Channel 4

Channel 4 promises more distinctive content for 2019

Ed Stafford will explore homelessness for Channel 4 (Credit: C4)

The new shows are part of a deliberate drive by the channel to offer distinctive content, in a bid to beat competition from streaming services and other broadcasters.

At the launch of the new slate, Ian Katz, the channel’s Director of Programming, said he wants to focus on “entertaining, mischievous and innovative shows about the big issues and arguments in Britain today.”

He added: “Many of the shows [launching in 2019] are not ones that the global digital giants, even as they plough billions into new content, would be remotely interested in making.”

Channel 4 commissions Syrian conflict documentary

(Credit: Channel 4)

Filmed from 2011 until 2016, For Sama begins with Al Kateab as a student at the University of Aleppo and follows her journey as she joins the uprising against the regime, falls in love, gets married and eventually gives birth to her daughter, Sama.

In 2016, Waad Al Kateab and her husband Hamza made the difficult decision to remain in Aleppo despite the looming approach of Syrian forces.

Channel 4 launches new ad targeting solution

All4 logo (Credit: Channel 4)

Dynamic TV will allow advertisers to deliver personalised adverts to viewers across a number of devices, including desktop and mobile VoD platforms, smart TVs, gaming consoles and the small screen.

Suzuki and Boots will be the first advertisers to use the solution, allowing the companies to collate first-party data from Channel 4 and personalise advertisements based on demographics, data, time of day, location and weather.

Robert James-Collier and Charlie Hardwick join Ackley Bridge

Robert James-Collier and Charlie Hardwick (Credit: Channel 4)

Having recently been taken over by the Valley Trust, new deputy head teacher Martin Evershed (Robert James-Collier) and director of behaviour Sue Carp (Charlie Hardwick) are called in to put the school to rights.

Ackley Bridge’s upcoming third season will also see Jo Joyner return as headteacher Mandy Carter, along with Poppy Lee Friar and Amy-Leigh Hickman who play school friends Missy and Nasreen.

 “I am thrilled to be asked to play the part of Martin Evershed, the new Deputy Head at Ackley Bridge,” said Robert James-Collier on his new role.

Stath Lets Flats returns for a second series

Stath (Jamie Demetriou) in Stath Lets Flats (Credit: Channel 4)

The six-part series stars the show’s writer, Jamie Demetriou, as Stath, the UK’s worst letting agent.

After the chaos of the previous series, which included Stath setting fire to a property, the well-meaning lettings agent has been denied a promotion at his own family’s business.

Now under the management of Stath’s nemesis Julian (Dustin Demri-Burns), the hopeless estate agent must re-think what he wants out of life, just like his sister Sophie (Natasia Demetriou), who has failed her exams at Dance College.

Rick and Morty heads to Channel 4

Rick and Morty (Credit: Adult Swim/Fox)

Kicking off in February, the deal has landed the public broadcaster an array of shows, including an exclusive premiere of the fourth season of the award-winning sci-fi cartoon Rick and Morty on Channel 4.

The premiere will mark the show’s first ever broadcast on free-to-air television in the UK.

Rick and Morty is one of the most anarchic, ingenious and original shows around and the breakthrough animated hit of recent years,” commented Ian Katz, Channel 4 Director of Programmes.

Channel 4 to air a new documentary series on Michael Jackson abuse allegations

Michael Jackson (Credit: Channel 4)

From award-winning director Dan Reed (This World), Leaving Neverland (w/t) documents the accounts from James Safechuck and Wade Robson as they describe the sexual abuse they went through as children by Michael Jackson.

At the time of the allegations, Safechuck was 10 years-old and Robson was seven as they were befriended by Jackson during the height of the music star’s career.