Drama, a new channel run by UKTV, will be making an entrance on Freeview this summer.
From July 8 onwards, Drama will bring the likes of Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth Torso Edition) and all of Sharpe, starring Sean Bean.
Other shows coming along for the ride include the acclaimed BBC adaptation of Sarah Waters’ Tipping the Velvet. The slightly less racy Cranford and Lark Rise to Candleford also form part of the Drama line-up.
UKTV Controller Emma Tennant, said: “Drama is targeted at a different audience demographic than our other highly successful free-to-air channels, Dave, Yesterday and Really. The channel is aimed at people who simply love drama and want to watch critically-acclaimed shows that have absolutely defined the landscape of British television.”
Adrian Wills, General Manager of Drama, adds: “Drama lovers’ prayers have been answered. This channel represents the best drama content within the genre and we are confident that viewers will enjoy these celebrated shows.”
Drama is the latest UKTV channel to join Freeview. UKTV’s Dave is perhaps the most famous export, along with the history channel Yesterday and Really. Though its channel number hasn’t been announced, there’s speculation that it could be channel 25, currently occupied by Dave ja vu, the Dave timeshift channel.
Since Dave On Demand launched online and on phones and tablets there’s perhaps less need for a Dave +1 channel so this would be a good fit. Right now, nothing’s been confirmed. Sources tell us that the channel allocation business should be sorted out within the next couple of weeks, so we’ll know soon.
As for other platforms, Drama is set to be a Freeview-only show for the time being. There’s no word on whether it’ll be coming to Sky, Virgin Media or Freesat just yet.
It’s possible that we’ll eventually see Drama On Demand and Drama mobile apps launched but it’s early days yet. We reckon watching Tipping the Velvet during rush hour could be a little risky though.