Sky reveals Autumn lineup
Mark Sharman, Director of Broadcasting and Production, said: "Since we successfully launched the world's first digital television service two years ago, Sky digital has not been standing still. Today's announcement can only show highlights: a fresh Sky One, five sports channels, the widest array of movie channels, a world leader in television news and technology, new developments in mobile and other new media platforms, not to mention an imaginative and appealing mix for all ages and tastes across joint venture channels from National Geographic to Nick Jr."
"Today we show how Sky has created the definitive model for entertainment, news, sports coverage and consumer e-commerce in the digital age. At Sky we do more than simply meet customers' expectations. We raise them to new levels - again and again."
Announcing the autumn line-up, Vic Wakeling, Managing Director of Sky Sports, said: "Today's television viewer knows the technology now exists to offer genuine choice. It might be a choice of game - it might be a choice of angle - it might be highlights at a time they choose. Anything else is a poor substitute, yet Sky Sports is still the only broadcaster to offer such variety. We've pioneered these new services over the past 12 months and, thanks to the unrivalled capacity of Sky digital, we're going to take it a stage further in the months ahead."
A FRESH SKY ONE
Leading the way this autumn is the new comedy and drama which forms the centrepiece of David Bergg's first Sky One schedule since he joined from ITV. The winning mix of premium first-run acquired programmes is strengthened and enhanced with more original programming than ever before - including three talked-about comedies and compelling drama featuring some of the best-known talent on British television.
Harry Enfield's Brand Spanking New Show sees Britain's comedy chameleon in a new 12-part series with a distinctly adult edge to his familiar character-based humour. Harry's set to ruffle feathers with new faces and catchphrases to join his familiar creations over the past decade. Cornish Ladies' Man, red-headed breakfast DJ Chris Great and 'Paxman' are just three - with some controversial surprises also in store.
Harry is joined on Sky One by Al Murray, an award-winning newcomer to television who has stormed the comedy stages of Britain in the past few years. In Time Gentlemen Please, Al Murray brings his Perrier-winning creation The Pub Landlord to television. The sitcom stars Phil Daniels, Julia Sawalha and Rebecca Front.
Blackadder is a comedy phenomenon of the last decade, and Sky One viewers can see a reunion of the original cast and writing team (Ben Elton and Richard Curtis) specially commissioned for Skyscape at the Millennium Dome. Blackadder Back and Forth takes Rowan Atkinson, Stephen Fry, Tim McInnerny, Hugh Laurie, Miranda Richardson and - as Baldrick - Tony Robinson on a chaotic journey across centuries of British history.
Drama is another key attraction for Sky One viewers this autumn. Besides the welcome return of Sky One's flagship drama serial Dream Team - in a new one-hour weekly format - is the celebrated acting partnership of Leslie Grantham and Anita Dobson, who held the nation spellbound as Eastenders' Den and Angie in the 1980s. Reunited for the first time on television, Leslie and Anita star in The Stretch, a hard-hitting drama set in London's criminal underworld.
Sky One is committed to bringing the best and biggest talent to subscribers, and drama is no exception. Amanda Redman (Hope and Glory, At Home With The Braithwaites) and Andrew McCarthy (Mulholland Falls, Pretty in Pink, St Elmo's Fire) make their Sky One debut in The Sight , a mystery drama with a supernatural element written and directed by Paul Anderson (Event Horizon, Mortal Kombat).
Other Sky One highlights include:
The Simpsons' 10th Anniversary: A special weekend of new and classic episodes, celebrity appearances and a few surprises on the anniversary weekend of the show's first UK broadcast on Sky on 2 & 3 September. Offscreen, Sky One is also celebrating this month by presenting the Simpsons Mania Tour 2000, an unprecedented series of live script readings and special appearances at the Edinburgh Fringe and in the West End by the show's creator, Matt Groening and the voice talents behind the characters.
Malcolm in the Middle: The runaway American hit comedy comes to British screens. The story of a middle-class family of four squabbling brothers and their parents, seen through the eyes of Malcolm, a normal kid who is suddenly catapulted into the "gifted" class of his school. With his endearing yet cynical wit, Malcolm navigates his way through the choppy waters of childhood.
Smash Hits TV: Sky One goes poptastic for this brand new series which brings pop fans all the fun and irreverence of Britain's top pop magazine.
TV Hits Awards: The worlds of pop and TV come together to fight it out in Wembley Arena for the coveted prize of showbiz's top dog. Artists already confirmed as performers or presenters include Westlife, Steps, Dane Bowers with Victoria Beckham, Stephen Gately, S Club 7, Billie Piper and Richard Blackwood.
Ibiza Uncovered II: First 'uncovered' back in 1997, Ibiza's reputation as the clubbing capital of Europe has since become legendary. Sky One cameras now return to the Balearic Isle to reveal how the hedonistic club scene has evolved and viewers will be reacquainted with favourite characters from infamous clubs such as Manumission and Space.
SKY SPORTS - A WORLD-LEADER
Sky Sports has five dedicated channels, offering more live sports than any other broadcaster.
The full range is available only on Sky digital, where Sky Sports 1, 2 and 3 are joined by Sky Sports Extra and Skysports.comTV. Together they offer the best line-up of live sports events covering all of the nation's most popular sports.
New this autumn are live interactive tennis at the US open; the FanZone option on live interactive football; live England internationals against France, Germany and Italy; and a new live pitchside football reporter, Clare Tomlinson.
The English football season kicks-off this weekend with the FA Charity Shield at Wembley Stadium, live & interactive on Sky Sports. There are over 100 live football matches up to Christmas, featuring domestic, international and European football.
The FA Carling Premiership starts with Manchester United against Newcastle at Old Trafford on August 20 followed by Arsenal vs Liverpool and Chelsea vs Aston Villa - five of last season's top six clubs in the opening week of the season. Every clash between any of last year's six leading clubs will be live & interactive and each Premiership club is seen live in the first four months of the season.
Every major domestic competition is live on Sky Sports this autumn. The first Old Firm clash of the Scottish Premier League season is live on August 27, The Nationwide League starts live with First Division favourites Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday 13 August, and the Worthington Cup starts with Northampton vs Fulham on Wednesday 22 August. Then the FA Cup starts live with the First Round tie in November.
The first international takes England to France, the World and European champions, live on Sky Sports2 on Saturday 2 September. Also live on Sky Sports this autumn, the World Cup Qualifier between England and Germany - the historic last match at the old Wembley Stadium - and Italy vs England on Wednesday 15 November.
In Europe, Chelsea's campaign in the UEFA Cup begins in September. All home matches will be exclusively live on Sky Sports Extra. Spain's La Liga adds two live matches a week from Europe's most talked-about league. Among the stars on show are £40 million Luis Figo - the world's most expensive player - the outgoing Arsenal heroes Marc Overmars and Emanuel Petit and England's Steve McManaman. The first live match is Real Madrid vs Valencia - a repeat of last season's European Cup Final.
For Rugby League the Super League reaches its climax with the Grand Final exclusively live. Then World Cup 2000 is live in October and November. The opening match between hosts England and favourites Australia is live from Twickenham on October 28 and the Final is live on November.
Rugby Union is also covered at domestic and international level. The new-look Zurich Premiership begins in the last week of August and November brings three live internationals as England face Australia, Argentina and South Africa at Twickenham.
Cricket, too, is live from the domestic and international stage. The climax of the One-day National League and 4-day County Championship games is followed by England's winter tour of Pakistan. All three One-day internationals and all three Tests are exclusively live. And for digital viewers to Sky Sports Extra, there is live coverage of Test matches and One days from Australia and South Africa featuring seven of the ten different test-playing nations.
Golf is covered every week of the year. Coverage continues with live & exclusive coverage of the US PGA Championship at Valhalla GC, where Tiger Woods will aim for his third Major of the year. The Solheim Cup for women, the international Alfred
Dunhill Cup, two events from the World Golf Championship, the leading US players in The Tour Championship and live coverage of the US Tour and European Tour offer 55 days of live golf - some with as many as three live tournaments from August to the New Year.
There's also live British Basketball, live Speedway from domestic league and Grand Prix events, NFL American Football with a live match every weekend up to and including SuperBowl, all fourteen days of the US Open tennis and live snooker from the British Open.
Sky digital viewers can see five different sports in an interactive format. For the first time, Sky's coverage of the US Open tennis will give viewers a choice of matches from up to three different courts. Domestic cricket and England's Rugby union internationals offer four different screen options at the touch of a button. At the British Open snooker viewers can choose which table and pairing to watch. And, one year on from the launch of the world's first live interactive football, the service gets a new look and viewers a new screen option.
FanZone will be introduced for the FA Charity Shield with digital viewers given the option of a partisan view on the match by switching from the main commentary of Martin Tyler and Andy Gray to an alternative feed from two devoted fans.
Sky digital is the home of movies, and offers the world's biggest and best service to film lovers: 12 subscription channels and 62 Sky Box Office screens serve up no less than 250 new movies this season as well as a raft of quality second-run and classic films. All tastes are catered for through our comprehensive Digital service with Sky Box Office, Sky Premier, Sky MovieMax and Sky Cinema combining to offer the most comprehensive movie service that Europe has ever seen.
Sky Box Office will be showing at least 25 recently released new films every day this Autumn including Wild Wild West, Mickey Blue Eyes, Analyze This, South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, The Haunting, Never Been Kissed, Go and She's All That.
Sky Premier also boasts an impressive line-up this Autumn with Shakespeare In Love, Little Voice, The Thin Red Line, American History X, The Prince of Egypt, Patch Adams, You've Got Mail and Mel Gibson's Payback leading the charge.
MovieMax's action and comedy Autumn highlights include Slater and Diaz in Very Bad Things, the South Park team's bizarre and hilarious Orgazmo, van Damme's Knock Off, campus based horror from Robert Englund's Urban Legend and Jude Law in The Wisdom Of Crocodiles.
Sky Cinema completes the comprehensive Sky Movies package with a continued commitment to screening timeless classics. Highlights of Autumn's offering include The Guns of Navarone, War Of The Worlds, Strangers On A Train, Funeral In Berlin, Dr Strangelove, On The Waterfront, Dirty Harry, The Searchers and To Catch A Thief, to name just a few.
Sky Movie Channels' huge investment in film acquisition is complemented by the most comprehensive coverage of film and film-makers on television, and this season sees the foremost film expert's authoritative comment and criticism on Barry Norman's Film Night, the most incisive and exclusive interviews and discussion on Richard Jobson's Movietalk, and of course Preview, hosted by Clare Grogan with her best of what's on and behind-the-scenes gossip.
Sky Movies is also host to the biggest events in the movies calendar, having secured exclusive live rights to the industry's most important occasions including the Oscars and the Orange British Academy Film Awards.