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BBC America Adds Five Series to Slate, Causing My TiVo to Explode

Digital cabler BBC America has announced five series which it plans to launch this fall, including one from that irascible Mr. Alan Partridge, comedian Steve Coogan (Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story).

First up is comedy Saxondale, which stars Steve Coogan (I'm Alan Partridge) as Tommy Saxondale, a former roadie with anger management issues who runs a pest control business dealing with rodents and people. Ruth Jones (Nighty Night) co-stars as Saxondale's Welsh anarchist girlfriend Magz who owns a t-shirt business called "Smash the System" selling politically radical clothing. The series' seven-episode run premieres October 13th at 11 pm ET (8 pm PT). Rumor has it that NBC, which has a deal with Coogan's production company (Baby Cow) is developing an American version of Saxondale. Let's hope that it's along the lines of The Office and not, say, Coupling.

Hell's Kitchen's Gordon Ramsay returns to BBC America with Gordon Ramsay's F Word, in which the tantrum-prone chef and restaurateur shares his love of all thing gastronomic with celebrity guests as his restaurant (the conveniently named F Word) and works with aspiring chefs in the kitchen. (Any sign of Virginia?) He'll also tackle hot-button food issues, including the slaughter of two beloved pigs--named after What Not to Wear's Trinny and Susannah--in an episode which recently aired in the UK. Gordon Ramsay's F Word is set to premiere October 22nd at 9 pm ET (6 pm PT).

Next up is the dramedy Fat Friends about the trials and tribulations of eight people who meet at a regular weight loss club in Leeds. Four seasons of the dramedy, which stars Alison Steadman (Worst Week of My Life), Gaynor Faye, Ruth Jones (there she is again!), and Lisa Riley, have aired in the UK on ITV from 2000 to 2005. Fat Friends premieres November 2nd at 10 pm ET (7 pm PT).

Season Two of comedy series The Worst Week of My Life picks up the unfolding comedy of errors of newlywed couple Howard (Ben Miller) and Mel (Coupling's Sarah Alexander). While the previous season charted their rocky relationship during the week from hell leading up to their nuptials, this season will chart the week before they have their first child. Hilarity is sure to ensue... Alison Steadman and Geoffrey Whitehead also star. The Worst Week of My Life will premiere December 1st at 9:40 pm ET (6:40 pm PT).

Sci-fi comedy Hyperdrive is set in the year 2151 and follows the crew of spaceship HMS Camden Lock as they travel the galaxy protecting British interests. The series stars Shaun of the Dead's Nick Frost (he of sadly missed Spaced), Kevin Eldon (I'm Alan Partridge), Miranda Hart (Nighty Night), Stephen Evans, Dan Antopolski, and Petra Massey. The series' first season, consisting of six episodes, is set to launch early next year. (A second season is blasting off on BBC2 next year.)

I don't know about you, but the fall season is getting busier and busier with every passing day. Set your TiVos now... or at least add the above to your ever-expanding Wish Lists. There are quite a few of the above that I'll be tuning into regularly.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Rock Star: Supernova (CBS); Most Outrageous Moments/Most Outrageous Moments (NBC); Blue Collar TV/Blue Collar TV (WB); George Lopez/George Lopez (ABC); Bones (FOX); America's Next Top Model (UPN)

9 pm: Criminal Minds (CBS); Scrubs/Scrubs (NBC); One Tree Hill (WB); George Lopez/George Lopez (ABC); Prison Break (FOX); All of Us/Half and Half (UPN)

10 pm: CSI: New York (CBS); Law & Order (NBC); Primetime (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

10 pm: Project Runway on Bravo.

Despite crying foul over last week's inexcusable booting of Allison (apparently Tim Gunn was pretty miffed as well), I am still excited about another new episode of my new reality fix, Project Runway. On tonight's episode, another "shocking" challenge for the designers and Angela reaches her breaking point with Jeffrey.


Anonymous said…
I love BBC America. I really, really do. And I can't wait to see this new line up of shows. I probably won't be tuning in to "Worst Week of My Life" as I wasn't that impressed with the first season. But I am definitely intrigued by the Alan Partridge comedy and will check out the others.
Jon said…
I used to love BBC America. I really, really did. But I've become so angry at them for the maladroit way they cut episodes down to get all the ads into the time slots that I can barely watch anything any more.

Yesterday, I caught Tuesday's "Love Soup." It's a very clever, multilayered, cross-referencing story. Well, it's supposed to be, anyway. But bits of it are missing. Some lines make no sense because the previous event referred to has been vanished. And not always gracefully -- there was at least one very awkward edit.

Could be worse. One two-hour movie I watched last winter turns out to have been a 3 1/2-hour mini to start with. Entire characters and plotlines were axed.

If it didn't take so long to type, I'd start calling it Butchered Beyond Comprehension America in TV Barn's TV Picks.

(ps the Amanda Donohoe show premiered here last week; tonight's [Thursday] is episode 2.)
Jace Lacob said…
Jon, I always watching BBC America knowing that it's been horrifically chopped but I also know that 9 times out of 10, I'll end up watching it again on DVD. I rarely ever watch their movies or minis (except for State of Play) anymore because of that reason. They end up terribly, terribly disjointed... Yet I still can't stop watching the channel. I wish that they would just keep the episodes intact AND insert commercials if need be. (Or offer a separate, premium service that's commercial free. I know I'd pay for it.)

Thanks for the catch re: "Murder City." That's what I get for cutting and pasting from last week's entry... ;)

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