Rupert Murdoch and his cronies have succeeded in buying up the whole HBO catalogue and hoarding them away in an television programme prison dressed up as a brand new channel, but if you aren’t already a fully paid up SKY subscriber, will the launch of SKY ATLANTIC on February 1st persuade you to take the plunge? Or will you simply wait around for the boxed sets? Either way, here is a taste of what’s on offer. And series five of Mad Men of course…
GAME OF THRONES: Epic medieval fantasy created by David Benioff and Dan Weiss. This new series, based on author George R. R. Martin’s best-selling A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels, stars Sean Bean. It will hit our screens in April.
TREME: David Simon’s New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina drama, featuring John Goodman, Wendell Pierce and Clarke Peters will be on air next month.
MILDRED PIERCE: A five-part mini-series due for broadcast in June, adapted from James M. Cain’s 1941 novel of the same name. It is directed by Todd Haynes and stars Academy Award winner Kate Winslet in the title role, with Guy Pearce, Evan Rachel Wood, Brían F. O’Byrne, James LeGros, Melissa Leo, Mare Winningham, and Hope Davis.
ENTOURAGE: The back catalogue of this American comedy-drama television series will be available to SKY customers, with the seventh series due in February.
EASTBOUND & DOWN: A comedy starring Danny McBride as Kenny Powers, a former professional baseball pitcher, who after an up and down career in the major leagues is forced to return to his hometown middle-school in Shelby, North Carolina as a substitute physical education teacher. The first two series will be available on SA.
YOU DON’T KNOW JACK: A 2010 television film directed by Barry Levinson and starring Al Pacino as Jack Kevorkian. Al Pacino won an Emmy and also won a Golden Globe in 2011 for his role as Kevorkian, an advocate of physician-assisted suicide. Airs in February.
BORED TO DEATH: An American comedy television series created by Jonathan Ames, the series follows a writer (also named Jonathan Ames) based in Brooklyn, New York City, who moonlights as an unlicensed private detective. Scheduled for March.
BLUE BLOODS: This American police procedural/drama series also kicks-off next month.
THE BORGIAS: A forthcoming historical fiction television series created by Neil Jordan due in July. The series is based on the Spanish Borgia dynasty, and stars Jeremy Irons as Rodrigo Borgia and François Arnaud, David Oakes, Holliday Grainger and Aidan Alexander as Cesare, Juan, Lucrezia and Joffre Borgia respectively. Derek Jacobi will play Cardinal Orsini.
CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM: The whole back-catalogue will be available, including the upcoming eighth series. Hurrah!