Launching on 8 July 2013 and available to all British viewers via Freeview, Drama will air a diverse range of critically-acclaimed shows featuring stellar talent, many of whom have gone on to join Hollywood?s elite.
In the year which celebrates the bicentenary of Jane Austen?s Pride and Prejudice, viewers will be treated to Colin Firth?s much lauded turn as Mr Darcy in the acclaimed mini-series. They will also see an early appearance by Catherine Zeta-Jones in Catherine Cookson?s The Cinder Path and a swashbuckling Sean Bean in Sharpe. Other shows include Tipping the Velvet, Auf Wiedersehen Pet, Cranford and Lark Rise to Candleford.
UKTV Controller Emma Tennant, said: ?Drama is targeted at a different audience demographic than our other highly successful free-to-air channels, Dave, Yesterday and Really. The channel is aimed at people who simply love drama and want to watch critically-acclaimed shows that have absolutely defined the landscape of British television. I am very passionate about the subject and discussing the programmes that will create Drama's schedule has just been brilliant fun. I'm genuinely excited about the launch of Drama both as a viewer and as Controller.?
The channel is the first to be unveiled as part of UKTV's thriving portfolio since the introduction of Really in May 2009 and it will be a home for the best British dramas from a range of broadcasters spanning the last 40 years.
Adrian Wills, General Manager of Drama, adds: ?Drama lovers? prayers have been answered. This channel represents the best drama content within the genre and we are confident that viewers will enjoy these celebrated shows.?
The announcement of the new channel comes after an incredibly successful period for UKTV which proved record breaking for the network of 10 channels. UKTV increased its share by 10% in 2012 and launched its own On Demand players. UKTV's free-to-air channels have also enjoyed huge success with Really and Yesterday leading the Lifestyle and Factual genres respectively and Dave up 33% in share compared to the same period last year. Drama will become the fourth free-to-air channel in UKTV's portfolio and its channel number will be announced in the coming days.
Drama?s target audience is ABC1 adults and the on-air and off-air creative for the channel includes a dynamic logo and complimentary idents created by design agency DixonBaxi.
For more information please contact:
Kerry Parker Senior Corporate Communications Manager Tel: 0207 745 3036 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicola Rowley Publicity Manager Factual and Lifestyle Tel: 020 7299 6271 Email: email@example.com
Notes to Editors
UKTV is a major industry player and one of the most important and successful multichannel providers in the UK. Formed in 1997, it is an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, and Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. (NYSE: SNI).
Attracting over 41 million viewers each month, the network consists of 10 distinctive channel brands ? Watch, Gold, Dave, alibi, Yesterday, Blighty, Eden, Home, Really and Good Food ? offering a broad range of quality programming across entertainment, lifestyle and factual. UKTV currently operates 25 broadcast streams when its eight multiplexes and five HD channels are taken into account, and 11 highly successful websites. The network also runs video on demand (VOD) services on Sky and BT Vision and is part of TalkTalk on YouView. In addition, UKTV recently launched its own ?On Demand? services with Dave On Demand and Yesterday On Demand.
UKTV's successful programming strategy combines high profile original commissions and key acquisitions with quality content from the BBC.
All UKTV channels are distributed on Sky and Virgin Media. Dave, Really and Yesterday are also available on Freeview.