Pan-European satellite broadcaster Sky has commissioned three original programs for its art-centric TV channel Sky Arts as the network goes free-to-air.
The unscripted series anchoring the Sky Arts slate include Offended by Irvine Welsh from Lion TV, Sky Arts Book Club Live produced by Storyvault and Charles Hazlewood: Beethoven and Me from Factory 42.
The hour-long, one-off Offended by Irvine Welsh will follow the Scottish novelist and playwright as he explores the nature of offence and its impact on artistic creativity. The series, which is expected to air this fall, is executive produced by Lion’s Siobhan Mulholland with Mike Christie serving as producer and director. Barbara Lee is commissioning editor for Sky.
Elsewhere, Sky Arts is recreating the book club in Sky Arts Book Club Live. The 4 x 120-minute series will see hosts Andi Oliver and Elizabeth Day inviting four members of an existing book club to chat about their literary favorites before bringing in the author to answer any pressing questions. The series will air live on Sky Arts beginning Oct. 18. Storyvault’s Samantha Richards and Stuart Prebble executive produce. Anne Elletson is series editor. Benedetta Pinelli is commissioning editor for Sky.
Finally, Charles Hazlewood: Beethoven and Me (1 x 60 minutes) will document the British conductor as he marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig Van Beethoven by exploring the life of the renowned composer while taking a detailed look at Beethoven’s famed 5th symphony. The series is expected to air this winter. It is exec produced by Factory 42′s James Hunt. Barbara Lee is commissioning editor for Sky.
In addition to the slate of commissions, Sky says the decision to convert Sky Arts into a free-to-air network will further deepen its partnerships with artists and arts organizations, providing them with a platform to create and showcase their work. The channel will also launch a series of bursaries worth £30,000 (US$39,000) each to support and mentor budding and diverse new artists.