Broadcast article: Channel 5 orders plague and Tudor docs
16 August 2019
Channel 5 has demonstrated its growing commitment to the history genre by unveiling shows on the great plague and Henry VIII.
Voltage TV and Motion Content Group are co-producing Epidemic: The Great Plague (3 x 60), exploring the 1666 outbreak using new scientific and epidemiological evidence across three consecutive nights.
The commission is the third recent order from C5 for Inside the Factory indie Voltage, which is also producing another stripped series, Tutankhamun Legacy (working title), along with single-doc Pompeii: What Happened Next.
Elsewhere, Blakeway Productions and Motion Content Group’s royal drama-documentary series Henry VIII: Man, Monarch, Monster (3 x 60) is being produced by Bafta-award winning exec producer Emma Hindley.
The doc will explore the infamous sovereign’s psychology, ambitions and fraught relationships.
It follows C5’s recent order for The Garden’s Trump and Henry VIII (working title), which will feature contemporary and Tudor historians analysing comparisons between the two.
The documentaries feed into the Viacom-owned commercial PSB’s forthcoming history slate, which also incorporates Lion TV’s Inside the Tower of London, recently recommissioned for a second series.
The shows have all been commissioned by factual commissioning editor Lucy Willis, who emphasised her passion for “bringing history to as wide an audience as possible”.
She added that the genre is now a “vital part of our primetime schedule”, having previously called on suppliers to “crack the contemporary history space for me”.