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BBC, Weinstein prep Laurel and Hardy drama

UK pubcaster the BBC has ordered four new shows including a one-off drama special about comedy duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, from The Weinstein Company.

The 1×90′ show will be written by Jeff Pope (Mrs Biggs) and explore the comedy double act during their farewell UK tour in 1953. The show is being produced by The Weinstein Company, along with the BBC’s Comedy division and Lookout Point.

Shane Allen, BBC’s controller of comedy, said the “epic story” would capture the emotional bond between the duo.

The move is the latest deal for The Weinstein Company as it continues to push further into TV series production having recently come onboard six-part epic War and Peace as a coproduction partner with Lookout Point/BBC Worldwide.

Also on the BBC’s drama slate is Our Girl, which returns with a 5×60′ order following a one-off version of the show broadcast earlier in March. The series, which has been written by Tony Grounds and is being produced by the BBC’s in-house drama unit for BBC1, follows an 18-year-old woman who joins the army and gets sent to Afghanistan.

Other new commissions incdlue Inside KFC (3×60’), a documentary produced by Wild Pictures for BBC1 and exploring how the business operates, with interviews from restaurant workers and the company’s top-level execs. Wild Pictures’ Paul Hamann and the BBC’s Maxine Watson are exec producing.

Grey Mates (6×30′), also for BBC1, is a comedy that follows the ups and downs of three recently retired couples. It has been written by Richard Pinto and is being produced by Hat Trick Productions.

Controller of BBC1 Charlotte Moore said the new shows “take on timely and meaningful subjects” that “offer an entertaining invitation into completely different worlds.”

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