'Accused'


15 Nov 2010
TV series

By
Jimmy McGovern
Dir.
David Blair
Ep. 1: 'Willy's Story'
Role: Willy Houlihan (plumber).

TX: 

Nov 15 9:00pm BBC One/One HD
(programme info)

DVD:

R. 2 - Acorn Media (directly from distributor) - amazon.co.uk
Extras: "Behind the Scenes" (inters with Sita Williams, David Blair, Jimmy McGovern); cast filmographies; subtitles.
Also available via iTunes and Netflix in the US.


Articles:

Reviews:
Alex's (in-house)
Nov 21 Phil Hogan - The ObserverRewind TV
Nov 20 Paddy Shennan - Liverpool EchoTV Review: Accused (BBC1)
Anne Pickles - News & Star - Thank God, And Jimmy, For Great Dramas Like This
Nov 19 Jacob Martin - The Yorker - Accused: Willy's Story
Nov 16 Brian Viner - The Independent - Last Night's TV - Accused, BBC1 [...]
Howard Male - The Arts Desk - Accused, BBC One
Nov 15 Jamie Steiner - On The Box - Accused Review: Under Questioning
Damien Love - Herald Scotland - Accused, BBC One, Monday

Previews:
Daily Star - On TV Tonight - Screenjabber - Mirror - Scotsman - Guardian
From Sunday papers

Telegraph - Jimmy McGovern Returns With A Courtroom Drama To Remember

CE interviews:
Nov 15 The Daily Record - Accused star Christopher Eccleston accuses X Factor bosses of having contempt for TV viewers
Nov 13-19 Total TV Guide - You Be The Judge
TV & Satellite Week - In The Dock
Nov 9 Ian Wylie/MEN - Christopher Eccleston: I Owe My Career To Jimmy McGovern
TV Choice - Christopher Eccleston, Accused

Video: trailer for the episode - behind the scenes/CE inter

Audio:

Nov 15 CE
• BBC Radio WM The Paul Franks Show (iPlayer) interview (career, event TV, actors he admires)
• BBC Radio Shropshire's Vicki Archer (iPlayer) interview on life & career
Nov 13 BBC Radio 4's Saturday Review (complete on iPlayer) - two first episodes reviewed plus extract from 'Willy's Story'
Nov 12 CE's BBC Radio Leeds interview by Alex Belfield (also listen here or 'save link as' to download; source; also iPlayer) - CE also talks career, acting, 'Hamlet', 'Doctor Who', Banda Aceh trip
Nov 10 Jimmy McGovern
Front Row programme (complete on iPlayer) - incl. brief audio excerpt from the first episode
• BBC Merseyside Billy Butler's show (complete programme on iPlayer) - also about 'Hearts and Minds' (incl. a clip from the series)

News:

• Dec 14 Series 1 will be available via iTunes in the US; as well as shown in Africa, Brazil, Slovakia.

• Nov 21
'Accused' won Best Series and CE - Best Actor at the International Emmy Awards (press release).

• Oct 12
All3Media signed a non-exclusive deal with Netflix to make 'Accused' available in the US (Broadcast).

• Oct 3
CE nominated for International Emmy Awards - Best Performance by an Actor (against Fábio Assunção, Brazil, Jang Hyuk, South Korea, Michael Nyqvist, Sweden; takes place Nov 21). ""The International Emmy® Awards is a tough competition with over 1000 entries from 61 countries, this year." said Bruce L. Paisner, President & CEO of The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences." - press release. ETA Oct 7: The series itself is now also nominated in Drama - press release.

• Sep Awards nominations
: 'Accused' shortlisted for Writers' Guild Awards - Best Television Drama Series (against 'The Shadow Line' [won] and 'Doctor Who'; Nov 16); CE nominated for the Royal Television Society North West Awards - Best Performance in a Single Drama or Drama Series (against John Simm, David Tennant, Suranne Jones [won]; Nov 19).

• Feb 24
The series has been recommissioned by BBC for a second season.

• Jan 27
The series DVD has been issued with '15' certificate from BBFC for "strong language, violence and sexualised violence."

• Jan 21 2011
All3Media International has announced the first batch of export deals, for such countries as Australia (ABC), New Zealand (TVNZ), Canada (TVO), Iceland (RUV), Denmark (DR), Sweden (SVT), Finland (YLE), "as well as BBC Global Channels for Poland and Flemish-speaking Belgium. DVD rights have also been acquired in the U.K. and Australia via Acorn." (c21media.net, worldscreen.com)
Louise Pedersen, the managing director at ALL3MEDIA International, commented, "Accused is a wonderful drama for international audiences, taking universal situations and moral dilemmas and presenting them in a unique and compelling format. We are delighted to announce this strong roster of initial deals—the drama has received great interest and feedback from broadcasters around the world and we look forward to announcing yet more international sales soon."
Audience: Ep. 1 overnights - 4.7m (18.1%) on BBC One, final - 5.39m viewers (18.8% share), 15th most viewed of the week. None of the other episodes made it into top 30 again. Overnights at series finish plummeted to 3.2m (12%), while the series average was 3.7m (14%).

• Nov 12
Sky TV: "As usual, McGovern's script is tighter than a commuter train carriage during rush hour, and Eccleston is equally as brilliant in portraying a flawed man who knows his flaws, but can't bring himself to admit them." Ed Cumming: "It is a moving and powerful piece of television, anchored by a brilliant performance from Christopher Eccleston as Willy. With his physicality and intelligence, he seems perfect for the part [...]"

• Nov 11
Ian Wylie's report from 'Accused' screening and q&a with Jimmy McGovern, Sita Williams and CE, incl. audio clip.

• Nov 9
Interviews: TV Choice article, Ian Wylie's feature.

As a lead-in, "Jacey Normand meets Salford actor Christopher Eccleston on the set of Jimmy McGovern's new BBC drama 'Accused'" for Inside Out North West, Monday November 15th, 19:30 on BBC One.

To be released on Region 2 DVD October 3rd, 2011 (amazon.co.uk). ETA: Moved to February 6, 2012. ETA2: May 7, 2012.

• Oct 26 Main PRESS PACK released. Watch the teaser trail, read the introduction and more at BBC here. CE interview:
Christopher Eccleston is renowned for the searing and honest way he gets under the skin of the people he plays. Last seen on BBC Four as John Lennon, Eccleston returns to BBC One to star not as a modern icon but as an ordinary, decent man, Willy Houlihan, who is in deep water and in the dock.

Willy does his best – he's a good plumber and a loving father, but he fails to be a faithful husband.

Starring as Willy sees leading actor Christopher Eccleston and acclaimed writer Jimmy McGovern reunited. Arguably, their collaborations have led to some of the most memorable and arresting dramatisations seen on British television. Eccleston outlines what working with McGovern has meant to him over the years.

"I think of Jimmy's projects as the spine of my career because I've worked with him more than any other writer during my 21 years as an actor. Luckily, for me, he came along in my early days.

"Call me old-fashioned, earnest, pompous, or whatever label helps you look away, but I've been brought up on the writer-led socially engaged TV drama of the Seventies and Eighties and wanted to make comparable drama.

"I didn't just want to be 'on the telly', but to be involved in stories that mattered and didn't patronise viewers. Jimmy's stories are all these things.

"Cracker gave me a 'face' on television and Hearts And Minds was my first lead, but Hillsborough and Sunday are the two most important dramas I've been involved with as they portrayed factual miscarriages of justice and were tools in the families' fight for justice and the right to grieve and commemorate their lost loved ones with decency and honour.

"So, this is why – over about a 17-year span – I've appeared in six McGovern projects Cracker, Hearts And Minds, Hillsborough, Sunday, the film Heart and now Accused - a crime and punishment drama.

"Jimmy respects and understands his audience and never talks down – that's why he reaches us. He's popular, commercially successful and never minds the critical plaudits.

To film Willy's Story, revered son of Salford Eccleston returned to his home turf of Manchester. Eccleston's thoughts on the new script are loud and clear.

"I immediately had a grasp of the character's world – the language and atmosphere are perfectly pitched.

"Frankly, scripts like this are 'actor-proof' and 'director-proof' – any actor with half a brain would get it, all us actors have to do is not get in the way of the words!

"Jimmy listens to how people speak. Like all great writing, Jimmy's is a combination of the detachment of hard won technique and a complete commitment to instinct and imagination."

It's clear that McGovern's latest creation meets with Eccleston's approval.

"I like and sympathise with Willy. He loves his wife and family, he works hard, he's never broken the law and he's trying to give his daughter her dream wedding. He's tempted and falls and I don't judge him for it – 'people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.'

"But Willy's deeply conflicted about his adultery. I was raised with a rudimentary Church of England religious education and am an atheist, so I had to rely on my imagination to understand his relationship with Catholicism.

"In the end, Willy's dilemma is a matter of conscience. We all have a moral code we're answerable to ... well, maybe not in the case of politicians, footballers, and estate agents," muses Eccleston, with a dry aside.

Accused is about crime and punishment, so does Eccleston think Willy should be in the dock?

"By the letter of the law he should be," he replies. "But when we had the read-through there was a vote afterwards – should Willy be found innocent or guilty? The vote was split between those who wanted to send him down and those who wanted set him free.

"Hopefully, the viewers will be just as caught up in the drama as we were hearing it off the page for the first time." And, this is surely a ringing endorsement of Eccleston's conviction that drama should provoke debate and get people engaged.

So, what is next for this marathon running, fiercely intelligent and versatile actor?

His stage, film and television credits are never predictable and encompass modernising the ninth Dr Who for a new generation of viewers, to playing the aristocratic Duke of Norfolk Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth, to acting a man who believes he's the Son of God in The Second Coming – not to forget his affecting performance as Derek Bentley in Let Him Have, or being acclaimed as Hamlet at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Eccleston's legions of fans will be pleased to hear that he's not adverse to playing some comedic roles in the future but, in the meantime, they can look forward to seeing him as Joseph Bede in BBC Two's forthcoming six-part noir thriller, The Shadow Line, written, produced and directed by Hugo Blick.
• Oct 6 Export: All3Media to take Accused to 20 new territories - broadcastnow.co.uk:
All3 set to take Accused global | 6 October, 2010 | By Jake Kanter

MIPCOM: All3Media International is finalising deals that could take Jimmy McGovern drama Accused into 20 new territories.
Managing director Louise Pedersen said interest had been high and is hopeful the agreements will be sealed by the end of the Mipcom market this week. She could not detail which territories the RSJ Films-made drama will enter for client confidentiality reasons.
The 6 x 60-minute series is in post production and is due to air on BBC1 this autumn. It was created by McGovern with an all star cast, including Andy Serkis, Mackenzie Crook and Christopher Eccleston.
• Sep 29 BBC Drama SHOWREEL for autumn/winter season has been released - more here on the blog.

All3Media has acquired international rights to the series - broadcastnow.co.uk:
All3Media acquires Jimmy McGovern drama | 17 September, 2010 | By Catherine Neilan

All3Media has picked up the international rights to the new BBC drama from Jimmy McGovern’s RSJ Films.
Accused is currently in post-production, and is due to air on BBC1 this autumn.
The 6 x 60-minute series was created by Jimmy McGovern, Sita Williams and Roxy Spencer, the team behind dramas such as The Street and Cracker.
Each episode centres around a lead character who has been accused of a crime, and stars Christopher Eccleston, Mackenzie Crook, Marc Warren, Naomi Harris, Juliet Stevenson, Andy Serkis, and Peter Capaldi.
The series is one of a number of programmes All3 is taking to Mipcom in Cannes next month.
Also how-do.co.uk article:
Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Independent production company All3Media, has acquired the international distribution rights to Jimmy McGovern’s BBC drama, Accused.
The 6 part series, which was partly shot in Manchester will be showcased at entertainment content market Mipcom to bring in buyers from other territories.

The drama was produced by McGovern’s RSJ Films and stars Christopher Eccleston, MacKenzie Crook and Marc Warren. It's currently in post-production, with transmission slated for this Autumn.
Each of the hour-long episodes tell the story of a man who has ended up in the dock of a courtroom and the story builds as the viewer and the character find out whether or not they are guilty.

"We are delighted to announce our representation of this landmark new series from the team at RSJ Films,” said Louise Pedersen, managing director of All3Media International.
“Their fantastic pedigree in producing startling, outstanding drama speaks for itself. Accused blends true-to-life situations, moral dilemmas and compelling characters to create innovative, universally appealing drama."

Sita Williams, now at RSJ Films, worked alongside McGovern on The Street:
"We arrive at the verdict at the end of each film so the viewer like the Accused and their families is gripped by tension and fear as to what their fate will be. We look forward to this unique, suspenseful drama proving a hit with global audiences".
On-set images at Rex Features (May 27).

• May 11
2010 Christopher Eccleston has been cast in an episode of Jimmy McGovern's coming six-part drama 'Accused'. CE and McGovern previously collaborated on 'Cracker' (1993-94), 'Hearts and Minds' (1995), 'Hillsborough' (1996), 'Heart' (1999) and 'Sunday' (2002).

Episode synopsis from BBC Press Release:
Christopher Eccleston stars as a man in turmoil in Willy's Story by Jimmy McGovern, which starts filming on 30 May. Lapsed Catholic Willy does his best; he's a good plumber, a loving father, but fails to be a faithful husband.

Just when Willy is about to confess to his wife, Carmel, played by Pooky Quesnel, his daughter announces she's getting married. Willy's guilty secret must wait while pressure from all sides keeps growing. He is about to implode when he finds something in the back of a cab and it's either the answer to his prayers or the beginning of his downfall...
Guardian reports:
Christopher Eccleston is to be reunited with Jimmy McGovern for the Cracker creator's new BBC1 drama, Accused.
Eccleston and Mackenzie Crook will play the first two lead characters in the contemporary drama, which follows how six men came to be in the dock of a courtroom.

In an episode called Willy's Story, Eccleston plays a lapsed Catholic plumber who commits adultery, while Crook stars as a soldier called Buckley in The Soldier Story.

The six-part drama will follow each lead character as the audience learns how the background of the accused men and asks if they are innocent or guilty.

Filming of The Soldier Story began in Manchester this week, with production of Willy's Story due to be start later this month. Production of the other four episodes – which are still being cast – will continue until August.

Eccleston and McGovern has previously worked together on Cracker, Hillsborough and Sunday.

McGovern said: "In the time it takes to climb the steps to the court we tell the story of how the accused came to be here.
"We see the crime and we see the punishment. Nothing else. No police procedure, thanks very much, no coppers striding along corridors with coats flapping. Just crime and punishment – the two things that matter most in any crime drama."

Accused is being made by RSJ Films, the independent producer McGovern co-founded with Sita Williams and Roxy Spencer.

Williams – who is producing Accused – and Spencer were part of the creative team behind The Street, which was made by ITV Productions for BBC1 but ended last year because of cuts at ITV's Manchester operation.

McGovern added: "It's great to work with Chris again and I've often tried in the past to get Mackenzie into something of mine. And, needless to say it's wonderful to reunite the team that made The Street."

The BBC independent drama commissioning editor, Polly Hill, said: "After three wonderful, award-winning series of The Street, we are thrilled the same team are making Accused for BBC1.
"The first commission for RSJ Films, Jimmy McGovern, Sita Williams and Roxy Spencer, together with David Blair, continue to make drama that is relevant, challenging and above all moving. I'm sure this will prove to be a real treat for the BBC1 audience."

Accused was green-lit by the BBC1 controller, Jay Hunt, and the controller of drama commissioning, Ben Stephenson.
Liverpool Echo (Feb 26, 2010):
Liverpool screenwriter Jimmy McGovern has been commissioned to write a new prime time drama for BBC1.
"Accused" will explore how the perpetrators of crimes of passion are charged by police.
It is being written by the team behind Bafta-winning series The Street and is due to air in the autumn.

The Liverpool screenwriter, who is hosting a screening of his 1994 film Priest at FACT next week to raise money for youth project Clapperboard UK, said he is pleased with how the scripts are shaping up.
He said: "I know I'm speaking miles in advance but I've got very high hopes.
"So far I think it's every bit as good as The Street and we were really, really proud of that.
"There's one story in particular about a young man who comes home from Afghanistan that I'm really excited about."

Writers on the project include Liverpool's Esther Wilson, whose verbatim play Ten Tiny Toes, about the mothers of British soldiers stationed in Iraq, received critical acclaim at the Everyman in 2008.
Alice Nutter, a former member of punk-pop band Chumbawamba, and award-winning Clocking Off and Shameless writer Danny Brocklehurst are also working on Accused.
Profwriting.com:
Structurally, each episode is set to confirm whether the accused character is guilty or not, and work backwards, illustrating their actions and addressing the reasons behind them – the grey areas in life – and inviting viewers to question morality.
RSJ Films (2009):
The BBC have ordered the 'spiritual successor' to The Street from RSJ Films. ACCUSED is a 6 x 60 minute drama series for BBC1 in Autumn 2010. When making the announcement, Ben Stephenson, BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning said "It's the spiritual successor to The Street, but takes that kind of format in another, really exciting direction. The jumping off point is that the lead character in each episode is accused of a crime, but the verdict on whether they are guilty will arrive at different points in each episode".
Said commissioning has been announced in 2009. How-Do reported (Oct 30, 2009):
Although the future prospects for acclaimed BBC One series The Street look bleak, it appears as though the corporation's desire for Jimmy McGovern penned dramas has yet to be satiated.

It emerged this week - although How-Do has had a few problems getting Auntie to confirm it - that McGovern and the team that worked on The Street, namely executive producer Sita Williams and script executive Roxy Spencer, have been commissioned through McGovern's new firm, RSJ Productions, to create what has been called 'the spiritual successor' to the show.

The Accused is set to be a six by 60-minute series which focuses on individual lead characters that, at the start of each episode, are accused of committing a crime.

BBC controller of drama commissioning Ben Stephenson told Broadcast magazine that he was so knocked out by the concept that he "read the script on the Sunday and commissioned it on the Monday."

Stephenson announced the deal with RSJ at the Screenwriters' Festival in Cheltenham, noting that it took the format of The Street in "another, really exciting, direction." [...]

The Accused has been pencilled in for the autumn 2010 BBC One schedule.



4 comments:

joanr16 said...

Hooray! He's working again!

This is why it pays to be choosy about TV roles... Jimmy McGovern may have another CE role up his sleeve.

¡Oye Cristóbal! said...

=)

Absolutely. I'd just like to know where Mr. McGovern was the last eight years (and why the role sounds exactly like something you'd suggest when asked to come up with a McGovern-Eccleston collab - but that I certainly can and will happily live with).

powerjen51 said...

I know he's picky but McGovern is one of the best modern screenwriters currently.

Why Christopher had to worry about not having a job since December I really question him sometimes over his choices, not that it's stopped me from seeing him in various roles in theatre, television and film.

Am so pleased for him to be working again so that we can look forward to another quality collaboration.

Kitsa said...

I just hope we get to see it here. I loved CE in Cracker and have been a fan ever since, so obviously I will be sitting waiting for the series.