From Father Ted to Derry Girls, Channel 4’s reputation for Irish comedy is second to none. Now comes Frank of Ireland, a new, six-part series made by Sharon Horgan’s production company, Merman, producer of BBC Two’s Motherland. The show stars Brian Gleeson, who plays the eponymous Frank, and his brother Domhnall. The Gleeson family are, of course, Irish acting royalty.
The series, produced by Merman, will see Bea and Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe) reunite as the Irish sisters Aine and Shona.
Picking up from the events of the series finale, This Way Up will continue to explore the tense will-they-won’t-they dynamic between Aine and Richard, played by Tobias Menzies (The Crown). Since Aine tutors Richard’s son Etienne, the employer-employee relationship between the pair will either halt their burgeoning romance or make it all the more passionate.
Set in Dublin, Women on the Verge, which is based on the best-selling book Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown by Lorna Martin, tells the darkly comic story of three successful thirty-something friends, who are all at various stages of their lives. Though all three are enterprising and hard-working, they're still concerned that their lives are not going entirely to plan.
The announcement comes amid a slew of new commissions and announcements from the broadcaster, as Chief Executive Alex Mahon and Director of Programming Ian Katz, addressed Channel 4 staff about the future of the channel.
Katz revealed a five-point plan which, he believes, will secure the broadcaster against threats posed by competitors, and will ensure that Channel 4 retains its crown as the youngest-skewing public service channel in the world.
Among those aims was a renewed focus on comedy for the channel and its on-demand platform All4.
Derren Brown: Miracle
Derren Brown takes his audience in his healing hands in the latest live show from the illusionist. Having already explored evangelical healers in his 2011 programme Miracles For Sale, Brown now performs medical marvels of his own by restoring one woman's sight and curing another of arthritis. Recorded from his tour last year, Derren Brown hosts the event from London's Palace Theatre.
The Circuit centres around a small town social scene, where everyone hates going to dinner parties, but goes anyway.
Eva Birthistle (Brooklyn) and Adeel Aktar (The Night Manager, Four Lions) star as Nat and Gabe, a couple who have left their happy former lives for reasons that are not entirely clear.
In an effort to get to know the locals, they attend a dinner party hosted by their neighbours, Helene and Sasha (Victoria Hamilton and Tobias Menzies).
1. London Spy
Available on BBC iPlayer
The show ended in revelatory fashion this week on BBC 2. Written by Tom Rob Smith, it tells the story of Danny, played by Ben Whishaw (James Bond), who falls in love with a mysterious man, Alex (Edward Holcroft – Kingsman: The Secret Service, Wolf Hall.) After Alex disappears Danny begins to look into the life of his partner, revealing a twisted tale of murder, betrayal and espionage. A fantastic supporting cast including Jim Broadbent and Charlotte Rampling enhance this tense thriller.
Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney's acerbic comedy about a couple who get pregnant after a one-week-stand was one of this year's funniest new sitcoms. The second series has just started on Channel 4, and it's just as sharp, vulgar, and uproariously funny as the first. In the opening two episodes, the pair are adjusting to family life - and try to rekindle their romance with an ill-fated minibreak to Paris.
Jamie Lee Curtis and Emma Roberts star in sorority slasher flick Scream Queens, a modern take on a whodunit, where anyone could be the murderer, or the next victim.