Drama

British Hit Broadchurch Comes to America This August

Broadchurch, the murder mystery series that basically took over the UK for several weeks earlier this year, is officially coming to America later this summer. The eight-part drama will premiere on August 7 at 10pm, as part of BBC America’s Dramaville block and will run through September.

The show delivered record ratings for ITV, was the most tweeted about British drama ever, and was pretty much all anyone was talking about in the world of entertainment while it was on. This is a fact of which you are probably already aware if you have spent any time at all trying to avoid Broadchurch spoilers online in recent weeks. It’s rough out there. (But it’s so worth it if you can make it through without finding out the ending!)

The series stars Doctor Who’s David Tennant and Twenty Twelve’s Olivia Colman as two detectives investigating the shocking murder of an eleven year old boy in a quiet seaside resort town where everyone is suddenly a suspect. BAFTA winner Vicky McClure, Who alum Arthur Darvill and Harry Potter actor David Bradley are all also part of the stellar cast.

The first American trailer for the series was just released by BBC America, and it does a great job of conveying the drama’s overwhelming sense of tension while flashing through a great many of the characters who may or may not be murder suspects.

Paul Giamatti Joins the Cast of Downton Abbey Series 4

There sure are going to be a lot of new faces in Series 4 of everyone’s favorite costume drama Downton Abbey! Multi-award winning actor Paul Giamattiyou may know him from such films as Sideways and Cinderella Manwill be joining the cast next season.

Giamatti, who won both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his performance in HBO miniseries John Adams, will play Harold Levinson, the maverick, playboy brother of Cora and uncle of Mary and Edith. The character is set to appear in the Series 4 finale (that’s Christmas special to you Brits) alongside his mother Martha, played by returning guest star Shirley MacLaine.

Giamatti joins a fairly long list of new cast members and guest stars set to appear in the new season, including Lily James, Gary Carr, Tom Cullen, Nigel Harman, Dame Harriet Walter and more.

Downton executive producer Gareth Neame said that Giamatti's character is "free-spirited" and that Harold and Martha will "upset the Grantham’s apple cart" in the finale. It’s doubtful anybody has any idea what that means, so it’s time to get the speculation wheels turning. What sort of event would bring the Crawleys’ American relatives back across the pond? What do we know – if anything – about Cora’s brother from previous episodes? (Has he been mentioned before?)

And, more importantly, are you excited to see Giamatti on the show?

Finally: Crime Drama DCI Banks Officially Renewed for a Third Series

Good news for fans of gritty contemporary mystery series DCI Banks – ITV has officially renewed the show for a third series! While this bit of information has long been assumed/expected, it’s still nice to have an actual formal announcement that Series 3 is indeed going to happen.

The crime drama will return for a new six-part series starring Stephen Tompkinson, Andrea Lowe and Caroline Catz. Series 3 will based on three of Peter Robinson’s novels, and two episodes will be devoted to each of the three stories entitled Wednesday’s Child, Piece of My Heart and Bad Boy.

“DCI Banks has become a firm favorite amongst the ITV Drama audience and I’m very pleased we have commissioned a third series,” said ITV’s Director of Drama Steve November. “The new stories will pose searching questions for Banks as ultimately he’s forced to take extreme action to keep his team together.”

Per the official press release the new series will see DS Annie Cabbott return from maternity leave, explore whether a romantic relationship between Annie and Banks can ever be a reality, and introduce Banks’ university dropout daughter Tracy. DI Helen Morton is also returning and she, Annie and Banks will have to sort out how to work together as a team.

Want more specifics? Read on.

Filming Officially Begins on Call the Midwife Series 3

Filming officially kicked off on the third series of beloved drama Call the Midwife this week!

The cast, led by Jessica Raine, Helen George and Pam Ferris, will be back for another holiday installment this Christmas, followed by an eight-part third series that’s currently slated to air at some point in early 2014. Four female directors will also call the shots behind the camera this season, with The Hollow Crown’s Thea Sharrock and Miranda’s Juliet May joining the returning China Moo-Young and Minkie Spiro.

Written and created by Heidi Thomas, Call the Midwife has been the BBC’s biggest new drama series of the last decade, and its second series (which aired across the pond back in January) is still the UK’s highest rated drama of 2013 to date on any channel. Per the official press release, Series 3 will take us to 1959 and the eve of the “Swinging Sixties”. The winds of change that are blowing through the country will impact Nonnatus House as well, as its residents all wrestle with their own momentous changes.

And, in case you were worried about whether Miranda Hart would be back as fan favorite Chummy, well, it looks like you can rest easy...

Foyle's War to Return to Masterpiece Mystery in September!

It’s official: Foyle’s War will be back on PBS stations this Fall as part of the new season of Masterpiece Mystery!

Both Michael Kitchen and Honeysuckle Weeks are back for a new series of three feature-length episodes, set during the early years following World War II. The first episode is called The Eternity Ring and will premiere on September 15, followed by The Cage (September 22) and Sunflower (September 29).

Even though Foyle technically “retired” at the end of the last series, retirement is obviously short-lived, as he’s now a Senior Intelligence Officer with MI-5 and must track down spies, traitors, Communist sympathizers and other threats to Britain’s security.

Other things have changed as well: Foyle’s loyal assistant Samantha Stewart is now a married woman juggling her new role as a wife with her own burgeoning political career. And of course she’s going to have to figure out a way to fit working with Foyle in there, too, somehow.

Watch the ITV trailer for the new season below and put a big red circle around September 15 on your calendar.

Get an Extended Look at The White Queen, Premiering This Summer on Starz

Feeling an itch for some medieval-style political intrigue, awesome ladies, epic battles and great costumes? Then upcoming costume drama The White Queen is probably for you.

Based on a series of novels by Philippa Gregory, the ambitious ten-part drama attempts to tell the story of the Wars of the Roses through the eyes of three very different women, who were all intimately involved in the battle for the English crown. Elizabeth Woodville, the titutlar White Queen and wife of King Edward IV, Margaret Beaufort, mother of the man who would become King Henry VII, and Ann Neville, daughter of Warwick the Kingmaker and eventual wife of King Richard III. (In other fun facts, Elizabeth Woodville and Margaret Beaufort are the grandmothers of King Henry VIII.)

The Starz website describes the show as “a riveting portrayal of one of the most dramatic and turbulent times in English history. A story of love and lust, seduction and deception, betrayal and murder, it is uniquely told through the perspective of three different, yet equally relentless women. In their quest for power, they will scheme, manipulate and seduce their way onto the English throne.”

This extended official trailer from Starz is much, much better than the teaser trailer offered last month, which seemed to focus primarily on the fact that everyone in the cast was attractive. This clip not only shows almost every major character, it gives you a pretty good idea of the basics of the series’ plot – or, at least before everything gets really messy later on.

The Final Series of Skins Gets a UK Airdate and a Trailer at Last

Finally! More details have been released at last about the final series of E4’s groundbreaking teen drama Skins. The show is set to bow out with three two-hour specials entitled Skins Rise, Skins Fire and Skins Pure that are now officially set to air in the UK in July.

With the broadcast date looming, we’re finally starting to get a proper taste of what the final season will look like – E4 has released the first official trailer for Series 7. Like virtually every other Skins trailer that has come before it, the clip promoting the show’s last hurrah is kind of strange, a bit ethereal and features no actual scenes from the show but has a great soundtrack.

The minute-long clip features returning stars Kaya Scodelario, Hannah Murray and Jack O’Connell and, despite the aforementioned lack of any actual new footage, clearly illustrates the themes being tackled by this final set of episodes now that the teens are young adults dealing with real-world problems. “Time changes everything,” says the new Series 7 tag line.

Get your first look at the new trailer below.

Luther Series 3: First Trailer and Broadcast Dates!

Exciting news for fans of quality crime dramas – or really just great British television in general – Luther is returning for a third series later this year!

In this suspenseful (okay, often downright dark) drama, Idris Elba plays Detective Chief Inspector John Luther, a brilliant but haunted homicide detective who works for the Serous and Serial Crime Unit, tracking down the worst sorts of offenders. Elba won a Golden Globe in 2011 for his performance as the obsessive Luther, who can’t quite shake the darkness of the crimes with which he deals.

The four new episodes will see Luther faced with two conflicting crimes to investigate and a ruthless cop determined to bring him down. Warren Brown is back as the loyal DS Ripley and Ruth Wilson will reprise her role as serial killer Alice Morgan, who has a rather complicated relationship with Luther. Resident Evil’s Sienna Guillory will be introduced as a new love interest for the detective, so it seems Luther might be finding a bit of personal happiness for once, as strange as that sounds.

Take a look at the BBC trailer below.

Morse Prequel Endeavour Renewed for Series 2, Masterpiece to Air Series 1 in July

Inspector Morse fans certainly have reason to celebrate – prequel series Endeavour, which stars Shaun Evans as a young Endeavour Morse, has been renewed for a second season by UK network ITV. Both Evans and his co-star Roger Allam, who plays DI Fred Thursday, will return for four new episodes, which are slated to go into production in Oxford later this year.

Endeavour follows the story of a young Endeavour Morse during the early days of his career, after leaving his Oxford college without taking a degree and joining the police force. The first series was a ratings success for ITV, averaging around 7 million viewers per episode and ranking alongside the network’s biggest 2013 hits, alongside Broadchurch and Mr. Selfridge.

Click through for more details - and a look at Series 1, which will premiere on PBS's Masterpiece Mystery this July!

Courtroom Drama Silk Headed to Masterpiece This Summer

Move over, detectives – we’re getting a different kind of procedural this summer on Masterpiece Mystery! Legal drama Silk will premiere in the US in August and it will put barristers (that’s British for lawyer) front and center for once.

The series is focused on a group of barristers who are all rather competitively obsessed with attaining the highest rank in their profession, being appointed a Queen’s Counsel. This promotion is known as “taking the silk” and refers to the fact that Queen’s Counsel wear a distinctive silk gown (and a full-bottomed wig) when they appear in court. Obviously, it’s also what gives the show its name.

The story largely follows the rivalry between Maxine Peak’s Martha Costello and Rupert Penry-Jones’ Clive Reader, two rising stars who attempt to backstab, outwit and outdo one another because they’ve both applied to be Queen’s Counsel. Natalie Dormer and Tom Hughes play the chamber’s two new young pupils attempting to learn how to navigate the this complicated world.

Take a look at the BBC trailer for Silk below

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