UK pubcaster Channel 4 has commissioned three upcoming non-fiction projects, ranging from specialist factual to observational documentary.
Lost Pharaohs of the Nile (pictured) explores the history of the Black Pharaohs, from the Kingdom of Kush in what is now Sudan, who came to rule Egypt.
The 1 x 60-minute doc is an Alleycats Films production, co-commissioned by C4 and Arte, with support from Northern Ireland Screen. David Starkey serves as producer and director, with Emma Parkins and Ed Stobart executive producing. Shaminder Natal is the commissioning editor for C4, and Helene Ganichaud is the commissioning editor for Arte.
It is due to debut on C4 Oct. 27.
“We’ve built a strong independent base in Derry from scratch over the last few years and now from this foundation we want to build a long term sustainable international business,” said Alleycats MD Ed Stobart, in a statement. “This series bears all the hallmarks of the quality and care put into all of our shows but with a bold and ambitious international outlook.”
Meanwhile, C4 has commissioned Meat the Family (working title), which sees four meat-loving families sharing a home for three weeks with the animals they’d usually put on their plates, deciding at the end whether their housemates will head to a sanctuary or be sent to slaughter.
The 3 x 60-minute series is a Spun Gold TV production, based on a format created by Rise Films. Red Arrow Studios is distributing the format internationally. It is executive produced by Juliet Rice and series produced by Charlotte Davis. Nicola Brown is the commissioning editor for C4.
“In this series we confront some really timely themes of ethical eating in a unique and entertaining fashion,” said Spun Gold MD Daniela Neumann. “Why do we find it acceptable to eat a lamb but we wouldn’t eat our pet dog? Could you go back to meat once you’ve put a name and face to a meal? This is a series that will combine amazing research about animal intelligence with some heart-warming moments.”
Adds Brown: “From environmental activism to vegan sausage rolls the debate around eating meat and animal welfare is more prominent than ever before. Confronting the reality of an animal’s journey from field to plate, Meat the Family will be a life changing and emotional experiment for all involved.”
Lastly, C4 has ordered a new series that takes viewers behind the scenes at UK’s government work support service the Jobcentre.
Yorkshire: On the Job (w/t) is a 6 x 60-minute series providing access to Southern House: a Jobcentre Plus in Leeds, and a glimpse into the work that goes into ensuring people have the tools they need to get jobs.
The Minnow Films series is executive produced by Sophie Leonard and Grace Reynolds, and series produced by Martin Fuller. Rita Daniels is the commissioning editor for C4.
Said Reynolds: “We’ve spent over five years talking to the DWP about bringing the inner workings of a Jobcentre Plus to screen, which shows just how passionate we are about documenting life there with real heart, humor and humanity.”