Wednesday 22nd February 2012

BBC Worldwide Channels has acquired Titanic – the lavish new costume drama from the pen of Oscar-winner and Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes – to air exclusively on BBC Entertainment in South Africa the same day as the UK version concludes.

Created to mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the HMS Titanic, the 4 x 60” drama will transmit as double-bills on BBC Entertainment on 15 and 22 April 2012 from 19.30 CAT. The drama features a host of British acting talent including Linus Roache (Law & Order, Batman Begins), Geraldine Somerville (The Harry Potter films, Survivors), Celia Imrie (Bridget Jones’ Diary, After You’ve Gone), Toby Jones (Captain America, W.), Perdita Weeks (The Promise, Four Seasons) and James Wilby (Gosford Park, Clapham Junction).

Filmed in Hungary, the mini-series will re-tell the story of the doomed voyage, weaving action, mystery and romantic plots and featuring fictional and historical characters, before coming together in an explosive and unforgettable finale.

Following the different characters travelling on the ill-fated ship – from steerage passengers to upper class guests – each point of view will culminate in a cliff hanger as the ship begins to founder, building to an explosive conclusion which draws together each of the stories.   Viewers will be taken on a heart wrenching journey through the Titanic’s last hours, as the drama reveals which of the characters they have come to know so well will survive…and who does not.

The announcement comes just days after the South African premiere of Julian Fellowes’ worldwide hit Downton Abbey on BBC Entertainment.  The first episode aired this Sunday (19th February) and proved to be a massive hit with South African viewers making BBC Entertainment the number one international channel on DStv during its timeslot and achieving the second highest viewing figure on the channel this year.

“We’re delighted to be showing this prestigious drama exclusively on BBC Entertainment so soon after the hugely successful debut of Downton Abbey,” says Jon Farrar, VP Programming for EMEA, BBC Worldwide channels.  “As the first channel to bring the hotly-anticipated Downton Abbey to South Africa, it’s a thrill to be the only channel to show Julian Fellowes’ latest project too.”

Titanic was created by BAFTA winning producer Nigel Stafford-Clark (Bleak House, Warriors, The Way We Live Now), written by Julian Fellowes

(Downton Abbey, Gosford Park, The Young Victoria), directed by Jon Jones (Going Postal, The Diary of Anne Frank, Northanger Abbey) and produced by Nigel Stafford-Clark and Chris Thompson (Love Actually, No 1 Ladies Detective Agency).

“There is a lasting fascination with the Titanic’s one and only voyage, and never more so than in the year of its hundredth anniversary.” says Nigel Stafford-Clark. “We have retold the story in a way that is bold, fresh and gripping, with all the human detail that television does so well.  We hope it’s a fitting tribute to the events of that night”.

Titanic is produced in association with ITV Studios and Shaw Media who are partnered with Deep Indigo Productions and Lookout Point in the UK, Sienna Films Inc in Canada and Hungary based Mid Atlantic Films. It is a UK-Hungary-Canada co-production.

Roundup of Titanic international sales:

Variety
Fellowes’ ‘Titanic’ sets sail

Deadline
ABC Picks Up Julian Fellowes’ ‘Titanic’ Mini

C21 Media (paywall)
Germany, France board Titanic

C21 Media (paywall)
Titanic sales to South Africa

Broadcast (paywall)
TF1 and ZDF climb aboard ITV’s £11m Titanic drama

Broadcast (paywall)
Titanic sails to China; Endeavour heads Down Under

Hollywood Reporter
MIPTV: ‘Titanic’ Sets Sail for 95 Countries as ITV Studios Closes More Territories at MIPTV