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Channel 5 announces 2020 slate

Politician-turned-journalist Michael Portillo

Viacom-owned UK terrestrial Channel 5 has picked up a number of titles across several genres for its 2020 programming slate, including a documentary on activist group Extinction Rebellion.

The stand-alone one-hour documentary Inside Extinction Rebellion (working title) headlines the broadcaster’s upcoming slate.

The documentary follows the environmental activist group over the course of a month as it attempts to organise the largest climate change protests yet and raise awareness of the world’s most pressing climate issues. The documentary is produced by Keo Films, with Will Anderson executive producing.

Politician-turned-journalist Michael Portillo returns to C5 with his four-part series Empire with Michael Portillo (4×60’). The series sees Portillo travel to the corners of the former British colonies as he revisits the history of the British Empire through the buildings left behind. Argonon-owned Transparent Television produced the series, with Jazz Gowans and Ruairi Fallon producing.

Also coming to C5 in 2020 is Trident (1×60’). The one-off documentary gives viewers insight into one of Britain’s secret Trident nuclear submarines as it prepares to go on patrol. Artlab Films produced the title, with Mark Tattersall executive producing.

History titles added to the C5 catalogue include the Lion Television and Media Content Group (MCG) copro Anne Boleyn: Queen for 1,000 Days (3×60’) from Lion Television. The series tracks the arrest, trial and execution of King Henry VIII’s second wife. The key days and evidence in Boleyn’s trial will be examined to reveal the reasons behind her execution. Bill Locke served as executive producer on the series.

Royal title Monarchy (10×90’) has also been added to the broadcaster’s slate. The 10-part series looks at some of the greatest monarchs in British history, with each episode hosted by a different presenter with a proven connection with or interest in the monarch in question. The series is a Voltage TV Productions and MCG copro with Amanda Lyon and Martin Oxley executive producing.

Travelogue series The Ganges with Anita Rani (4×60’) sees host Rani travels to the land of her grandparents to explore its history and the importance the Indian river has held throughout the course of time. Rory Wheeler and Owen Rodd executive produced the series for Rare Television.

Natural history titles The Atlantic (4×60’), A Year in the Forest (4×60’) and Elephant Hospital (2×60’) have also been picked up by C5. The Atlantic is a Tigress and MCG copro exploring the Atlantic Ocean. The second title is an ITN Productions show that takes audiences into the UK’s vast Kielder Forest in Northumberland, and MCG and Maverick Television copro Elephant Hospital explores Thailand’s unique medical centre for elephants.

My New Greek Life (4×60’) and Emporium Productions’ Rich Holiday Poor Holiday (4×60’) have also bagged a spot on the slate.

Observational documentary My New Greek Life, coproduced by RDF and Kempelwood, follows Brits who have packed up their lives and moved to Greece. Rich Holiday Poor Holiday, coproduced by Hat-Trick and Emporium Productions, sees families from opposing ends of the wealth spectrum swap their usual holiday habits.

Alex Polizzi also returns to the broadcaster with Alex Polizzi’s Hotel (2×60’). The Twofour produced docuseries follows the hospitality critic and businesswoman as she sets up her own hotel venture in the Sussex Downs.


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