Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Best of British TV on BBC

-Life on Mars, Little Britain, and more-

If the networks’ fall schedules seem familiar to you, there’s a reason why - they’re filled with shows that have already aired on BBC AMERICA. From dramas to comedies to reality shows, BBC AMERICA’s influence is all over the air these days. This October, BBC America celebrates the shows that provided inspiration for ABC, CBS, Fox and HBO by presenting marathons of the original versions that have graced our channel over the years. Tune in each Sunday.


As ABC prepares to premiere a U.S. version set in New York, head to Manchester for the original where Detective Sam Tyler (John Simm, State of Play) who, after a near fatal car crash in present day, wakes up dazed, confused and in 1973. Freaked out by his new and outdated surroundings, Sam tries to return to the present. Has he gone crazy, in a coma or travelled back in time? All he knows is that he’s now serving on the Manchester’s Police force working for a chain-smoking, bigoted, technologically-backward and corrupt boss, Detective Chief Inspector Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister, Cranford), who uses maverick methods of policing to rid the city of criminal scum. With music from David Bowie, Santana, T Rex, ELO, Roxy Music and Thin Lizzy see why this is considered a modern-day classic in a seven-episode marathon of this one-of-a-kind drama.

Life on Mars Marathon premieres Sunday, October 5, 1:00 p.m. ET/ 10:00 a.m. PT


This fall CBS will premiere a new version of this hit thriller which originally starred Patrick Stewart (X-Men, Star Trek: The Next Generation) as Ian Hood, a professor hired by the government to investigate mysterious abuses of science such as human cloning, viral warfare and global warming. A death threat made — and acted upon — soon after his appointment means he’s shadowed by a highly trained bodyguard, the coolly efficient Rachel Young (Ashley Jensen, Ugly Betty, Extras). He resents her presence and the restrictions this protection places upon him. As a result, he often makes life difficult for the very person trying to keep him alive. Catch an entire first season marathon of this fast paced investigative drama.

The Eleventh Hour Marathon premieres Sunday, October 12, 1:00 p.m. ET/ 10:00 a.m. PT


If there’s one thing the British know, it’s comedy, so it’s no surprise that two classics are turning up on American TV this fall. HBO launches a U.S. version of the outrageous sketch comedy show Little Britain, which continues to be a hit for BBC AMERICA on iTunes. Catch three episodes of this BAFTA award winning series.

Then it’s three episodes of The Worst Week of My Life, starring Primeval’s Ben Miller and Coupling’s Sarah Alexander in a hysterical comedy of errors about the unluckiest pair of newlyweds ever and the basis for CBS’s Worst Week debuting this fall.

Little Britain and The Worst Week of My Life Marathon premieres Sunday, October 19, 1:00 p.m. ET/ 10:00 a.m. PT


Before Gordon Ramsay crossed the Atlantic to fix up disastrous restaurants for Fox, he was berating chefs and owners into shape one four-letter-word at a time in the British Isles. Don’t miss four back-to-back episodes of the original – and best – Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares.

Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares Marathon premieres Sunday, October 26, starting 1:00 p.m. ET/ 10:00 a.m. PT

BBC AMERICA Reveals has five all-new U.S. premiere documentaries in October


Dolls may seem to be just a children's plaything, but a closer look reveals much more. This documentary delves into a small niche of adult women who collect and care for shockingly life-like baby dolls that cost hundreds of dollars. Known as “reborns,” some of these dolls have beating hearts and others have tiny veins. They are treated like real babies – with walks in the park, cuddles and regular diaper changes. The documentary follows several women including one who travels to Washington D.C. to pick up the fifth addition to her family of life-like dolls.

My Fake Baby premieres Wednesday, October 1, 9:00 p.m. ET/PT


Ian, a Captain of the Parachute Regiment and a highly decorated officer in the British Army, has served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Over the years, he’s fought to suppress his feminine side, seeking out the toughest assignments to prove his manliness. But in 2007, Ian became the first officer in the history of the Armed Forces to undergo a sex-change operation. Sex Change Soldier documents Ian’s transgender journey to become Jan, revealing an intimate and raw portrait of a remarkable year, as the alpha-male soldier transforms into an ultra-feminine woman.

Sex Change Soldier premieres Wednesday, October 8, 9:00 p.m. ET/PT


With a quarter of married British women hitched to younger men, Sugar Mummies asks the questions - what's in it for the younger men? Are they just looking for a temporary sugar mummy or are they looking for love? The documentary follows four couples including Norma, 60, and her husband Chris, 28, who have been together for ten years but their age gap has alienated them from society and now only have each other for company.

Sugar Mummies premieres Wednesday, October 15, 9:00 p.m. ET/PT


Brothers and Sisters in Love looks at the taboo of incest and how it is commonly perceived in modern society. It specifically investigates the effects of 'Genetic Sexual Attraction' - a phenomenon some experts believe is experienced by up to 50% of adoptees when they first meet their blood relatives. One couple featured, Susan and Patrick, were irresistibly drawn to one another and eventually began a love affair which has scandalized Germany and made headlines across the world. In another instance, Ron, a happily married man of 40 years, was immediately consumed by disturbing emotions for his sister whom he found in Bermuda after being separated for sixty years. While his feelings went far beyond brotherly love, what finally saved them and his marriage was that his sister did not reciprocate his feelings.

Brothers and Sisters in Love premieres Wednesday, October 22, 9:00 p.m. ET/PT


With more women giving birth in their teens, Britain is witnessing the emergence of a new kind of glamorous 30-something grandma. In Britain’s Youngest Grannies, women from across the UK talk about whether it's a nightmare to see their daughter follow in their footsteps and become a teen mum or a blessing to have a new baby in the family while there’s youth and energy to enjoy the new arrival.

Britain’s Youngest Grannies premieres Wednesday, October 29, 9:00 p.m. ET/PT


Series that continue to premiere new episodes during October include:

Tuesdays: Gavin & Stacey

Fridays: Newsnight, Star Stories

Saturdays: Primeval

Sundays: Skins