Sky To Launch New Channels Sky Documentaries and Sky Nature
Hot on the heels of Sky Comedy, which launches today, and Sky Crime, which launched last year, Sky has announced they are adding two more brand-new factual channels – Sky Documentaries and Sky Nature.
Sky Documentaries will be the home of world-class, real-life stories from award-winning filmmakers, including HBO and SHOWTIME documentaries and new Sky original documentaries. With a mix of feature-length documentaries and series that will challenge, provoke and entertain, the channel will explore a broad range of topics from sport and real-world controversies through to biographies of some of the world’s most famous and infamous people.
New Sky originals will include Bitter Pill: Primodos and Tiger Woods: The Comeback; alongside HBO exclusives McMillions from executive producer Mark Wahlberg and After Truth directed by Andrew Rossi. SHOWTIME exclusive The Kingmaker directed by Lauren Greenfield will also air, along with an extensive on-demand library of documentaries including What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali and Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind.
Sky Nature will be home to breath-taking natural history programming, dedicated to exploring the beauty and wonder of the natural world and inspiring us all to do more to look after it. The channel will feature landmark Sky original series, including Sky’s existing David Attenborough collection, and be the home of Love Nature programming on Sky.
New Sky originals will include Extreme Animals: One Wild Day and Extreme Animals: Life’s First Steps, with two further premium originals currently in development. Love Nature originals will include Amazing Animal Friends, produced by Emmy & BAFTA award-winning producers, Oxford Scientific Films and; Wild Tales from the Farm, filmed in the UK and narrated by Hugh Bonneville.
The channels will launch in the Spring and be available to Sky customers at no extra charge through linear and on-demand. They will also launch on NOW TV, available as part of the NOW TV Entertainment Pass.
Research shows that documentaries are rising-up the popularity stakes with Sky customers – factual shows are now the second most popular genre after drama. The two new channels will offer hundreds of hours of factual programming, providing an unmissable mix of premium, original commissions and acquired content, including extensive on-demand libraries.
“Premium documentaries and nature series are increasingly important to our customers, with them wanting to get to the shows they want as quickly as possible,” commented Zai Bennett, Managing Director of Content at Sky. “That’s why we’re launching two new content brands, Sky Documentaries and Sky Nature. These new channels will offer our customers an unrivalled destination for brand new, world-class documentaries and nature programming as well as an extensive on-demand library of the world’s best factual programmes.”
Key upcoming launches on Sky Documentaries include:
Bitter Pill: Primodos
A feature-length Sky original documentary that examines the story of the hormone pregnancy test Primodos from the 1960s and 1970s which victims believe to be a disaster on a par with thalidomide. Both the manufacturer and the government regulator insist to this day that there is no causal link. Now, after a nine-year investigation, Sky journalist Jason Farrell has forensically built a case that points to one of the pharmaceutical industry’s biggest scandals and a monumental failure by the UK authorities to protect unborn children.
Tiger Woods: The Comeback
This Sky original documentary tells the compelling and incredible story of one of sports’ greatest ever comebacks. Having been written off by so many, after undergoing four potentially career-ending back surgeries and 18 months after having confessed that he may never play competitive golf again; the greatest golfer of the modern era returned to Augusta, where it had all began 22 years previously, to confound his critics by dramatically coming from behind to win his long-awaited 5th Masters title, his 15th Major title and his own personal battle with his mind, his body and with the sport itself.
Six-part HBO series, executively produced by Mark Wahlberg which chronicles the stranger-than-fiction story of an ex-cop turned security auditor who rigged the McDonald’s Monopoly game promotion for a decade, stealing millions of dollars and building a vast network of co-conspirators across the U.S. The docuseries will draw on exclusive first-hand accounts and archival footage from the FBI agents who brought down the gaming scam, McDonald’s corporate executives and the culprits and prize-winners who profited from the complicated scheme.
After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News
In the age of social media, this eye-opening HBO documentary examines the rising phenomenon of “fake news” and the impact that disinformation, conspiracy theories and false news stories have on the average citizen. The film focuses on several high-profile made-up news stories in recent years with real-world consequences, including the infamous “Pizzagate” case, the disinformation campaigns that influenced the 2016 presidential election, the Jade Helm conspiracy, and others. Drawing from exclusive access and interviews with a variety of experts, as well as purveyors and targets of misinformation, the documentary sheds light on how post-truth culture has become an increasingly dangerous part of the global information environment. Directed by Andrew Rossi and executive produced by Brian Stelter.
From Lauren Greenfield (Generation Wealth), this SHOWTIME documentary explores the disturbing legacy of the Marcos regime in the Philippines, and chronicles Imelda’s present-day push to help her son, Bongbong, win the vice-presidency. It had a theatrical run last year, which culminated in a WGA Award nomination for documentary screenplay.
Key upcoming launches on Sky Nature include:
Extreme Animals: One Wild Day
This Sky original series is a roller-coaster through a day in the wild. The first rays of sun symbol the start of a new day for some of the world’s most extraordinary animals. The day changes dramatically as the clock ticks up to the silent oppressive heat of midday; a time where reptiles thrive and gentle giants must retreat before ramping up the action to the hi-octane drama just before dusk. As dark creeps in there’s an uneasy turn, plunging into the horror movie of a night in the wild; a world where eerie monsters and nimble little leapers rule supreme. It all ends back in the safety of sunrise with the start of a new day. For some animals 24 hours is the blink of an eye – for others, it’s an entire lifetime – but for every creature, there’s a moment in its day it must take advantage of to survive.
Extreme Animals: Life’s First Steps
In this stunning Sky original series, we follow Patrick Aryee and an adorable cast of characters as they take their first steps and learn the life skills they’ll need to survive in the wild. From the outback of Australia to the Costa Rican coast we watch as our tiny heroes overcome each new challenge and marvel at the extraordinary lengths some animal parents will go to protect their precious offspring.
Amazing Animal Friends
This heart-warming and fascinating Love Nature returning series brings viewers the most surprising animal friends from around the world. From a duck that won’t enter the water without her Labrador Retriever guardian, to a very special friendship between a rhino and a lamb, to an elephant who thinks she’s a buffalo, we travel the globe to track down the cutest, funniest and most unusual animal relationships.
Wild Tales from the Farm
To the casual observer, this picturesque English farm might appear familiar and serene. There’s Molly the calf, Grace the pig and Big Joe the rooster – all living like farm animals do. But there’s so much more going on than meets the eye. This unprecedented natural history Love Nature series brings blue chip filmmaking out of the wild and into the barn, unveiling the relationships, struggles and wildness that lingers in creatures we think we know. Narrated by Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville, the series follows the lives of domestic animals and their wild neighbours across four stunning seasons, revealing the farm as you’ve never seen it before.
The introduction of the two new services follows on from Sky’s recent launch of Sky Studios, a new Europe-wide development and production capability which will see Sky’s investment in original content more than double over the next five years.
This is the latest development in Sky’s commitment to investing in original British content, offering customers more of the content they love, that they can watch where they want, when they want. The entertainment portfolio on Sky in UK and Ireland now includes eight core Sky channel brands: Sky One, Sky Atlantic, Sky Witness, Sky Arts, Sky Crime, Sky Comedy, Sky Documentaries and Sky Nature alongside the Sky Cinema and Sky Kids services. Sky’s other channel brands include E!, SYFY, Pick and Challenge.
Dave has over 20 years experience in the digital industry, and is founder and editor of Geektown. Obviously a huge geek himself, he can often be found in front of the latest tv show or movie, on various video games, or with his head in a comic book.