Channel 4 cues up music series

UK pubcaster Channel 4 has ordered a raft of original music-based series promising to appeal to listeners across all genres from producers including Zig Zag and Nerd.
September 24, 2015

UK pubcaster Channel 4 has ordered a raft of original music-based series promising to appeal to listeners across all genres.

The new commissions will include the Zig Zag Productions-made Blink, a pop culture quiz show revolving around the music industry.

The six-episode series will test the music knowledge and reaction time of such celebrity contestants as Russell Kane, Lemar, Joe Swash, Vanessa Feltz and Matt Richardson. Two contestants in each episode will face a barrage of “high-speed and visual music challenges” with clips displaying for fractions of a second. Danny Fenton serves as executive producer.

Elsewhere, the 6 x 30-minute Best Before will feature the latest releases from established artists to undiscovered talents, with the only rule of thumb being that the music must be exemplary and have been released in the 30 days prior to air date.

The Somethin’ Else-produced series is expected to roll out across a daily updated blog, social media, Channel 4 platforms and linear TV. Lists will be compiled each week by a “respected musical curator,” selecting playlists from an extensive list of genres. The series is a co-funded multi-platform collaboration with C4′s VOD service, ALL 4. Ian Sharpe is to exec produce.

Meanwhile, the tentatively titled World’s Greatest Songwriters will profile varying musical icons each week while investigating the process behind their greatest hits. The 10-episode series also promises intimate performances of each musician’s catalog.

The format, which previously aired across Sky Arts as Songbook, is set to expand its cinematic look while including an assortment of contributors. Artists that have previously featured include Kasabian, Phil Collins, Ray Davies, Don McLean and Duran Duran. Paul Toogood is executive producer for Jolygood TV.

Channel 4 has also commissioned a documentary offering in-depth insight into the music and culture of the 1980s. The 90-minute, tentatively titled The 80s: Ten Years We Love to Hate will focus on such musicians as The Smiths, Siouxsie Sioux, Joy Division and Neneh Cherry. The Nerd production will explore how the decade of political disorder played out across television sets and turntables. Jeremy Lee exec produces.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.