by John Freeman
ITV has announced a new one off zombie drama, Renaissance, which will star Kelly Brook (School for Seduction, Smallville) and Alan Dale (Ugly Betty, The OC, 24). The show is integrally linked to the second season of behind the scenes of TV production dramedy Moving Wallpaper, which returns this autumn – without its first ‘linked’ show, Echo Beach.
Renaissance opens in London, in the present day with John Priest (Alan Dale) and his children flying home after a well deserved break. Upon arrival things take a dramatic turn for the worse as the plane is attacked by what can only be described as zombies…
In the panic John and his children are unwittingly thrown together with another passenger, a young woman called Samantha (Kelly Brook). As they escape the chaos surrounding the airport they find themselves questioning what terror has been unleashed on the country and what is the true meaning behind the sinister Renaissance?
Renaissance is linked with some changes to ITV’s Moving Wallpaper, returning for a six part series on ITV1 soon. That show picks up where the last series ended, with the hapless producer of Echo Beach, Jonathan Pope (Primeval’s Ben Miller) and his team awaiting their fate at the hands of the merciless Head of Continuing Drama at ITV1, Nancy Weeks (Raquel Cassidy.
News comes in that Echo Beach has been canned (in the real world, Echo Beach was a ratings failure, but Moving Wallpaper was a success). However, a clause in Jonathan’s contract means
ITV must now offer Jonathan a pilot to produce – much to Nancy’s annoyance.
That show is Renaissance.
Brook and Dale will be joining Miller and Cassidy as part of the cast of Moving Wallpaper, along with james Lance (Teachers), Sarah Hadland (Peep Show), Elizabeth Berrington (The Office), Lucy Liemann (The IT Crowd), Dave Lamb (The Smoking Room) and Sinead Keenan (Trouble With Sex).
Will Jonathan’s complete lack of subtlety or tact but occasional genius be enough to make it work?
“I’m passionate about this project, I think it’s very special,” says Pope. “I’ll be doing what I do best, setting trends and making sexy television. I’ll be taking the rule book and tearing it up. I’ll be boldly going where no television executive has gone before…”
Both Renaissance and Moving Wallpaper are produced by Kudos in Association with Red Planet Pictures. Tony Jordan, lead writer and story consultant for EastEnders, co-creator of Life On Mars and creator of Hustle executive produces both shows with Kudos’s Jane Featherstone and Alison Jackson. Howard Burch is the real producer of both shows.