. Led by Ariel Award nominee Bárbara Mori, the series is set to premiere globally with the first two episodes on Wednesday, July 31, 2024, followed by weekly episodes through September 25.

Created by International Emmy Award-winning showrunner and director Fernando Rovzar and Pablo Aramendi, "Women in Blue" is set in 1971 and inspired by true events. The series follows four women who challenge the ultraconservative norms of their time by joining Mexico's first female police force. Initially seen as a publicity stunt to distract the media from a brutal serial killer, the women soon find themselves driven to take matters into their own hands.

The story centers on María (Mori), whose determination to catch the killer becomes an obsession, Gabina (Amorita Rasgado), the daughter of a renowned cop, Ángeles (Ximena Sariñana), a brilliant fingerprint analyst, and Valentina (Natalia Téllez), a young rebel. Together, they set up a secret investigation to do what no male officer has been able to achieve—bring the serial killer to justice.

The series boasts a talented cast including Mori, Sariñana, Téllez, Rasgado, Miguel Rodarte, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Christian Tappán, and Horacio García Rojas. "Women in Blue" is produced for Apple TV+ by Lemon Studios, with executive producers Fernando Rovzar, Wendy Riss, Erica Sánchez Su, Sandra Solares, and Billy Rovzar.

"Women in Blue" promises a gripping narrative that not only explores the hunt for a serial killer but also delves into the societal challenges and breakthroughs of women in law enforcement during a transformative era in Mexico.

Available on Apple TV at https://apple.co/3RyoocM

First Look: Channel 4’s Gripping Drama Suspect Returns for a Thrilling Second Series

Suspect

Images: Ch4 Press

By Jon Donnis

Eagle Eye Drama has unveiled first look images for the highly anticipated second series of the eight-part drama Suspect, set to premiere on Channel 4 in the UK this summer. The series will also be available on BritBox International in the US and Canada this fall.


The new season continues from where the first left off, following Dr. Susannah Newman, portrayed by Anne-Marie Duff (Bad Sisters, The Salisbury Poisonings), as she seeks the truth behind her daughter's tragic death. The plot thickens when a new client, Jon (Dominic Cooper; Preacher, Mamma Mia!), makes a chilling confession under hypnosis, compelling Susannah to embark on a perilous mission to save a life, echoing her unresolved quest to save her daughter.


The second series features a stellar cast with new additions including Ben Miller (Professor T, Paddington 2) as Detective Superintendent Richard Groves, Tamsin Greig (Friday Night Dinner, Belgravia) as Natasha Groves, Vinette Robinson (Boiling Point, The Lazarus Project) as Louisa McAdams, Eddie Marsan (The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe, Ray Donovan) as Alistair Underwood, Celine Buckens (Showtrial, The Ex-Wife) as Sapphire, Nicholas Pinnock (Top Boy, For Life) as Joseph Buckley, and Gina McKee (Bodyguard, Our Friends in the North) as Kate.


Directed by Carolina Giammetta (Before We Die, Hollington Drive), the second series is penned by Joy Wilkinson (Episodes 1-4 and Episode 8) and David Allison (Episodes 5-7). Fremantle is handling global sales for the series.


Suspect is an adaptation of the Danish original Forhøret (Face to Face) created by Christoffer Boe and written by Christoffer Boe and Anna Juul. The original series was produced by Miso Film, a Fremantle company, with Christoffer Boe, Jonas Allen, and Peter Bose serving as executive producers on both the original and the adapted series.


Produced in association with Happy Duck Films and the Belgian Tax Shelter, Suspect promises to deliver intense drama and compelling storytelling, continuing its exploration of grief, truth, and the lengths one will go to uncover the past.






Jon Batiste Joins Channel 4’s Acclaimed Series The Piano for its Third Season

The Piano

Image: Ch4 Press

By Jon Donnis

Five-time Grammy Award winner Jon Batiste is set to join Channel 4's popular series, The Piano, as a judge and mentor for its third season. Batiste, a celebrated singer, songwriter, and composer, will replace classical pianist Lang Lang when the show returns next year.

Lang Lang will make his final appearance during a special one-hour Christmas episode this December, featuring talented pianists from the second series performing festive tunes for commuters, alongside special guests and surprises.

Batiste brings extensive experience to The Piano, having worked with stars like Stevie Wonder, Prince, and Beyoncé. He has won multiple Grammy Awards and an Oscar for his work on Pixar's "Soul."

Joining Batiste will be Mika and Claudia Winkleman. The trio will visit five iconic railway stations across the UK, giving amateur pianists a chance to showcase their talents on public pianos.

Series two concluded with Liverpudlian Brad performing his own composition at Manchester's Aviva Studios, moving the audience and raising funds for street pianos in train stations nationwide.

Jon Batiste expressed his excitement, stating, "This show will bring together my unique history of performing in both train stations and concert halls. Music at its best creates community and brings folks together in divided times."

Lang Lang shared his joy of being part of the show and his confidence in Batiste, saying, "Jon Batiste will be fantastic in the role."

Channel 4's Chief Creative Officer Ian Katz and Love Productions' Executive Producer Richard McKerrow both praised Batiste's addition, highlighting his musical versatility and passion for mentoring new talent.

The Piano is commissioned by Channel 4's Shaminder Nahal and Madonna Benjamin and produced by Love Productions.

Monday 17 June 2024

England v Serbia Draws Record-Breaking Viewership for BBC Sport’s Euros Coverage

By Jon Donnis

In a remarkable display of unity and excitement, England's Men's Euros opener against Serbia captivated more than half of the UK's television audience on Sunday evening. The BBC's comprehensive coverage of the event on BBC TV and BBC iPlayer drew in viewers by the millions, showcasing the nation's enthusiasm for the tournament.

The match, broadcast live on BBC One, reached a peak audience of 15 million viewers. This staggering figure underscores the widespread appeal and anticipation surrounding England's performance in the Euros. Additionally, the match was streamed 3.5 million times on BBC iPlayer, indicating a significant shift towards digital consumption of live sports. On average, 10.5 million viewers tuned in, representing a 60% share of the TV audience during the broadcast.

Alex Kay-Jelski, Director of BBC Sport, expressed his delight at the massive turnout, stating, "The nation came together in huge numbers to follow BBC Sport's coverage of the first weekend of the Men's Euros. Whether it was the tension of England's opening win, the fallout of Scotland's tough start, the exciting performances from Germany and Spain or the heartwarming story of seeing Christian Eriksen score three years on from his collapse on the pitch, it's great that we can showcase the best sporting storytelling across BBC TV, iPlayer, Radio and Online."

The BBC's extensive coverage of the tournament extends beyond live broadcasts. Fans can access a wealth of content, including TV highlights and digital clips, on the BBC Sport website and social media platforms. This multi-platform approach ensures that audiences can engage with the tournament in various ways, enhancing their overall viewing experience.

Looking ahead, the BBC is set to continue its robust coverage of the Euros with upcoming matches featuring home nations. Viewers can look forward to Scotland facing Switzerland on BBC One from 7.25 pm on Wednesday, June 19, and England taking on Denmark on BBC One from 4 pm on Thursday, June 20. Both games will also be available on BBC iPlayer, BBC 5 Live, BBC Sounds, and online, ensuring fans do not miss a moment of the action.

This surge in viewership highlights the enduring popularity of football in the UK and the critical role that the BBC plays in bringing major sporting events to the public. The comprehensive coverage and storytelling provided by BBC Sport not only keep fans informed but also bring them together to share in the triumphs and tribulations of their favorite teams.

Watch Highlights Below

Sunday 16 June 2024

COMPETITION: Win Harry Wild Series 1 and 2 Box set on DVD


Harry Wild Series 3 is currently streaming on Acorn TV.

And to celebrate we have a great competition and a copy of the Series 1 and 2 Box set on DVD to give away.

Synopsis
Starring the inimitable Jane Seymour (The Kominsky Method, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman) as a literature professor turned sleuth, this series sees her start her retirement as she means to go on – solving crimes with a sharp mind, unique sense of humour and a not-giving-a-damn attitude. Cracking cases on the streets of Dublin with trusty sidekick Fergus Reid (Rohan Nedd – Whitstable Pearl), this series proves that there’s no one way to be a sleuth – all you need is a ballsy attitude. 

With Series 3 currently streaming on Acorn TV, now is the perfect time to catch up with Harry Wild Series 1 and DVD 2 Box set. Both series are also available on DVD and digital.  

Buy from Amazon at - https://amzn.to/3xndUpF

Enter now for a chance to win.

What is the name of the character played by Jane Seymour?

Send your name, address and of course the answer to competition365@outlook.com

Quick Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 01-07-24
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.

COMPETITION: Win My Life Is Murder Series 1 to 3 Box set


This month heralds the return of sleuthing sensation My Life Is Murder, starring the inimitable Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess, Parks and Recreation) who’s back on streaming service Acorn TV for a fourth instalment of this must-see fan-favourite crime drama.

And to celebrate we have a great competition and a copy of the Series 1 to 3 Box set on DVD to give away.

Synopsis
The talented and charming Lucy Lawless stars as Alexa Crowe in one of Australia’s most popular crime dramas My Life Is Murder. The tenacious and unapologetic retired cop turned private detective always brings her dry wit and brash style to her investigations in this hugely entertaining mystery series. 

With brand-new season 4 premiering on Acorn TV from 17 June, now is the perfect time to discover this sun-drenched adventure. My Life Is Murder Series 1 to 3 DVD Box set is available now and all series are also available on DVD and digital.

Buy from Amazon at - https://amzn.to/3Vp68ng

Enter now for a chance to win.

Who stars as Alexa Crowe in My Life Is Murder?

Send your name, address and of course the answer to competition365@outlook.com

Quick Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 01-07-24
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.

Friday 14 June 2024

Production Begins on the Second Series of ITV’s Acclaimed Drama "Karen Pirie"

Image: ITV Press

By Jon Donnis

ITV, ITVX, STV, and STV Player have announced the commencement of filming for the highly-anticipated second series of the critically acclaimed drama "Karen Pirie." Produced by the award-winning World Productions, known for hits like "The Pembrokeshire Murders," "Line of Duty," and "Malpractice," the new series promises to deliver another captivating cold-case investigation.

Adapted by Emer Kenny from Val McDermid's novel "A Darker Domain," the three-episode series will continue to follow the fearless young Scottish investigator Karen Pirie, portrayed by BAFTA Scotland award-winning actress Lauren Lyle. Lyle, who earned both Best Actress Television and the Audience Award for Favourite Scot on Screen for her performance in the first series, will once again take on the lead role.

Returning alongside Lyle are Chris Jenks as DC Jason 'Mint' Murray, Zach Wyatt as DS Phil Parhatka, Steve John Shepherd as DCS Lees, Emer Kenny as River Wilde, and Rakhee Thakrar as Bel Richmond. The team will delve into the 1984 kidnapping of heiress Catriona Grant and her baby son, a case that stumped investigators and left Scotland in suspense.

Newcomers to the series include Saskia Ashdown as DC Isla Stark, James Cosmo and Frances Tomelty as Catriona's parents, oil magnate Sir Broderick Grant and his ex-wife Mary, and John Michie as Fergus Sinclair, the father of Cat's son Adam. The past timeline of 1984 will feature Julia Brown as Catriona Grant, with Mark Rowley, Kat Ronney, Conor Berry, Stuart Campbell, Jamie Michie, Madeleine Worrall, and Jack Stewart portraying key figures from the original investigation.

Set against the backdrop of 1984's politically charged environment, the kidnapping of Catriona Grant and her son Adam was presumed to have political motivations. Despite a massive investigation and media frenzy, the case went cold when the culprits vanished without a trace. Decades later, Karen Pirie is tasked with reopening the case when new evidence emerges, leading her into a web of secrecy and danger as she seeks to uncover what truly happened to Catriona and her son.

Simon Heath, CEO and Executive Producer at World Productions, expressed his excitement about the series' return: "I've never been asked so often about when a character is returning to our screens. Well, Karen is back again – as whip-smart as ever with an intriguing new cold case from the 1980s. Drawn from Val's terrific novel, Emer's tremendous scripts have attracted an exciting new guest cast to join our established names. I can't wait for everyone to see the finished show."

Emer Kenny, the series' writer and executive producer, shared her personal connection to the character: "I've never related to a character more than Karen Pirie. When she's laughing, I'm laughing. When she's stressed, I'm stressed. When she turns to drink… well, you get the idea. So I'm delighted to be bringing her back to your screens, now a Detective Inspector with more power, more confidence, and some of the same iconic sweater vests. We have a dazzling cast, a heroic crew, and epic plot twists. If Karen Pirie isn't already your favourite detective, I promise she will be soon."

Huw Kennair-Jones, ITV's Drama Commissioner, praised the returning series: "After the well-deserved success of the first series, it's great filming has started again on Karen Pirie and that we're returning to the brilliant characters and world Emer has created. And with a stellar cast led by the BAFTA Scotland-winning Lauren Lyle and produced by the always excellent World Productions, the second series promises to deliver a gripping story that'll keep the ITV and ITVX audiences guessing until the very end. We can't wait for it to hit the screens."

The first series of "Karen Pirie" launched to an audience of 6.6 million viewers, averaging 5.9 million per episode, and was one of the most-watched new dramas on ITV in 2022. It received accolades such as Best Drama Series at the Celtic Media Festival and rave reviews from major publications.

The second series of "Karen Pirie" will air on ITV1 and be available for streaming on ITVX, with World Productions' Simon Heath and Emma Luffingham, along with Emer Kenny and Val McDermid, serving as executive producers. The series is directed by Gareth Bryn and Amanda Blue, with Marcus Wilson producing.

Filming is currently underway in Scotland and will also take place in Malta, promising viewers another thrilling investigation led by one of television's most compelling detectives.