ViacomCBS-owned UK broadcaster Channel 5 has commissioned the landmark series 1000 Years of History from a trio of Uk indies — Middlechild, Lambent Productions and Raise the Roof Productions — which will work collaboratively to create two of six specials.
The 6 x 120-minute series will explore the “defining stories” of six of the world’s nations: China, Russia, America, Australia, Scotland and Ireland.
Told through archive and contemporary footage, as well as expert insight and analysis, each of the six specials will focus on one nation’s unique story and “dramatic” changes across centuries.
Produced by Raise the Roof Productions, the Scotland and Ireland specials will explore each countries’ history, discovering how certain events, people and places have shaped the nations.
1000 years of History – China and 1000 Years of History – Russia, produced by Lambent Productions, will document key moments in two of the oldest and historically richest nations in the world.
Finally, Middlechild is producing 1000 Years of History – Australia and 1000 Years of History – America. Both focus on the fate of Indigenous people, early European settlers and colonialism, the birth of democracy and federal governments, through to industrialization and the present day.
The three indies have all been commissioned as equal production partners, sharing materials including archive content and contributors, alongside creating individual narratives for the respective specials.
The series is currently being filmed and will air later this year on Channel 5.
1000 Years of History is part of the broadcaster’s plans to support independent production outside of London, with Raise the Roof Productions based in Glasgow and Lambent Productions and Middlechild in Brighton.
“Now more than ever it’s important to create progressive, flexible and nimble processes that benefit producers and also meet the creative and commercial needs of the channel,” Emma Westcott, commissioning editor for Channel 5, said in a statement.
Elsewhere, Crackit Productions has produced the six-part docuseries Shoplifters: At War With The Law for the network, which follows security guards apprehending shoplifters.
The observational exploration series zeroes in on a unit of security guards in Coventry who are on “constant alert” for theft.
Shoplifters: At War With the Law is due to transmit later this year.
The series was commissioned before the COVID-19 pandemic by Channel 5 commissioning editor Daniel Louw.
Executive producers are Kerry Brierley and Elaine Hackett.