It’s the move that 3D watchers have been waiting for. Finally it seems there are commissions for 3D TV programming beyond sports, live music and signature wildlife shows. TVBEurope has learned that both BSkyB and the BBC have 3D drama in the works.
Mr Stink, a drama comedy starring Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville and adapted from David Walliams' children's book, will start shooting in 2D HD and in 3D from next month for broadcast on BBC One this Christmas. It will be made in house at the BBC and greenlit by BBC One controller Danny Cohen. The move would be in line with the BBC’s experimental examination of 3D production which has taken in genres including live sports (Wimbledon 3D in 2011 and 2012), live music (recently The Last Night of the Proms) the finale of 2011’s Strictly Come Dancing and an hour long episode of documentary series Planet Dinosaur. A comedy series however would represent a departure from the norm. There has been reluctance among broadcasters to shoot episodic programming in 3D in part because of concerns about the additional cost and knock-on impact to the typically tight shooting schedule.
Meanwhile Sky is understood to be filming at least three of its latest series of 10x15-minute Little Crackers films in 3D, again for a Christmas airing. In 2010 Meera Syal’s Little Cracker for Sky became the UK's first ever scripted TV comedy broadcast in 3D. The broadcaster is already shooting its largest non-sport series, Masterclass with veteran Sir Michael Parkinson, in 3D. The six-part series simulcasting on Sky Arts 1 in November and Sky 3D, features classical pianist Lang Lang, war photographer Don McCullin, jazz artist Jamie Cullum, principal dancer Carlos Acosta, author Michael Murpurgo and portrait artist Jonathan Yeo. Sky 3D director John Cassy has made a point of broadening the scope of 3D to appeal beyond that of the predominantly male audience for live sports. – Adrian Pennington