What a difference two years makes. In 2017, Sky was one of the crown jewels of the vast Murdoch media empire, beloved by investors and publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange. Spool forward to 2019 and Sky is part of Comcast, the US cable conglomerate, which successfully outbid Disney to buy Europe’s biggest pay-TV provider for a staggering $39bn.
Shocking. Bleak. Controversial. Devastatingly brilliant. All these descriptions are true of HBO and Sky’s five-part retelling of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. The HBO and Sky series has been one of the most talked-about dramas of the year so far, lauded by critics and helping to confirm the current golden age of TV.
At times, the events depicted in the programme were so incredible that many viewers have questioned what was real and what is made up.
Overseen by Gary Davey, the current Managing Director of Sky UK, Sky Studios will build on the broadcaster’s recent run of successful drama series including Chernobyl and the RTS award-winning Save Me.
The new Europe-wide development and production capability has received backing from Sky’s new owners, Comcast, and will create new productions for outlets including Sky channels, NBC Broadcast and Cable, and Universal Pictures.
Sex on Trial
Monday: Channel 4, 10.00pm
Sex on Trial examines high-profile student sexual assault cases in the US and explores the impact they have had on the people making the accusations and the accused.
“I wanted to make a drama unlike anything else, because Chernobyl was unlike anything else. I wanted it to be as unique as the event itself.” That was the ambitious goal set by writer and producer Craig Mazin for his epic mini-series about the Soviet power plant that caught fire on 26 April 1986, triggering the most disastrous nuclear accident in history. And Mazin has succeeded.
The Chernobyl disaster took place in April 1986, when a nuclear power plant exploded on a catastrophic scale. The drama will explore why and how it happened, as well as the people who risked their own lives to save others.
Jared Harris (The Crown, Mad Men) will play Valery Legasov, the Soviet scientist chosen by the Kremlin to investigate the accident.