A package of superb new drama and entertainment titles has been licensed by BBC Worldwide Australasia to ABC TV in Australia, it was announced during this year's 30th Anniversary BBC Showcase.
This year’s blockbuster costume drama Bleak House (8 x 50') is an Andrew Davies adaptation of Dickens' novel, arguably the greatest ever depiction of Victorian London.
Shot with a contemporary edge and with an all-star cast (including Gillian Anderson, Denis Lawson, Alun Armstrong and Charles Dance) the series attracted more than seven million viewers in the UK and was unanimously celebrated by the British press.
"This is a powerful package of some of the latest British drama and entertainment. I am particularly excited about Bleak House, one of the most impressive and well-structured new dramas I’ve seen for a very long time," said Marena Manzoufas, ABC TV’s Head of Programming.
Alistair McGowan, better known for his comedy impressions, stars in new detective drama The Gil Mayo Mysteries (8 x 50') based on the popular series of novels by Marjorie Eccles.
Spooks star Keeley Hawes returns to Australian screens in Under the Greenwood Tree (1 x 95') an Ecosse Films adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s pastoral romance, which also stars Ben Miles (Coupling) and Steve Pemberton (Blackpool).
Hawes also stars in The Best Man (1 x 120') with Toby Stephens (Cambridge Spies) and Richard Coyle (Coupling), a dark feature from Touchpaper Television about two friends bound by their past in an obsessively destructive relationship.
"This is shaping up to be a vintage year for our drama," said Amber Knight, BBC Worldwide Australasia’s Sales Manager.
"ABC has a commitment to quality drama and entertainment, something this package of programmes genuinely delivers."
From the BBC's entertainment slate comes Joanna Lumley's new series for Baby Cow, Sensitive Skin, (6 x 30') in which she and Denis Lawson star as a couple facing their sixties in metropolitan London.
The Thick of It (6 x 30') has been a comedy sensation in the UK since its transmission last year. Starring Chris Langham (People Like Us) this Westminster-based comedy follows the relationship between a Minister, his advisers and the media, and was called "the angry, rampaging bastard child of Yes Minister" by London’s Daily Telegraph.