Channel 4 has today announced a slate of new dramas to air in 2016 and 2017.
Introducing the commissions, Channel 4’s Head of Drama Piers Wenger promised “a consistent presence of topical, entertaining drama across the schedule.”
Wenger also gave a nod to the production partners on the shows. In a recent interview with Broadcast magazine, he forecasted that next year at least 80% of Channel 4’s peak-time drama output would be co-produced.
He said that at least three E4 commissions were set to benefit from co-production deals with American partners thanks to a doubling of their budgets to around £1.2m per hour.
These deals come after the recent successes of Indian Summers which received funding from PBS Masterpiece and Humans, a co-production with US Cable Network AMC.
Wenger announced three dramas new that will air on Channel 4 or E4 in 2016 and 2017.
Kiss Me First
Kiss Me First is an emotional thriller from Brian Elsley, the writer of Skins and Dates.
The six-part series follows Leila, a solitary 17-year-old girl who turns to an online gaming website to tackle her loneliness.
There she meets Tess, a cool party girl who is everything Leila wants to be. However Tess harbours a dark secret.
The two girls become friends in the real world, but when Tess vanishes Leila decides to assume her friend’s identity and in doing so, begins to untangle the mystery of her disappearance.
This ground-breaking show will combine live action and the computer-generated virtual world of the online game to create the parallel worlds that these two girls inhabit.
The programme is a co-production between Netflix and E4 and will be available on the online subscription service immediately after its UK broadcast.
Channel 4 has described this show as “about friendship, ambition, gluttony, the particularly British distaste for other people’s success, and what happens when you’ve got £11.5m in the bank but the cash machine has a £300 daily limit.”
Four life-long friends find themselves with more money than they know what to do with after selling their startup videogame company for £246m.
The comedy-drama is written by Jon Brown (Fresh Meat, Peep Show, Misfits) who said “I am very much looking forward to mining the experience of being an instant millionaire in 2016 to find the most difficult, painful, socially uncomfortable experiences imaginable.”
The show is a co-production between Hillbilly Films and Keshet UK commissioned for Channel 4 by Piers Wenger, and is due to begin filming in 2016.
Foreign Bodies follows British lads Sean and Dylan as they embark on a three-month backpacking trip around Asia.
In Beijing they meet American girls May and Ashley and decide to travel together, however they find that the journey takes them places they could never have expected.
All of the gang have their own reasons for traveling. May wants to meet her extended family in China, Ashley wants to live a little before she returns home to start her high-flying career, Dylan wants to find and win back his ex-girlfriend and Sean just wants to shed his innocence and grow up.
Along the way they encounter Greg, a 38-year-old divorcee who doesn’t want to travel alone and is hoping to relive the hedonism and passion of his youth.
The show is being written by Tom Blasden (Fresh Meat, Plebs, The Wrong Mans), with Misfits director Jonathan van Tulleken on board to direct several episodes.
The writing team includes Catastrophe writer and star Rob Delaney, Veep writer Tony Roche and Edinburgh Comedy Award winners Tim Key (Alan Partridge) and Johnny Sweet (Together).
Foreign Bodies is being produced by Eleven who previously produced Glue for E4 in 2014.