Bergerac is reimagined by BlackLight TV in a brand-new series for UKTV’s free streaming service UKTV Play and free-to-air channel Drama

UKTV Play /Drama

Friday 12th April 2024

Detective Jim Bergerac will be returning to the iconic setting of Jersey, as UKTV announces the commission of a re-imagined series of Bergerac (6x60') for free streaming service UKTV Play and free-to-air channel Drama.

The six-part UKTV Original series is produced by BlackLight TV, part of Banijay UK, and written by Toby Whithouse (The Red King, Being Human), alongside Brian Fillis (Trust, Sirens), Catherine Tregenna (The One That Got Away, Three Pines) and Polly Buckle (Love Rat, A Discovery of Witches). Filming will begin this summer, with locations including the Channel Island of Jersey. Casting to be announced in the coming months. Banijay Rights will handle international distribution for the series.

Toby Whithouse said:

It's a rare honour to bring back a show as beloved and iconic as Bergerac. Our mission was always to respect the show's history and legacy, while making it impactful and relevant for a modern-day audience. We'll be bringing back other beloved supporting characters, as well as introducing new friends and foes. Just like his predecessor, our Bergerac is complex, driven, brilliant and flawed.

Bergerac will be based on the original series created by Robert Banks Stewart, which starred John Nettles and ran for nine series on the BBC between 1981 and 1991. The modern re-imagining will honour the iconic detective drama, but with a contemporary twist, as Bergerac is thrown into a knotty, high-stakes police investigation and challenged to his very core. He will be forced to confront his demons, while trying to save his family and career.

Unlike the original hit from the 80s, the new series will see one character-led murder mystery run across all six episodes, in place of a new storyline each episode.

Bergerac has been commissioned by Hilary Rosen, director of commissioning for UKTV, and ordered by Paula Fitzgerald, head of digital content for UKTV Play, and Emma Ayech, channel director for Drama. Executive producers for BlackLight TV are Ben Bickerton, Philip Trethowan and Toby Whithouse. Brian Constantine is executive producer for Westward Studios. Helen Perry, head of drama, will be executive producer for UKTV.

Hilary Rosen said: "We are delighted to be working with BlackLight TV and Banijay on this re-imagining of a much-loved classic British drama. There is a keen appetite for UKTV Original dramas, as seen by the stellar performance of The Marlow Murder Club, and Bergerac will help us to build off the back of such a successful start to our commissioning journey for Drama and UKTV Play."

Paula Fitzgerald added: "It's an incredibly exciting time for UKTV Play, as we gear up for the launch of our masterbrand 'U' in the summer. Drama content is a key driver for audiences of our free streaming service, so I can't wait to add this brilliant new series to our content offering."

Emma Ayech said: "The Marlow Murder Club, our first UKTV Original commission for Drama, has been incredibly well received by our audience so I'm looking forward to adding this brilliant new series to our offering."

BlackLight TV commented: "We are thrilled to be working with UKTV to bring Jim Bergerac back to the small screen where he belongs. Toby Whithouse has created a propulsive contemporary crime story that delves into Bergerac's rich and complex character, and will keep audiences guessing until the end. We're sure it will delight old and new fans alike."

Bergerac is a brand-new UKTV Original commission and will stream for free on UKTV Play and air on Drama in 2025. Other original series include the TV adaptation of Robert Thorogood's hit novel, The Marlow Murder Club, starring Samantha Bond, Jo Martin, Cara Horgan and Natalie Dew, which has become Drama's best performing title of all time, reaching over 1.9million viewers since its launch earlier this month.

UKTV will launch 'U' - a new masterbrand, which will unite its family of free-to-air channels and its free streaming service this Summer. UKTV Play will transition to 'U' and UKTV's free-to-air channels will become U&DAVE, U&DRAMA, U&YESTERDAY and U&W.

For more information, please contact:
Kelly Phelps, Publicity Manager, UKTV

About UKTV Play

UKTV Play is an on-demand TV service providing instant access to shows from UKTV's free-to-air channels - Dave, W, Yesterday and Drama. With the easy-to-use UKTV Play app you can browse and stream hundreds of shows for free via your computer, tablet or smart phone. You can also watch on the telly thanks to Freeview Play, Amazon Fire TV, YouView, Samsung TV, Apple TV, Freesat, NOW and Roku.

If you're a Sky, Virgin Media or BT TV customer, shows from other great UKTV channels - Gold, W, Alibi, and Eden - are also on the menu. | Ways to Watch

About Drama

Sky 143, Virgin Media 130, Freeview 20, Freesat 158 +1 Sky 243, Virgin Media 226, Freeview, 60

On demand on Sky, Virgin Media & UKTV Play

Free-to-air channel Drama is passionate about bringing Britain the best quality drama. From period to contemporary, family to comedy, the channel is a treasure trove of well-loved classics and modern drama which showcases the greatest stories ever told. With programmes including familiar favourites Call the Midwife, Pride and Prejudice, New Tricks and Silent Witness, and brand new and exclusive hits Sister Boniface Mysteries and The Brokenwood Mysteries, this is the channel where viewers can escape and indulge in a handpicked range of the nation's most celebrated TV dramas.

About UKTV

UKTV has been at the forefront of branded television for over 30 years, entertaining the nation with programmes they love. Its leading brands - Dave, Gold, W, Drama, Alibi, Eden and Yesterday - span comedy, entertainment, natural history, factual and drama, and are delivered to audiences through UKTV Play, Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, Freesat and Amazon Fire. The broadcaster is a significant investor in British creativity and is committed to working with new and established writers, directors and programme-makers.

UKTV is part of BBC Studios, the UK's most-awarded production company, a world-class distributor with international branded services, and a commercial subsidiary of the world's leading public service broadcaster, the BBC. | | @uktvpress

About Banijay UK

Banijay UK is a collective of leading independent television producers from around the UK. Our companies are responsible for some of the biggest TV brands on television including the MasterChef, Big Brother, Peaky Blinders, Deal or No Deal, SAS Rogue Heroes, Pointless, Ambulance and many more.

Banijay UK is part of media and entertainment powerhouse, Banijay, which is home to over 130 production companies across 21 territories, a multi-genre catalogue boasting over 180,000 hours of original standout programming, and a complementary live entertainment business - Banijay Events.

About BlackLight TV

BlackLight was formed in 2017 by Ben Bickerton and Philip Trethowan. Ben and Phil met when making the critically acclaimed film Ellen together and are backed by the Banijay Media Group. Ben and Phil both have over 20 years of experience making award-winning drama and film such as Being Human and The Curse of Steptoe. More recently BlackLight have made four series of the award-winning anthology On The Edge for Channel 4, which has been nominated for 11 BAFTA's, winning one BAFTA Cymru as well as a host of other awards. They are currently in production for Cleddau/The One That Got Away, a new six-part drama series for S4C.