The Walking Dead

TV Picks: 23rd – 29th August

Gossip Girl (Credit: BBC), Love Island (Credit: ITV), Sixteen: Class of 2021 (Credit: Channel 4)

Love Island Final

Monday

ITV 2, 9pm


Love Island's finalists (credit: ITV)

After 57 episodes, including some villa-rocking bomb shells, shock exits and possibly the most explosive Casa Amor scandals in the show’s seven series history, Love Island concludes tonight with its live final hosted by Laura Whitmore.

Lennie James: taking television to new places

(Credit: Sky)

There is a scientific way to calculate how much a television audience appreciates a show. An “appreciation index” involves panels, scores out of 10, and demographic weighting. Now, however, there is another way: just take note how quickly an audience comes back for more.

When Sky released Lennie James’s drama Save Me (the possessive apostrophe is because he created, wrote and starred in it) as a box set on the last day of February, it took a week for 700,000 viewers to watch all six episodes.

eOne goes global: Becoming a distribution superpower

Everyone in TV knows that UK production is thriving in markets across the world. What is less celebrated is the remarkable health of the home-grown distribution sector.

Of late, one company, in particular, has helped drive growth in this area. Entertainment One (eOne) is a studio with a global reach: it sells political drama Designated Survivor, Peppa Pig and The Walking Dead. In the past two years, distribution revenues have more than doubled to £225m.

The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus hits the road with BT

The six-part series features a different guest rider every week, as Reedus rides across North America to famous motorcycle hotspots and explores local biker cultures.

Reedus' biking hero, Peter Fonda - star of the epic motorcycle film Easy Rider - joins the adventure as the crew visit a moonshine distillery, ride dune-buggies, race porta-potties, and go to see a high voodoo priestess.

AMC's Josh Sapan: American television is a business of numbers

Josh Sapan

Josh Sapan was welcomed as “the real deal, one of the greats of American cable and the television industry” by his interviewer, Tim Davie. Not only that, the audience learned that Sapan was cut from a different cloth to most US TV executives because he understood British humour.

That’s germane because Sapan, President and CEO of AMC Networks, landed a 49.9% stake in BBC America (for $200m) in October 2014.

“We are cousins of the BBC, married into the family, a delight for me,” said the donnish-looking, New York-based cable veteran.

AMC Networks' Josh Sapan on deal-making

Josh Sapan

AMC Networks President and CEO Josh Sapan lays claim to having the world’s largest collection of antique lightning rods. "They’re architectural and a form of industrial art. I just got captivated by them," he explains.

One or two of them can be found lying around his office on Penn Plaza, a few blocks from the Empire State Building, alongside examples of another passion. This is his collection of panoramic photographs of people and places from the last century.