London-Ben Stephenson, BBC Controller: Drama Commissioning has announced the commission of The A Word, a six part drama series to be co-produced by Fifty Fathoms Productions, Tiger Aspect Productions and Keshet Productions UK.
The A Word is based on the Keshet International and July August Productions’ series and drama format which was written and created by Keren Margalit. The A Word has been developed and written for BBC1 by Peter Bowker (Marvellous, Occupation, Blackpool).
The A Word is the story of the Scott family who work and love and fight like every other family. Then their youngest son is diagnosed with autism and they don’t feel like every other family anymore. They realise that if their son is ever going to communicate, they are going to have to learn how to communicate themselves. It’s a funny and thought-provoking series about parenthood and childhood and what it is like to have a child who fails to fit the mould.
The A Word will be Executive Produced for Fifty Fathoms and Tiger Aspect by Patrick Spence and Peter Bowker. Executive Producers for Keshet are Sara Johnson, Avi Nir and Keren Margalit. Lucy Richer will Executive Produce for BBC One.
Peter Bowker said, “I loved the original series and wanted to honour its spirit while writing something new. We have the opportunity here to make something funny, tough, realistic and inventive about contemporary family life and autism. In a society where imperfection increasingly comes with blame attached it seems timely to look at how autism is regarded both within a family and the wider community – and to give some insight into how that experience might be for the child on the autistic spectrum. It’s a drama full of ideas – about parenthood, about disability, about communication, about community – and will emphatically engage an audience whatever their experience of the subject”.
Sara Johnson, Head of Drama and Co-productions at Keshet Productions UK, added, “The A Word is so close to our hearts at Keshet, Keren Margalit’s original version is a beautiful series and a story which we are so proud and excited to share with the world. We couldn’t be happier to have found the ideal partners to do this in the brilliant Peter Bowker, along with Fifty Fathoms under the capable lead of Patrick Spence, and the perfect home on the BBC1 platform.”
Filming will commence in summer 2015. Further production and cast credits will follow. A TX in early 2016 is currently anticipated.
For further information please contact
Head of Press and PR
Fifty Fathoms/Tiger Aspect
00 44 207 434 6727
00 44 7771 636612
Senior PR Manager
T: +44 207 771 0043
About Fifty Fathoms Productions
Fifty Fathoms was set up in 2010. We are a boutique label, producing drama for British and international broadcasters.
At Fifty Fathoms, we create an environment in which a writer can deliver their boldest work; and we will do whatever it takes to champion and protect the uniqueness of their vision.
Writers we are working with include: Ronan Bennett, Peter Bowker, Clara Brennan, Bill Gallagher, Guy Hibbert, Robert Jones, Lucy Kirkwood, Graham Moore, John Ridley, Heidi Thomas and Jack Thorne. We are developing projects for the BBC, Channel 4, ITV and Sky; and we have a key supplier development deal to develop further series for Sky Atlantic.
We have recently wrapped on two productions:
FORTITUDE (Simon Donald) is a 12 x 60’ crime thriller set in the Arctic Circle for Sky Atlantic and Pivot, directed by Sam Miller, Richard Laxton, Hettie MacDonald and Nick Hurran, starring Sofie Grabol, Stanley Tucci, Michael Gambon, Richard Dormer, Chris Ecclestone, Luke Treadaway, Jessica Raine, Veronica Echegui, Nicholas Pinnock and Johnny Harris. This will transmit early 2015.
MARVELLOUS (Pete Bowker) is a 90’ single film for BBC2, directed by Julian Farino and starring Toby Jones and Gemma Jones. This transmitted on September 25th.
Fifty Fathoms sits under the umbrella of Tiger Aspect and Endemol.
About Tiger Aspect Productions
Tiger Aspect Productions, an Endemol Company, is internationally recognised as one of the UK’s most successful and prolific independent television producers. The company portfolio includes Children’s/Animation, Comedy, Drama, Entertainment and Factual/Features genres.
We create a wide range of critically acclaimed and award-winning programming for all the UK’s major terrestrial and non-terrestrial broadcasters. In addition our creative output now enjoys high profile internationally through commissions for major foreign networks. Our programmes are shown by a host of broadcasters in hundreds of territories.
Our programming is built on our relationships with the best on offer in UK talent. The company’s belief in nurturing and supporting creativity on every level means that Tiger Aspect consistently attracts the ultimate in on-screen, writing and production talent.
About Keshet Productions UK
Keshet Productions UK is an independent production company based in London. Established in 2012, it is the first global outpost to appear under the Keshet International banner. It develops, produces and coproduces original scripted and unscripted programming for the UK and international market, as well as making local versions of Keshet formats. Keshet Productions UK is building strong relationships with local British talent, broadcasters and the independent production community at large. The management team is made up of established UK TV professionals including former DCD Media CEO Sammy Nourmand and former Sky drama commissioner Sara Johnson as Head of Scripted Programming.Keshet International is the global banner for all of the company’s operations outside of Israel. Headed by CEO Alon Shtruzman, KI encompasses Keshet’s distribution arm as well as its local production outposts around the world.
About Keshet International
Keshet International is Keshet Media Group’s global distribution and production arm. Headed by Managing Director Alon Shtruzman, it includes Keshet’s local production outposts (Keshet Productions UK, Keshet Australia, Keshet Canada and Keshet DCP in the US) as well as its global distribution arm.
KI’s catalogue consists of over 60 tried and tested properties that appeal to audiences worldwide, spanning all genres.
Highlights include hit drama Prisoners of War, the original Israeli version of prime time Emmy® winner Homeland; hit interactive talent show Rising Star; International Emmy® nominated docu-reality format Dear Neighbors, Help our Daughter Find Love; talent show Master Class; cross platform format 50 Things You Have to Know; reality dating format Girlfri3nds; game show The Vault; and the International Emmy® award-winning ‘buddy comedy’ Traffic Light.
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