BBC Three reveals new shows, new platforms and new talent initiatives ahead of BBC Three’s reinvention online.
These include a collaboration with Idris Elba’s Green Door Pictures, new British drama Clique, new documentary Black Power, new formats Life And Death Row: Love Triangle and Unsolved: The Boy Who Disappeared, along with new platforms The Daily Drop and The Best Of.
On Tuesday 16 February, BBC Three will switch from a linear broadcast channel to an online first destination. The new service will feature brand new original British comedy, contemporary British drama, innovative entertainment, thought-provoking documentaries and distinctive current affairs programming all made for BBC Three’s 16-34 target audience.
At an event in London, BBC Three unveiled two new platforms: The Best Of - which will bring together original long-form programmes and a range of new content, including short form films - and The Daily Drop - home to BBC Three’s new stream of daily content including short-form videos, blogs, social media, image galleries, trending stories and daily updates from news and sport. The Daily Drop will roll out in Beta over the next few days. The Best Of will launch in February.
Cuckoo series three
Switchover night on Tuesday 16 February will see episode one of the new series of Cuckoo, the first film from the new series of BAFTA-winning Life And Death Row, and Live From The BBC, featuring some of Britain’s best new comedians, made available exclusively through BBC Three’s new online platform and BBC Three on iPlayer.
BBC Three also announced a range of comedy, drama and documentary commissions and formats featuring new talent, new writers and new directors. These include:
A collaboration between BBC Drama and Idris Elba’s production company, Green Door Pictures, to deliver a series of short films from new writers featuring new on-screen talent working alongside established on-screen talent.
Love Triangle, a standalone serial of 8x8-minute films from Life And Death Row. The films will follow a standalone story and be published at regular intervals alongside supporting documents, including witness statements, secret police recordings and crime scene photographs.
Brand new contemporary drama Clique from writer Jess Brittain centred around two friends whose lives becoming increasingly complicated after starting university in Edinburgh.
New short-form series Life Hacks with Ben Hart, where he brings his magic to unsuspecting members of the public.
New format Unsolved: The Boy Who Disappeared. Alys Harte and Bronagh Munro investigate the real-life disappearance of a teenager 20 years ago. Unrestricted by linear schedules, the story will be told using a variety of formats, including video.
Black Power. Dan Murdoch's follow up to KKK: The Fight For White Supremacy. This new documentary will see Dan revisit the USA and meet the Ku Klux Klan and Black Panther movements.
New Stacey Dooley documentaries on attitudes to sex and prostitution in Turkey, Brazil and Russia and a new short film about the New Year’s Eve attacks in Cologne.
Damian Kavanagh, Controller of BBC Three, says: “BBC Three is a badge of quality and shorthand for content that will stimulate emotions and provoke reactions. It's the same award-winning programmes freed from the constraints of linear TV, and because we're freed from the schedule we can use whatever format and platform is most appropriate. The majority of what we will make is TV, like People Just Do Nothing, but we'll make short-form video, blogs and picture-led stories as well. We'll be on YouTube, Snapchat, Facebook and our new site The Daily Drop.
“The shackles are off when it comes to creativity. In February, our new drama Thirteen will include companion story Find The Girl that interweaves a character that exists wholly online. Unsolved: The Boy Who Disappeared and Emelia’s Story are exciting because we can now use different formats as well as TV to tell the story. Life Hacks shows how we can innovate with entertainment for new platforms. We're blazing a trail with content made exclusively for young people.
“Also in February, we have Murdered By My Father… an incredibly powerful film about an honour killing. Professor Green's documentary on suicide kicked off the debate about mental health in men. The British Army want to use Is This Rape? in a training programme. That's what we should be doing at BBC Three, starting debate and provoking reactions. I want Murdered By My Father to do what Murdered By My Boyfriend did. It’s also a good example of the creative freedom we have. Murdered By My Boyfriend had to deliver at 60 minutes. In the edit this was running at 75. That’s fine now; we’re not constrained by timeslots. Whatever works for the story.
“New talent is at the core of BBC Three. We're working with Idris Elba's Green Door Pictures on a series of London-set drama shorts featuring chance encounters between two people. A co-development with BBC Drama in-house, these will focus on developing new and up-and-coming writing talent as well as giving opportunities for new actors to work with established talent.
"When we were developing BBC Three, we kept everything focused on what our audience told us they wanted. Different types of content they could dip into during the day that kept them informed and entertained, and comedy and documentaries they could binge watch at their convenience. That's basically the idea behind The Daily Drop and The Best Of. Snackable daily updates for when you're on the bus and longer programmes and other content for when you’re in front of the TV. For those big moments when you want a collective viewing experience we're using the BBC's live platform so we can create moments like director Q&As, and encourage audience interaction.”
Marnie Dickens, writer of Thirteen, says: "Working on BBC Three meant one thing. Freedom. To tell the story the way we wanted to tell it. Launching as an online drama allowed us to create a parallel interactive story that takes the audience deeper into the world of Thirteen."
Jess Brittain, writer of Clique says: “BBC Three has always been a home for newer voices and fostering emerging writers, actors and directors. I am so excited to be a part of their new chapter, and the chance to reach a diverse audience online.“
Idris Elba of Green Door Pictures, says: “I’m looking forward to working with BBC Three and giving new writers and actors a chance to show what they can do."
Fiona Campbell, Head of Current Affairs at the BBC says: “We know young people want content that makes them think, and that’s exactly what we’ll continue to give them. Last year, our programme on the Ku Klux Klan was the most watched documentary on BBC Three, and this year we’ll revisit race relations in the US when we follow the Black Liberation Movement. With brave and ambitious access, and the likes of Stacey and Reggie exploring the issues that matter to young people, we’ll keep thought-provoking, modern journalism and documentaries at the heart of BBC Three.”
Dan Murdoch, producer/director of Black Power, says: “I spent last summer with a resurgent Ku Klux Klan, but I also met counter protesters from the African American community, many of them chanting 'Black Power'. When I discovered that some of these groups are arming themselves with shotguns and rifles, saying they have to patrol neighbourhoods to defend against white supremacist attacks and police brutality, and openly calling for armed revolution – I knew I needed to find out more.”
New content announced at the BBC Three preview in London
Clique is a brand new six-part drama created by Jess Brittain and written by Jess Brittain, Kirstie Swain and Milly Thomas. Childhood soulmates Georgia and Holly are only a few weeks into the so-called best years of their lives at Edinburgh Uni, when Georgia gets drawn into an elite clique of alpha girls, led by lecturer Jude Monroe. Jude’s brand of feminism is alluring, just like the circle of bright students she surrounds herself with. Georgia's effortless entry into the clique leaves Holly out in the cold. But Holly's jealousy soon escalates to panic as Georgia begins acting erratically. Alarmed by this transformation in her best friend, Holly is compelled to follow her into Jude’s closely guarded circle.
What she discovers is a seductive world of lavish parties, populated by Edinburgh's highest-powered business men and women. But it’s a world underpinned by sordid compromise, and as Holly exposes its deeply corrupt core, the danger mounts from all angles, for her and Georgia. Can Holly reclaim her soulmate? And at what cost to herself?
6x45, BBC Drama and Balloon Entertainment Co-production.
Life Hacks (working title) will see magician Ben Hart, star of award-winning series Killer Magic, take on a host of seemingly simple tips and hints to help simplify everyday life. In 20x3-minute episodes Hart will persuade a range of unwitting members of the public he’s showing them ways to be more efficient with a range of impressive life hacks, but all is not as it seems.
20x3 from Objective Scotland, Second Star, and Money Reality.
Unsolved: The Boy Who Disappeared (working title) sees reporters Alys Harte and Bronagh Munro launch a forensic serialised investigation into the real-life disappearance of a teenage boy who vanished after a night out with friends. Rumours in the local community abound that he was murdered, but nearly two decades later, no trace of a body has been found and, despite several arrests, no one has been charged.
The team piece together clues, knock on doors, interrogate rumours and cultivate sources. We hear from the boy's loved ones, search rumoured burial sites and encounter convicted criminals.
As they attempt to untangle the truth, the team’s ‘behind the scenes’ discussions, frustrations, revelations and questions are front and centre. With a new episode published each week - alongside additional content that allows people to immerse themselves further - audiences can follow the twists and turns of this revealing investigation and find out what might have happened to the boy who disappeared.
Black Power (working title). Last year, film-maker Dan Murdoch met members of the Black Panthers when they and the Ku Klux Klan organised rival protests in South Carolina. Now, in a follow up to KKK: The Fight For White Supremacy, Dan returns to America to take a closer look at the Black Liberation Movement. He re-visits some of the people he came across, following them more closely to explore their motivations and ambitions, and the impact of the movement in the USA today.
Stacey Dooley: Sex In The Strangest Places (working title). Stacey Dooley travels to Turkey, Russia and Brazil to uncover surprising and shocking stories about these countries’ attitudes towards sex and prostitution. Turkey is one of the only countries in the world that has legal brothels, but now conservativism is on the rise, sex workers fear for their lives. In Russia, prostitution is seen by some as a glamorous and lucrative profession, but Stacey uncovers a world of corruption and exploitation. Brazil has a reputation as a sexually liberal nation, but why are many transgender people discriminated against? Stacey puts tough questions to brothel owners and government officials, and talks to prostitutes and people affected by sex crimes to uncover a different and dark side of these three countries.
Stacey Dooley: Cologne (working title). In Cologne, Germany, large numbers of women have reported being sexually assaulted and robbed on News Year Eve by groups of men described as of North African or Arab in appearance. Stacey Dooley travels to the city to investigate the fall-out of these attacks. She gets to the heart of both the pro- and anti-immigrant protests which have broken out in the city since the attacks, but are activists just jumping on the bandwagon to further their political agenda?
Life And Death Row. The BAFTA-winning series telling the story of capital punishment through the eyes of young people whose lives have been shaped by it returns for series two. With unprecedented access inside prison walls, it discovers what it's like to live with the threat of the death chamber, as well as hearing from victims and their families, and the family of those on death row - some praying for execution, some hoping for a reprieve. Each episode focuses on different aspects of the system - execution, punishment and the complex nature of ‘truth’.
Life And Death Row
Episode four will exist entirely online and tells the story of Heather, a beautiful young wife and mother, lured to a horrific death. Her adulterous husband Joshua and his pregnant lover Emilia are arrested for the crime. Which one is telling the truth? Told in eight separate parts and published alongside witness statements, secret police recordings and photos of the crime scene, the audience can explore the lies, counter claims, secrets and double crosses – scene by scene. Will one man’s love triangle become a death sentence for both women?
New content already announced for new BBC Three
A new series of People Just Do Nothing featuring KuruptFM, a brand new series of Uncle featuring Bafta nominated Nick Helm and Elliot Speller-Gillot, a new series of Josh featuring Josh Widdicombe, Elis James, Beattie Edmondson and Jack Dee, the return of Murder In Succesville featuring Tom Davis, Cariad Lloyd and new recruits Vicky Pattison, Mark Wright, Chris Kamara, Emma Bunton and George Shelley.
Brand new comedy coming soon includes Flat TV with Tom Rosenthal and Naz Osmanoglu, Witless with Kerry Howard, and Sunny D with Dane Baptise, which started as a comedy feed - a new series of Comedy Feeds and a number of brand new comedy series will be announced soon – and Stupid Man, Smart Phone where Russell Kane is joined by a different online star every week and be dropped anywhere in the world with only their mobile phone for help.
There will be as much contemporary British drama from BBC Three as ever before. Thirteen, written by Marnie Dickens and led by Jodie Comer alongside Aneurin Barnard features Ivy Moxham after she escapes the cellar that's been her prison for the last 13 years. Today is the day she'll return to her home, to her family, to her life.
Class is a new Doctor Who spin-off from the acclaimed young adult author Patrick Ness set in contemporary London. Incredible dangers are breaking through the walls of time and space, and with darkness coming, London is unprotected.
Murdered By My Father is the story of the ‘honour’ killing of a 16-year-old girl, a riveting exploration of how family love and duty turned to violence, and murder, in a suburban British home. Written by exciting young screenwriter Vinay Patel, the drama is from the team behind Murdered By My Boyfriend.
There will be even more specialist factual programmes and documentaries from BBC Three. Stephen Manderson, AKA Professor Green returns to BBC Three with two new documentaries, one on Youth Homelessness and another on dangerous dogs.
All BBC Three originals will be available via bbc.co.uk/bbcthree and through BBC iPlayer on connected TVs, set top boxes including Sky and Virgin, games consoles including Sony Playstation and Microsoft XBox, web browsers, native iOS, Windows and Android apps and BBC Red Button+.
All BBC Three originals will be repeated on BBC One or BBC Two at a later date.
BBC Three content will also be available on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Vine and Tumblr.
In addition to the brand-new content, some of BBC Three’s award-winning and most loved shows will be made available at bbc.co.uk/bbcthree. These favourites include The Mighty Boosh, Our War and Murdered By My Boyfriend.
Notes to Editors
More info about new content already announced for new BBC Three can be found here.