Here are the photos we have of the opening episode of second season of HBO & Sky Atlantic’s smash Boardwalk Empire… Read more…
Sky1 have announced that series two of Strike Back will be co produced by HBO. This news has genuinely exciting and epic repercussions for the show. Here is their press release…
LEFT BANK PICTURES’ STRIKE BACK RETURNS FOR SECOND SEASON –
Following the success of the first season of Sky1 HD drama Strike Back, a second season has been jointly commissioned by Sky and HBO/Cinemax. This will mark the first ever co-production between Sky and HBO/Cinemax and follows on from the exclusive output deal between the two pay TV broadcasters. Left Bank Pictures will once again produce the high-octane drama, which, in addition to making its US debut, will increase its run from six to 10 parts.
The co-production builds on the existing relationship between Sky and HBO. Sky Atlantic HD, which is now the home of HBO in the UK and Ireland, launched to Sky customers on the 1st February 2011.
The Strike Back co-production demonstrates Sky’s increasing commitment to content origination, particularly in genres such as drama. In addition to the first season of Strike Back, Sky 1 HD received commercial and critical success for the likes of The Take and Thorne. A number of high-profile dramas – including Mad Dogs, Treasure Island and The Runaway – are due to hit the Sky 1HD schedule shortly.
In creating even more content that pays to the passions of its 10 million customers, Sky has continued to increase its commitment to original content – across drama, comedy and the arts. In addition to an increased commissioning budget, Sky also recently announced that it has more than doubled its development pot for original content.
Elaine Pyke, Sky’s Head of Drama, said:
“The scale and ambition of the first series of Strike Back really showed UK audiences the scope of Sky’s ambitions for drama. Now, with HBO as a co-producer, and a longer series of ten parts, we look forward to series two being even bigger and better. I really feel that this ambitious co-production highlights the importance of creating compelling original drama for our customers.”
Andy Harries, Executive Producer, Left Bank Pictures comments:
“Strike Back was conceived as a high octane action adventure with the scale and impact of a US series and to have HBO/Cinemax on board will turn this ambition into reality. Sky’s commitment to original drama and HBO/Cinemax’s ambitions for the series makes this a very exciting collaboration.”
Produced by BAFTA winning production company Left Bank Pictures, Strike Back was commissioned by Elaine Pyke, Executive Producer for Sky1 HD and Kary Antholis, the executive in charge of theproduction for Ci nemax. Michael Casey will be Series Producer with Trevor Hopkins and Sue De Beauvoir producing in South Africa and Hungary respectively. Directors include Dan Percival (the lead director from the first series), Bill Eagles and Alex Holmes. The first six episodes will be filmed on location across South Africa before the production moves to Hungary in the early summer. Filming begins in late February.
Strike Back is a contemporary, action-fuelled drama which was conceived from the hugely successful novels by ex-SAS soldier, Chris Ryan. The second series will feature original story lines that run across globe-spanning settings as a former US Special Forces operative teams up with Section 20 to stop an international terrorist group. Richard Armitage returns as John Porter and two new characters will be introduced, played by Philip Winchester and Sullivan Stapleton.
Boardwalk Empire WINNER
The Good Wife
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ENSEMBLE IN A COMEDY SERIES
Modern Family WINNER
Hot in Cleveland
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Steve Buscemi – Boardwalk Empire WINNER
Bryan Cranston – Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall – Dexter
Jon Hamm – Mad Men
Hugh Laurie – House
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife WINNER
Elisabeth Moss – Mad Men
Glenn Close – Damages
Mariska Hargitay – Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Kyra Sedgwick – The Closer
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Alec Baldwin – 30 Rock WINNER
Steve Carell – The Office
Chris Colfer – Glee
Ty Burrell – Modern Family
Ed O’Neill – Modern Family
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Betty White – Hot in Cleveland WINNER
Sofia Vergara – Modern Family
Tina Fey – 30 Rock
Edie Falco – Nurse Jackie
Jane Lynch – Glee
Al Pacino – You Don’t Know Jack WINNER
Dennis Quaid – You Don’t Know Jack
Edgar Ramirez – Carlos
Patrick Stewart – MacBeth
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A TELEVISION MOVIE OR MINISERIES
Claire Danes – Temple Grandin WINNER
Catherine O’Hara – Temple Grandin
Julia Ormond – Temple Grandin
Winona Ryder – When Love Is Not Enough
Susan Sarandon – You Don’t Know Jack
I’ve been working my way through The Wire, and loving it I might add, and I’ve just begun season 4. This season is to focus more on the politicians who run Baltimore but still keeping a toe in the drug world.
In the first episode of this fourth season, the big thing that struck me, and I hope it’s something they’ll continue to focus on through the season, were the scenes involving the young kids connected to the drug scene. We see one boy, Namond, who is a runner on Bodie’s corner (Bodie having been a low level player in the now seemingly dismantled Barksdale gang), a kid who is perhaps 12 years old, and follow him with a small group of similarly-aged children. They try to capture a pigeon that they mistakenly think is a “homer” and will fetch them a few dollars. Namond gets involved in a bit of name calling and shoving with another kid, Dukie, who seems to be something of a loner. Yet despite their little entanglement, Namond later goes to Dukie’s defence by leading his friends into a fight with another gang of kids after they beat on Dukie. They do seem to be quite a normal, close-knit group of street kids despite their closeness to drugs.
This is an example of how The Wire really excels as both a television show and a social study. It depicts so well, the dichotomy between the innocence of youth and the drug game. We saw it only too well in season one with the young lad Wallace who was overcome with guilt when his tip off led to the brutal murder of Omar’s boyfriend, Brandon. This guilt weighed heavily upon him and led him to taking drugs himself, setting him on an ultimately tragic path. With Wallace we saw how sad it is that a young kid with potential, is born into such unfortunate circumstances that he inevitably gets involved in the drug gangs. And so the innocence of youth is poisoned and destroyed by this very violent, adult world.
I suspect we’re going to see a similar path for at least some of this gang of kids in season four. Already one of them, Randy, has led one young man to his presumed demise. Presumed because we’ve not seen the actual murder or a body yet. The final image of this first episode was of Randy sitting on his front doorstep with the weight of the world on his shoulders, realising what he played an unwitting part in, much like Wallace from season one. How he will handle the guilt remains to be seen but I can’t wait to watch the next episode!
If you’re a fan of The Wire, you might be interested in subscribing to an excellent podcast by Alex Hahn (of “Alex’s Hiatus Cast” fame), called “Wirecasts”, in which he analyses the plot, characters and over-arcing themes of this complex and rewarding tv show. He is currently working his way through season one, episode by episode. The podcasts are not over-long and are spoiler free! You can download and subscribe to Wirecasts via iTunes.