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C5 orders tsunami, WWII history series

ViacomCBS-owned UK broadcaster Channel 5 has commissioned four new specialist factual series covering the Second World War, the Costa Concordia disaster and the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

Lucy Willis

Tsunami (3×60’), produced by London-vased Voltage TV, will follow the natural disaster that struck shorelines across South-East Asia on Boxing Day 2004, claiming 230,000 lives.

Countdown to War (3×60’), from the same prodco, will explore the dramatic events that took place in the three days leading to the outbreak of the Second World War, beginning with the moment that Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939.

Costa Concordia (2×60’) will be ITN Productions’ first history series stripped over multiple nights for Channel 5. Combining exclusive first-person testimony from survivors, rescuers and victims’ families with rarely seen footage, reconstructions and expert insight, the programmes reveal in forensic detail what happened on the night the Italian cruise ship ran aground.

The Great Escape (3×60’) is similarly ViacomCBS International Studios’ first historical stripped series for Channel 5. It recounts the iconic Second World War prisoner-of-war escape through reconstructions, archive footage and anecdotes from relatives of those who were there.

“As we continue to broaden our original factual slate, our stripped event history programming will play an increasingly key role in the primetime schedule. This box-set approach to narrative history played over three nights resonates really well with our viewers,” said Lucy Willis, commissioning editor for Channel 5.


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