C5 orders “Special Needs Hotel,” “Saving Babies”

UK broadcaster Channel 5 has commissioned seven factual series, including Britain's Bloodiest Dynasty: The Plantagenets, to premiere this fall and in early 2015.
August 15, 2014

Britain’s Channel 5 has commissioned seven factual series to broadcast this fall.

The programming includes the commissions Special Needs Hotel, Britain’s Bloodiest Dynasty: The Plantagenets, Britain’s Biggest Primary School, Alex Polizzi’s Secret Italy, Meet The Psychopaths and Saving Babies.

Special Needs Hotel is a three-episode documentary series that focuses on Foxes, a hotel in Somerset, England, that is staffed by young people with learning disabilities aged 16 to 24 . The hotel operates both as a competitive business and also a training academy for staff, who stay employed with Foxes for two or three years.

Coproduced by Lambent Productions and Channel 5, the series is directed by Oli Sloane and exec produced by Emma Wakefield.

In Britain’s Bloodiest Dynasty: The Plantagenets - described as a “real life Game Of Thrones” – host Dan Jones (pictured above) examines the dynasty that brought the UK out of the dark ages. The docudrama comes from in-house arm 5Production.

Beginning with Henry II, Jones offers insight into a powerful and violent family that ruled England and which Channel 5 commissioning editor Simon Ralkes describes as “The Tudors on steroids.”

“This is the Plantagenet story as I’ve always wanted to tell it: big, bloody and thrilling,”said Jones in a statement. “It’s an edge-of-your seat tour of the middle ages, and I am completely thrilled to have made this series with Channel 5, who bought into my passion for epic historical storytelling from the start.”

Britain’s Bloodiest Dynasty: The Plantagenet is exec produced by Dan Gold, produced by David Wilson, directed by James Tovell and Oliver Twitch and production managed by Tim Marckwald.

Elsewhere, filmed over the course of two terms, the four-part Britain’s Biggest Primary School focuses on Gascoigne Primary School in Barking, London, and its 1,100 pupils, 38 classes and 39 teachers. The series features stories in and out of the classroom, and documents a school that has a yearly 50% turnover rate.

Century Films and GroupM Entertainment coproduce the show, which features Rog McCabe as series producer and Liesel Evans as executive producer for Century Films, as well as Melanie Darlaston as exec producer for GroupM.

Produced by Lion Television, Underground Britain is a six-part series featuring host Rob Bell exploring the subterranean. He will visit different parts of the country to reveal hidden secrets and a world most Brits never knew existed.

Underground Britain is proving to be a real adventure as Rob Bell tirelessly squeezes himself into some tight spots to explore the unexpected and amazing worlds that lie hidden beneath the surface of Britain,” said Bill Locke, exec producer at Lion Television, in a statement.

Meet The Psychopaths is a 3 x 60-minute documentary series that features Professor Anthony Madan, a psychiatrist who creates personality profiles and assessments of infamous psychopaths, promising to use research and insight to reveal the true nature of the psychopath.

The show is produced by Wildfire Television in association with GroupM Entertainment, and exec produced by Philip Clarke and Fiona Scott for Wildfire and Tony Mousdale and Abigal Adams for GroupM. The series producer and director is Wayne Derrick.

Finally, from Special Edition Films comes Saving Babies, which promises exclusive access to the neonatal intensive care unit at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, where newborns are fighting for their lives, and shows how staff help new parents cope with their sudden emergencies.

The executive producer for Special Edition Films is Ravinder Chahal, with Alex Raw serving as producer. The series is edited by Nic Zimmerman and Jimi Simpson.

The six programs join four-part series Alex Polizzi’s Secret Italy which, as reported earlier this week, explores host Polizzi’s Italian heritage.

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