Logo TV and BBC Worldwide North America have announced a production deal for Logo TV to co-produce, with Channel 4 (UK), Cucumber and Banana – two interlinked dramas from the multi BAFTA award-winning writer of Doctor Who and Queer as Folk, Russell T Davies. Both dramas, produced by RED Production Company are slated to premiere on Logo TV in early 2015.
Russell T Davies says: "It's an honour and delight to team up with Logo for these brand new dramas. It's 16 years since I created Queer As Folk, which means I've had 16 years to build up new characters, new stories, and new insights into our lives. Across both series, we explore gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender stories, as well as love beyond labels - this is 50 shades of gay, and beyond!"
The two interwoven drama series will explore 21st century gay life in all its powerful, witty, dark and uplifting guises through the lens of two disparate generations. The hour-long Cucumber will explore the lives and misadventures of Henry Best and his long-suffering boyfriend of nine years, Lance Sullivan. The half-hour Banana will follow the individual lives of younger characters orbiting around Henry's world, telling stories of modern love – the romantic, the obsessed, the hopeful, the lonely, the lost, and the lucky – in an urban Manchester, England setting.
"Whether he's reinventing Doctor Who for a whole new generation, or creating riveting gay and lesbian characters on the original Queer as Folk, Russell T Davies always pushes television forward," said Stephen Friedman, President of MTV and Logo TV. "Cucumber and Banana are groundbreaking for the way they show intertwined narratives from two generations' different perspectives. Even more importantly, the shows tell hilarious, incisive and very human stories."
"Both Cucumber and Banana are examples of the high calibre work that Russell T Davies has a proven track record of creating," said Matt Forde, EVP, Sales & Co-productions for BBC Worldwide North America. "Logo TV is the perfect network to co-produce these thought provoking, brilliantly witty and entertaining series."
Vincent Franklin, known for his work in the BBC's The Thick of It and Twenty Twelve as well as films including The Bourne Identity and The Illusionist, joins Julie Hesmondhalgh (Coronation Street), Freddie Fox (Pride, The Three Musketeers), Cyril Nri (The Bill) and James Murray (Defiance) in the cast, which also features up and coming talent including Fisayo Akinade in his first major TV role, Hannah John-Kamen (Killjoys), Andrew Hayden-Smith (Doctor Who), Luke Newberry (In the Flesh), Letitia Wright (Top Boy), Georgia Henshaw (Waterloo Road) and comedian Bethany Black in her television debut.
Cucumber and Banana are produced by Red Production Company in association with Channel 4 and Logo TV. BBC Worldwide holds international distribution rights. Caroline Stone, Vice President, Drama & Children's Scripted Sales & Co-productions, BBC Worldwide North America brokered the deal. Cucumber and Banana were commissioned by UK broadcaster Channel 4, and will premiere across the network on Channel 4, E4 and 4oD in January 2015.