News: classic sitcom revivals, Memento remake, Detroit puppet comedy, Ryan Gosling’s in Blade Runner 2 + more


Film casting

Australian TV

International TV

  • Trailer for South Africa’s’s Jongo

Internet/Canadian TV

  • Jason Momoa to star in Netflix/Discovery Canada’s Frontier

UK TV show casting

  • Paul Nicholls, Sandra Huggett, Andrew Buckley and Gemma Dobson join In The Club
  • Lily James, Peter Egan and Matt Barber to return to Downton Abbey, Patricia Hodge to guest

New UK TV shows

  • BBC One developing: specials/series of The Good Life, Are You Being Served?, Up Pompeii! and Keeping Up Appearances


US TV show casting

New US TV shows

New US TV show casting

  • JustStark

    Memento remake planned

    So what did they do wrong the first time, that needs fixed?

  • GYAD

    They can't remember but they think they might have a polaroid somewhere that explains it all…

  • GYAD

    “BBC One developing: specials/series of The Good Life, Are You Being Served?, Up Pompeii! and Keeping Up Appearances”


  • Mark Carroll

    Ouch. (-: Yes, a few remakes/revivals planned it seems that bring plenty of potential for disappointment. Mind you, with “Memento” I never did really figure out the truth, though it was supposed to be less ambiguous than I found it. I was ignorant of the Indian remakes.

  • GYAD

    The Indian remake (Ghajini?) was pretty good.

  • Danny Cohen, I suspect. I almost predicted it when he took over BBC One.

  • GYAD

    Thank God he's gone then. I've never forgiven him for dumping Zen for Luther.

  • I'm surprised there wasn't room for both. I suspect Danny thought it was a bit too 'old school' BBC and wanted something a bit more 'modern'

  • GYAD

    If I remember correctly, his explanation was that there was a limited number of slots available for returning series and he went with Luther because it was one of the few BBC shows with a black lead.

  • 'Limited number of slots'?

    Given that these days a BBC series hitting even six episodes is starting to look like a huge commission, I'm wondering how that works. Zen ran to three episodes; Luther ran to four.

    Last I looked, there were 365 days in the year, four BBC channels, with drama able to run from at least 8-10pm…

  • Here's Danny in action: 'BBC One controller to cull male crime-fighters'

    So I guess 'slots' in the sense of 'number of male detectives'. And I guess that's why we've had so many identikit female detectives instead.

  • JustStark

    Presumably by 'slots' he means 'money' rather than 'time'.

    (Could the fact that Zen was filmed in Italy but Luthor is filmed in London have played a part in the decision as well?)

  • To a certain extent, probably, but also:

    Budgets are always interesting, but Zen was a co-prod with WGBH Boston, ZDF and Mediaset, whereas Luther was/is a BBC Drama production. Overseas sales complicate that, I think, since Luther does well in the US, but as that's BBCWW and so money doesn't go back to BBC One directly (AFAIK). So Zen was probably cheaper.

    You also get onto the question of why if the BBC is worried about reduced budgets, it doesn't consider producing longer-running shows, which can amortise costs over a series, rather than shows that run to three or four episodes per series tops.

  • JustStark

    Ah, and to make things even more murky, Zen was an external production (Left Bank Pictures, apparently) (meaning, among other things, that the BBC wouldn't see a penny of any overseas or DVD sales, assuming there were some) whereas Luther is in-house (so while the overseas / DVD money goes to BBCWW, it does at least go to a bit of the BBC rather than to a third-party production house).

    Many factors probably fed into this decision; I wouldn't necessarily assume that it was all about reducing the number of male detectives on the Beeb…

  • Actually, BBC Worldwide was one of the distributors for Zen, so the Beeb would have got some of the overseas sales through the same routes as for Luther:

  • JustStark

    Murkier and murkier! So Luthor they get all the money and all the control, but have to pay the full cost of, whereas Zen they get distributor's cut but not the rest, but on the other hand they don't take the full risk…

    Depending on the spin you could probably justify any decision you like. Maybe Rufus Sewell was rude to somebody at a party once?

  • I suspect that Danny didn't like the twist in Dark City

  • GYAD

    Limited amount of cash, I think, but it was years ago so I've forgotten most of the details (and anyway, I've always found you can't trust anything people tell you about how British drama is commissioned). Googling around it looks like the race thing wasn't mentioned at the time, so either I've invented it or it's something I was told at the time by an insider.

  • It's a decent enough reason to keep Luther. But cancelling Zen as well seems odd, if your only plan is to produce a set of identical dramas but with women. I wasn't a fan of Zen, but at least it was something different*

    *Well, maybe Italian Wallander. But still different

  • GYAD

    Italian Wallander but with more style, fun, sunshine and Caterina Murino…