Sky Atlantic have today announced the acquisition of the exclusive UK Pay-Tv rights to Strangely Uplifting, a new topical show presented by acclaimed actor and comedian, Russell Brand, from FX Productions.
The six part series will feature Brand’s unfiltered take on current events, politics and popular culture. Unscripted, Strangely Uplifting will be shot in front of a live audience who will feature heavily in the show.
Scheduled to air on Sky Atlantic HD in the early summer of 2012, within days of the US premiere, Strangely Uplifting is the latest in a raft of comedy shows the channel has announced including Julia Davis’ black comedy, Hunderby and Kathy Burke’s Walking and Talking.
Commenting on Sky’s acquisition of the series, Acquisitions Manager, Lucy Criddle says: “Russell’s distinctive and daring look at the world ensures Strangely Uplifting will resonate with Sky Atlantic HD customers. This deal further demonstrates Sky’s long-term commitment to investing in brilliant and exclusive programming.”
Acting Channel Director of Sky Atlantic HD, Naomi Gibney comments: “Our customers love Sky Atlantic’s distinctive take on the world and Strangely Uplifting gives an Englishman’s perspective on American culture; a perfect blend with our home grown commission Morgan Spurlock’s New Britannia, where an American tries to understand British eccentricities.”
She adds: “Russell Brand is a great addition to the incredible line-up of comedy talent coming to Sky Atlantic HD on and off screen, including Kathy Burke, Julia Davis and Armando Iannucci. We are actively building our slate of both originated and acquired comedy and Strangely Uplifting is a key show that will further build the channel’s unique voice.”
“We’re very excited that Sky Atlantic has come on board to broadcast Strangely Uplifting in the U.K.,” said Eric Schrier, Executive Vice President, FX Productions and Head of Series Development for FX. “Fans of Russell in his native U.K. are familiar with his bracingly funny and honest brand of humor, and we have no doubt that he and Executive Producer/Director Troy Miller will transform the traditional hosted comedy format to create something daring, smart and hilarious.”
Brand began his career as a stand-up comedian and that remains his foremost method of entertaining audiences today. He rose to fame in the UK and launched his first nationwide tour, Shame, in 2006; the show was released on DVD as Russell Brand: Live. Brand then launched his second nationwide tour in 2007, Russell Brand: Only Joking; released on DVD as Russell Brand: Doin’ Life.
On the big screen, Brand is best known for his role as rocker ‘Aldous Snow’ in the Judd Apatow produced Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek, Russell Brand can soon be seen in the upcoming musical Rock of Ages. His other film credits include the Disney hit, Bedtime Stories, Warner Bros. Arthur (which marked Brand’s first role as a producer) and The Tempest.
Also an acclaimed author, Brand has written two books, My Booky Wook: A Memoir of Sex, Drugsand Stand-Up, which was on The New York Times best-seller list for five weeks in a row, and the follow up, Booky Wook 2: This Time It’s Personal.