BBC Studios has just secured five new arts commissions for BBC.
The new slate, which includes televised theater productions and avant-garde animation and live-action projects, will include several docs about world-renowned artists.
The 4 x 60-minute Hockney: The Queen and The Royal Peculiar (pictured), part of BBC’s imagine… art series, offers a glimpse into artist David Hockney’s process of creating The Queen’s Window, a towering stained-glass window commissioned to celebrate the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest serving monarch. The series premieres Oct. 9 at 10:45 p.m. on BBC1.
imagine… will also profile the work of artists Tracey Emin, George Benjamin and Hollywood actor Cary Grant.
In the three-part series Black Hollywood: “They’ve Gotta Have Us” artist and photographer Simon Frederick takes viewers through some of the major turning points in the history of Black cinema, from Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte to the recent critical and box office triumphs of Moonlight and Black Panther. The series premieres on BBC2 Oct. 13 at 9 p.m.
In the one-hour doc Dangerous Desires: The Scandalous Life Of Egon Schiele, audiences will learn the story of controversial Austrian artist Egon Schiele — who died of the Spanish Flu in 1918 — in his own words, using original letters and writings, many of them translated for the first time, and celebrating his artistic achievements but also debating the controversies around his often highly sexualized work. Richard Bright executive produces, and it was commissioned for the BBC by Mark Bell. The doc is set to premiere on BBC2 Nov. 3. Time to be confirmed.
The doc Daredevils and Divas: A Night at the Circus marks the 250th anniversary of cavalryman Philip Astley’s very first circus, a spectacular horseshow on the banks of the River Thames, through live acts by contemporary circus performers, behind-the-scenes access and interviews. The film is hosted by Doug Francisco of cult circus troupe The Invisible Circus. It is produced and directed by Matt David, with Phillip Dolling serving as EP for BBC Studios. It was commissioned for the BBC by Lamia Dabboussy. Day and time of broadcast have yet to be confirmed.
Commemorating the end of World War I, BBC4 will air a special episode of What Do Artists Do All Day? following Lord of the Rings-director Peter Jackson as he works on his WWI doc They Shall Not Grow Old. Richard Bright executive produces, and it was commissioned for the BBC by Mark Bell. The episode airs Nov. 4 on BBC4.
Other commissions include explorations of dance, a profile of T.S. Eliot and more.
“From the extraordinary testimony from modern icons of black cinema in Black Hollywood: They’ve Gotta Have Us to Darcy Bussell’s timely exploration of the impact of dance on mental health, these are films that explore the importance of the arts on how we live,” said BBC2 controller Patrick Holland, in a statement.
Meanwhile, BBC Ireland has announced a new slate of programming, including a number of factual commissions. These include WWI docuseries Monuments Of Remembrance, from Dan Cruikshank; Irish history programs The Chronicles Of Mourne, Showbands And Me: Ardal O’Hanlon and The Wild Man Of Golf; medical docuseries The Hospital: From The Inside; and troubled youth series Kids On The Edge.