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Telly for Anglophiles | Teachers

Image from http://www.channel4.com/programmes/teachers and Content from Wikipedia

Teachers is a British television sitcom, originally shown on Channel 4. The series follows a group of secondary school teachers in their daily lives.

While the first series centers heavily around probationary teacher Simon Casey (Andrew Lincoln), later series have a more balanced ensemble approach. The cast changes dramatically over time, with few original characters remaining by the fourth series. While some of these disappearances are explained, others happen between series without explanation.

The first three series are set in the fictional Summerdown Comprehensive, which merges with another school in the fourth series to form Wattkins School. The series was filmed at the former Lockleaze school, and other locations around Bristol, England.

Teachers was nominated for six BAFTA awards between 2002 and 2004, and was nominated for Best British Comedy Show at the British Comedy Awards in 2003.

In January 2005, after a muted reception to the fourth series, Channel 4 announced that Teachers would not continue for a fifth series. A short-lived U.S. version was aired in 2006.

Telly for Anglophiles | League of Gentlemen

[abridged from http://www.leagueofgentlemen.co.uk/]

The League of gentlemen are: Jeremy Dyson, Steve Pemberton, Mark Gatiss and Reece Shearsmith.

BBC 2 aired the first episode of The League of Gentlemen ‘Welcome to Royston Vasey’ on 11th January 1999.

Over ten years later, we have had a second and a third series, a Christmas special, loads of books, two national tours with the ‘local show for local people’ and ‘The League of Gentlemen Are Behind You’ and many individual projects such as TLC, Surrealissimo, nighty night, Benidorm, Dr Who, Catterick, Sherlock and film appearances in Birthday Girl and Hitchhikers Guide to name just a few. Reece has taken to the boards a few times and has appeared in the stage version of The Producers. Steve has become a regular on TV in Benidorm and has appeared in many quality drama and Mark has fulfilled a lifetime ambition not by just writing an episode of Doctor Who but by starring in an episode! Jeremy has published more books, co-written a brilliant TV series, Blackpool and co written the amazing stage show Ghost Stories with Andy Nyman and has too many projects on the go to mention them all!

Collectively they Fulfilled a lifetime ambition with their very own feature film entitled The League of Gentlemens Apocalypse which is out on DVD and a DVD of the Panto tour is out also! Steve and Reece won A Comedy Award with the first series of Psychoville and have a 2nd series under their belt which is also nominated for a comedy award! Can we beg them for a live show of Psychoville?

Psychoville was launched in June 2009 and features both Steve and Reece supported by an amazing cast including Dawn French, Christopher Biggins, Dame Eileen Atkins and Nicholas Le Prevost to name but a few!

Telly for Anglophiles | Extras

Extras is a British sitcom about extras working on TV and film sets and in theatre. The series was co-produced by the BBC and HBO, and is created, written, and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, both of whom also star in it. Extras charts the lives of Andy Millman, his friend Maggie Jacobs and Andy’s substandard agent and part-time retail employee Darren Lamb, as Millman rises to fame.

Extras has two series of six episodes each as well as a Christmas Special. The first episode aired in the UK on 21 July 2005 on BBC Two and on 25 September 2005 on HBO in the US. The second series premiered in the UK on BBC Two on 14 September 2006 and began airing in the US on HBO and in Australia on ABC on 14 February 2007. The Christmas Special aired on 27 December 2007 on BBC One and on 16 December 2007 on HBO. Both series are available on DVD in the UK and the US.

The series is filmed in a more traditional sitcom style than the mockumentary style used by Gervais and Merchant in their previous series The Office. Each episode has at least one guest star; a television or film celebrity, who play what Gervais and Merchant have referred to as “twisted” versions of themselves;an exaggerated or inverted parody of their famous public personas.

The show has been critically acclaimed, and has a Metacritic score of 81/100.

Overall, Extras has been received very well by critics in the UK. The show received 3 BAFTA Award nominations in 2006 including Best Comedy Performance for Ashley Jensen, Best Writer for Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, and Best Situation Comedy. In 2007, both Gervais and Merchant were nominated, separately, for Best Comedy Performance, with Gervais ultimately winning the award.

The show has also received high accolades in the US. In 2006, the show received four nominations for the 58th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. Ben Stiller and Patrick Stewart received nominations for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series and both lost to Leslie Jordan on Will & Grace. Kate Winslet received a nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series and lost to Cloris Leachman for Malcolm in the Middle. Gervais and Merchant were also nominated for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for the episode with Kate Winslet. They lost to Greg Garcia for writing the pilot episode of My Name Is Earl. In 2007, the show received four nominations for the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards. Gervais was nominated for and won Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, and Ian McKellen was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series. Gervais and Merchant were also nominated for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series for “Daniel Radcliffe” and Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series for “Orlando Bloom”. Extras made the Top 10 list of Outstanding Comedy Series, but was not nominated in the Top 5.

Telly for Anglophiles | Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice is a six-episode 1995 British television drama, adapted by Andrew Davies from Jane Austen’s 1813 novel Pride and Prejudice. Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth starred as Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. Produced by Sue Birtwistle and directed by Simon Langton, the serial was a BBC production with additional funding from the American A&E Network. BBC One originally broadcast the 55-minute episodes from 24 September to 29 October in 1995. The A&E Network aired the serial in double episodes on three consecutive nights beginning 14 January 1996.

Set in England in the early 19th century, Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet’s (Benjamin Whitrow and Alison Steadman) five unmarried daughters (Susannah Harker, Jennifer Ehle, Lucy Briers, Polly Maberly, Julia Sawalha) after the rich and eligible Mr. Bingley (Crispin Bonham-Carter) and his status-conscious friend, Mr. Darcy, have moved into their neighbourhood. While Bingley takes an immediate liking to the eldest Bennet daughter, Jane, Darcy has difficulty adapting to local society and repeatedly clashes with the second-eldest Bennet daughter, Elizabeth. The New York Times called the adaptation “a witty mix of love stories and social conniving, cleverly wrapped in the ambitions and illusions of a provincial gentry”.

Critically acclaimed and a popular success, Pride and Prejudice was honoured with several awards, including a BAFTA Television Award for Jennifer Ehle for “Best Actress” and an Emmy for “Outstanding Individual Achievement in Costume Design for a Miniseries or a Special”. The role of Mr. Darcy elevated Colin Firth to stardom. A scene showing Firth in a wet shirt was recognised as “one of the most unforgettable moments in British TV history”. The serial inspired author Helen Fielding to write the popular Bridget Jones novels; the screen adaptations featured Firth as Bridget’s love interest Mark Darcy.

Telly for Anglophiles | Whitechapel

Whitechapel is a British television drama series produced by Carnival Films, in which detectives in London’s Whitechapel district deal with murders which replicate historical crimes. The first series was first broadcast in the UK on 2 February 2009 and depicted the search for a modern copycat killer replicating the murders of Jack the Ripper.

A second series was commissioned by ITV in September 2009 with the focus on the Kray twins. The first episode of this second series was broadcast on 11 October 2010.

A third series was commissioned by ITV in March 2011, which was extended to six episodes as three two-part stories.

The first and second series were cablecast in the United States on six consecutive Wednesday evenings beginning 26 October 2011 on the BBC America cable network. The third began airing in the U.S. on Wednesday evening 28 March 2012, also on BBC America.

Telly for Anglophiles | Mock the Week

File:Mocktheweek.JPG

Mock the Week is a British topical celebrity panel game hosted by Dara Ó Briain that launched in 2005. The game is influenced by improvised topical stand-up comedy, with several rounds requiring players to deliver answers on unexpected subjects on the spur of the moment.

It is made by independent production company Angst Productions and made its debut on BBC Two on 5 June 2005. Episodes regularly attract 3.5 million viewers.Old episodes currently air on Dave, a fact that is frequently mentioned on the show.

It was created by Dan Patterson and Mark Leveson, the same people responsible for the comedy game show Whose Line Is It Anyway? The show’s theme music is “News of the World” by The Jam.

The show is hosted by Dara Ó Briain and on the panel are two teams of three. The current panel consists of Hugh Dennis, Chris Addison and a guest panellist seated on Ó Briain’s right, and Andy Parsons and two guest panellists on his left. For the first seven series Dennis was joined by Frankie Boyle, while the other team originally consisted of Rory Bremner in the first two series; when Bremner left Parsons was made a permanent panellist, and was joined by Russell Howard the following series. Hugh Dennis has been the only team member to appear in every episode (except the special episode that was part of David Walliams’ 24 Hour Panel People). Howard was absent for some of series 9 as he was concentrating on other projects.

On 2 October 2009, the BBC announced that Frankie Boyle would not be returning to the show “due to other television commitments”. After missing the latter portion of series 9 and first half of series 10, Russell Howard also officially left the show. Chris Addison then joined as a regular, taking the seat previously occupied by Boyle on Hugh’s team.

Next to Dennis’s team is the Press Pit, which is a large desk where they play a round called Between the Lines. Next to this is the Performance Area which is a much wider area with a large TV monitor, normally used for stand-up and improvisation challenges such as Dating Videos and Scenes We’d Like To See.

Although Hugh Dennis is in effect a team captain (and is sometimes referred to as such in publicity material), such a distinction is never made on the programme itself. For the first two series Rory Bremner was considered to be the other team captain, however he left the show after series 2 and was replaced by a different guest panelist each week (although Andy Parsons was made a permanent panellist). In effect, Dennis’ opposition do not have a team captain.

Although each episode has a winning and losing team, the entire show exists mainly to provide starting points for ‘improvised’ comedy routines rather than to function as a serious competition. Specific scores are never referred to, and it has been stated by Dara comically that the scoring system is in fact “a load of bollocks”. Indeed, after each round, the number of points awarded to a team is never stated; instead Dara just gives “the points” to the team he judges should receive them. In episode 11 of season 6, Dara admitted that winners of each round and point allocation was not based on anything specific, and viewers should “stop e-mailing in.”

Telly for Anglophiles | Merlin

Merlin is a British fantasy-adventure television programme by Julian Jones, Jake Michie, Julian Murphy and Johnny Capps. It began broadcasting on BBC One on 20 September 2008. The show is based on the Arthurian legends of the wizard Merlin and his relationship with Prince Arthur but differs from traditional versions in many ways. It is produced by independent production company Shine Limited. After Series 1 was successful, U.S. broadcaster NBC began airing it on 21 June 2009; but, after a decline in viewers, it was moved to the cable network Syfy, where it began broadcasting Series 2 on 2 April 2010. On 19 September 2009, Series 2 began airing on BBC One.On 5 September 2010, BFI Southbank in London previewed Episodes 1 and 2 of Series 3 for its September Film Funday programme.

Merlin was influenced by the U.S. show Smallville, about the early years of Superman. After failed attempts to bring the programme to life, development of the current Merlin began in late 2006, with physical production beginning in March 2008. The series received a generally mixed reception when it began its broadcast. Critics were upset with the flat dialogue and the modern look to the series. One critic, in particular, called the whole concept “bland”. The series première drew an overnight average of 6.65 million viewers in the 19:00 slot, and a final consolidated figure of 7.15 million, despite being scheduled against popular ITV series The X Factor. The first series as a whole had an average of 6.32 million viewers, which is fewer than Doctor Who attracted during its first series, and slightly more than those received by Robin Hood. Merlin was also the fifth most watched programme on BBC iPlayer in 2008. The third series of Merlin began on 11 September 2010, and showed an increase in viewers. The third series ended on 4 December 2010.

A ten-episode fourth series was confirmed on 25 October 2010 (though it was rumoured to air in early 2012, later than its usual slot in autumn) so that it would not clash with the BBC’s other prime time drama Doctor Who which would possibly run during the same period. In March 2011, this was revised, and the fourth series was extended to the standard 13 episodes. It was confirmed at the 2011 Comic-Con in San Diego that the fourth series will again be broadcast in the United States on the Syfy Channel “in early 2012.” In UK, the fourth series began on Saturday 1 October 2011.

Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy, Executive Producers for Shine TV, confirmed on 24 July at the 2011 Comic-Con Merlin panel that BBC has commissioned a fifth series. Filming for the fifth series began March 2012 in Pierrefonds, France and in Wales. 13 episodes have been ordered.

Telly for Anglophiles | Sherlock

Sherlock is a British television series that presents a contemporary update of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes detective stories. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Doctor John Watson. After an unbroadcast pilot in 2009, the first series of three 90-minute episodes was transmitted on BBC One and BBC HD in July and August 2010, with a second series of three episodes first broadcast in January 2012. A third series has been commissioned and is scheduled to begin production in early 2013. The series has been sold to over 180 territories.

The series was conceived by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss during train journeys to the Doctor Who production base in Cardiff. Credited as co-creators, Moffat and Gatiss each write one episode per series, with the other written by Steve Thompson. Hartswood Films produced the series for the BBC and co-produced it with WGBH Boston for its Masterpiece anthology series. Filming took place at various locations, including London, Merthyr Tydfil, Swansea, Dartmoor and Cardiff. Other cast members include Rupert Graves as DI Greg Lestrade, Andrew Scott as Jim Moriarty, Mark Gatiss as Mycroft Holmes, and Una Stubbs as Mrs. Hudson, as well as Vinette Robinson and Louise Brealey playing recurring roles.

Critical reception was overwhelmingly positive, with many reviews commending the quality of the writing, performances and direction. Sherlock has been nominated for many awards, including BAFTAs and Emmys, winning several across a variety of categories. The first series won the BAFTA Television Award for Best Drama Series.[1] All six episodes have been released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc in the UK, alongside tie-in editions of some of Conan Doyle’s original books. Soundtrack albums from each series have also been released.

Telly for Anglophiles | Russell Howard’s Good News

Russell Howard’s Good News debuted in October 2009 and has seen ratings grow from 1.7 million to 3.5 million viewers a week and is now regularly the most watched show on BBC iPlayer across all BBC channels.

Series Five sees Russell once again give his upbeat and entertaining take on some of the key news stories of the week, as well as highlighting some of the more bizarre items that have caught his eye during his forensic trawl of the week’s events – incredibly looking at over 60 news channels from across the world, reading over 140 newspapers and watching over 1000 clips each week.

Russell Howard’s Good News is filmed in front of a live studio audience. Viewers at home can shape the show’s agenda by submitting news stories online via Twitter @bbcgoodnews.

http://www.russellhowardsgoodnews.com/about

* Here’s a little treat! A FULL episode of RHGN, S6E8! (I don’t own the rights to the video) If you’re not in the UK, do enjoy it twice as much! x*

Telly for Anglophiles | Torchwood

Torchwood is a British science fiction television programme created by Russell T Davies. The series is a spin-off from Davies’s 2005 revival of the long-running science fiction programme Doctor Who. The show has shifted its broadcast channel each series to reflect its growing audience, moving from BBC Three to BBC Two to BBC One, and acquiring U.S. financing in its fourth series. In contrast to Doctor Who, whose target audience includes both adults and children, Torchwood is aimed at an older audience.

Torchwood follows the exploits of a small team of alien-hunters, who make up the Cardiff, Wales branch of the fictional Torchwood Institute, which deals mainly with incidents involving extraterrestrials. Its central character is Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), an immortal former con-man from the distant future; Jack originally appeared in the 2005 series of Doctor Who. Other than Barrowman, the initial main cast of the series consisted of Eve Myles, Burn Gorman, Naoko Mori and Gareth David-Lloyd. Their characters are specialists for the Torchwood team, often tracking down aliens and defending the planet from alien and nefarious human threats. In its first two series, the show uses a time rift in Cardiff as its primary plot generator, accounting for the unusual preponderance of alien beings in Cardiff. In the third and fourth series, Torchwood operate as fugitives. Gorman and Mori’s characters were written out of the story at the end of the second series. Recurring actor Kai Owen was promoted to the main cast in series three, in which David-Lloyd too was written out. Subsequently, American actors Mekhi Phifer, Alexa Havins and Bill Pullman joined the cast of the show for its fourth series; the latter two were written out at the end of its run.

The first series premiered on BBC Three and on BBC HD in 2006 to mixed reviews but viewing figures which broke records for the digital channel. It returned in 2008 where it aired first on BBC Two, receiving a higher budget; its uneven tone, a criticism of the first series, was largely smoothed out, and the show attracted higher ratings and better reviews. The third series episodes worked on a bigger budget and transferred to the network’s flagship channel, BBC One as a five episode serial, entitled Torchwood: Children of Earth. Despite airing in July evenings, typically a graveyard slot, spread across five nights in one week, the show received unexpectedly high ratings at home and abroad and, for the most part, reviews hailed it as excellent. A fourth series, co-produced by BBC Wales, BBC Worldwide and US premium entertainment network Starz began airing on 8 July 2011 on Starz and 14 July 2011 on BBC One as Torchwood: Miracle Day, and is set in both Wales and in the United States.