Channel 5

Channel 5’s drive for drama

There must be something in the water at Channel 5. In 2020, it won Channel of the Year at both the RTS Programme Awards and the Broadcast Awards. The RTS’s judges remarked that it was “a confident broadcaster reaping the rewards of years of steady growth and development – a channel that increasingly now both surprises and delights”.

That momentum careered into 2021, as The Drowning – the four-parter about a mother who befriends a child she believes is her missing son – became its most-watched drama to date. A record 5.1 million tuned in for the first episode.

TV Picks: 12th October - 19th October

Who Do You Think You Are?

Monday 12th October

BBC One, 9pm


Jodie Whittaker (credit: BBC)

The genealogy documentary series returns, with Jodie Whittaker (Doctor Who) tracing her Yorkshire family tree in this opening episode.

Paul Mescal to star in Channel 5 drama The Deceived

The four-part drama, written by Lisa McGee, tells a story of betrayal, lust and lies.  

It follows Ophelia (Emily Reid) a student who embarks on a dangerous affair with her professor Dr Michael Callaghan (Emmett J. Scanlan).

Things take a turn for the worse when Callaghan’s wife, Roisin (Catherine Walker), is killed in a house fire, but Ophelia starts to doubt if she really is dead and that she actually may still be alive.

UK broadcasters team up on guide for producing TV safely during Covid-19

The guidelines will allow productions to get up and running again, with the emphasis on the safety and well-being of employees.

The guide will be applicable to a broad range and scale of TV programmes of all genres and have been created with the collaboration of industry experts and the external expertise of Dr Paul Litchfield CBE.

Broadcasters have liaised with union representatives and the Health and Safety Executive and worked with First Option safety consultants to the media and entertainment industry.

Five thrives under Ben Frow

They say that good things come in threes. When Channel 5 won Channel of the Year at March’s RTS Programme Awards, beating Sky Atlantic and BBC Three, the accolade followed identical wins at February’s Broadcast Awards and the 2018 Edinburgh TV Awards.

“It was thrilling to win Channel of the Year,” says the station’s director of programmes, Ben Frow, looking dapper in a dark T-shirt. “We’ve won each one once; we’ve finally got them all. I wouldn’t actually enter another channel of the year [competition].

Channel 5 announces new thriller The Drowning

The series stars Jill Halfpenny (Liar) as Jodie, a mother still recovering from the loss of her son who went missing eight years ago.

When she encounters Daniel (Cody Molko), she is convinced he is her son. But her fixation threatens to collapse the life she’s painstakingly rebuilt, as it leads her down a dangerous and morally dubious path.

In Jodie’s way stands Daniel’s impassive and protective father, Mark (Rupert-Penry-Jones).

Ad funded TV: How brands are boosting budgets

Kate Bulkley, Greg Barnett, Emily Hudd, Saj Nazir and Simon Wells (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

With programme budgets under pressure, TV is turning to advertisers to fund shows directly. And the amounts that brands can bring to the table are significant – anything up to half a million pounds for an hour of TV.

This was the message from a packed RTS early-evening event in October, at which a panel of leading commissioners, producers and advertising experts discussed how they make branded programming.