Autumn on Channel 4
When the lights fade on a spectacular London 2012 Paralympic Games closing ceremony on Sunday 9th September, Channel 4 will replace the sport-shaped void in everyone’s lives with a thrilling and varied line-up of programming for the autumn and winter.
Channel 4’s season includes quality new drama in The Fear, Everyday, Utopia and Run; landmark factual events such as Drugs Live and Plane Crash; innovative new series including 999: What’s Your Emergency? and Jewish Mum of the Year and some of the Channel’s biggest names coming together for some major new projects such as Hotel Britannia, Jamie and Jimmy’s Food Fight Club, Heston Feeds 5,000 and Kevin McCloud: Man Made Home.
There are also two much anticipated returns: Homeland ‘s second outing and, 30 years after the original, the return of Raymond Briggs’ iconic animation with The Snowman and The Snowdog.
Channel 4 genre seasons in more detail:
A brand new major series 999: What’s Your Emergency? will feature Blackpool’s three emergency services – police, fire and ambulance – in a unique collaboration that captures the entire emergency from the moment a call is taken at the control centre to the deployment of the services on the ground.
Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial (w/t) will see volunteers take MDMA, the purest form of Class A drug ecstasy, as part of a six-month long neuroscience study. The two-part documentary experiment will examine the effects of the drug on resting brain activity for the first time alongside a live debate. Plane Crash is a one-off, 90-minute, ground-breaking scientific experiment that recreates a passenger jet crash, providing new insights into how planes react in a potentially fatal accident. The documentary will feature unprecedented 360-degree footage of a real Boeing 727 aircraft as it hits the ground with an international team of experts on hand to examine the consequences.
Guy Martin: Building Britain is a brand new history series that follows the motorcycle racer as he brings Britain’s industrial achievements to life and tells the story of the nation’s landmark achievements, from the railways, factories and docks to mines, gardens and holidays.
Bafta-winning film-maker Patrick Forbes returns to Channel 4 with a major new series, The Aristocracy (w/t), which will examine modern day high society. Families will open up their day-to-day lives and give their view on society’s changes and their place within it.
Returning for a second pioneering specialist factual series, The Food Hospital will again examine patients to find out if their health problems can be alleviated or cured by the food they eat. The team of medical experts will also aim to reveal the untold health benefits and medicinal properties of certain foods, whilst busting myths, widely-held misconceptions and old wives’ tales.
COMEDY & ENTERTAINMENT
Full English will serve up a very British slice of comedy life in Channel 4’s first brand new fully-animated series, where a typical Brit family end up debating the state of the nation and, more importantly, the state of ‘slebs’ from James Corden to Simon Cowell.
Gok Wan hosts his first entertainment format, Baggage, a brand-new dating game show that makes contestants choose and reject potential partners on the basis of their personal and relationship baggage. Dates must choose from three contestants who gradually reveal the hidden secrets and crazy flaws that they’d normally keep firmly under wraps to impress a date. #
Returning series include Golden Rose Award winner Friday Night Dinner starring Simon Bird and Tom Rosenthal as they play a pair of twenty-something’s returning to their childhood home to have dinner with their parents. There will also be a Christmas special. Peep Show returns for an eighth series. As Dobby agrees to move in with Mark, it’s time for Jeremy to move out and for both friends to grow up and move on. Derren Brown returns with two apocalyptic specials; there will be three bumper Big Fat Quiz Specials based on the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s hosted by Jimmy Carr; and The British Comedy Awards is back for other year. Alan Carr: Chatty Man hosts a new series of his chat show filled with celebrity guests, and Davina McCall asks more viewers to try and beat the Million Pound Drop Live. Over on E4, Meet the Parents returns for a brand new series.
Stand Up To Cancer will see television, music and film stars will come together for a new national fundraising event to galvanise the public in the fight against cancer. The on-air season will build over a whole week on Channel 4, culminating in a live fundraising entertainment extravaganza in collaboration with Cancer Research UK.
The Unseen Frankie Howard will reveal never before seen footage of Frankie Howard twenty years after his death. And 4Funnies showcases brand new comedy in the form of new thirty-minute pilots.
FACTUAL ENNTERTAINMENT, FEATURES & DAYTIME
Kevin McCloud: Man Made Home (w/t) will see our eponymous hero turn childhood fantasy into reality when he goes off-grid to build a cabin in the woods; recycling, re-using and re-purposing along the way to create his very own self-designed, self-built haven.
Hotel Britannia (w/t) welcomes viewers to Channel 4’s very own hotel run by the channel’s biggest faces including Gordon Ramsay, Mary Portas and others. They will work together to raise money for employment charities and training schemes.
With the help of The Jewish News, Channel 4 is searching for the ultimate Jewish Mum of the Year. Excessive, overprotective, neurotically anxious and ever-present – yet also an emblem of unstinting love and devotion – the Jewish mother has come to epitomise what it means to be a mum.
George Clarke’s Small Space Revolution (w/t) will see the architect set out to create his own small hideaway as he celebrates the extraordinary world of small design spaces.
Gadget-fanatic Stephen Fry offers up his unique and engaging insight into the wonderful world of technology in Stephen Fry: Gadget Man (w/t) showcasing some of the most impressive gadgets on the market, and by using the very best time-saving tools, he demonstrates how ordinary everyday activities can be made more exciting.
Heston Feeds 5,000 (w/t) will follow Heston Blumenthal as he turns food into theatre. He will travel around the UK to transform British food favourites such as the fry-up, the traditional sweet shop, and the packed lunch into super-sized culinary spectacles whole communities can enjoy together.
Jamie and Jimmy’s Food Fight Club will re-unite Essex boys and old school chums Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty as they take over a local seaside café to bring together friends, locals and special guests for a food fight where anything goe
Filmed over a period of five years, Everyday is a single feature-length drama featuring award-winning director Michael Winterbottom and starring John Simm as a prisoner and Shirley Henderson as his wife. The ambitious drama is a tender and unique portrayal of one family living through a prison sentence.
Coup is a contemporary conspiracy thriller starring Gabriel Byrne as politician Tom Dawkins. He is joined by a roster of Britain’s best on-screen talent including Douglas Hodge, Gina McKee and Charles Dance.
The Fear stars Peter Mullan as Brighton crime boss turned entrepreneur Richie Beckett whose hard-earned respectability is threatened by two new enemies: an invading Albanian mafia and an aggressive form of early onset dementia. The four-part series is written by Richard Cottan, directed by Michael Samuels and stars Harry Lloyd, Paul Nicholls, Anastasia Hille and Richard E Grant.
Utopia is a six-part thriller from Dennis Kelly which centres on a mysterious graphic novel and a shadowy unit called The Network who will stop at nothing to keep its origin and meaning a secret. Paul Higgins, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Alexandra Roach, Adeel Akhtar and Neil Maskell head up an ensemble cast of UK talent who find themselves embroiled in a cult conspiracy theory turned terrifyingly real.
Complicit is a compelling single drama from acclaimed writer Guy Hibbert. Starring David Oyelowo, the drama explores the murky moral compromises that underpin the hidden intelligence war and asks if torture is ever justified when fighting a War on Terror.
Run stars Olivia Colman, Lennie James, Katie Leung and Jamie Winstone in an original four-part series from new writers Marlon Smith and Daniel Fajemisin-Duncan. The interconnectedness of apparently separate lives is revealed through the compelling stories of five people faced with impossible choices.
The Snowman and The Snowdog will be at the centrepiece of Channel 4’s Christmas programming. This charming sequel will unite Raymond Briggs’ children’s favourite with a new friend.
Meanwhile on E4, My Fat Mad Teenage Diary sees newcomer Sharon Rooney star as the heroine in a brand new series adapted from the real-life diary of writer Rae Earl. Set in the mid-90s at the height of cool Britannia, the comedy drama takes a hilarious and honest look at teenage life from the perspective of a sixteen-year-old.
The multi-award winning, smash-hit drama Homeland, with Damien Lewis and Claire Danes, returns for a second series, along with the critically acclaimed comedy drama series Fresh Meat, written by Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong. Ashley Walters reprises his acclaimed role in the second series of Ronan Bennett‘s searing thriller Top Boy about living life on the edge. Finally on E4, now in its fourth series, Misfits returns with business as usual and introduces a couple of new faces at the community centre.