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Channel 4 Announces 'Summer of Streaming' With Brand New Drama & Comedy Arriving On Its Rebranded Streaming Service

Category: News Release
  • The UK’s biggest free streaming service gets even bigger as new scripted content including Queer as Folk, Dr. Death and Becoming Elizabeth land over the summer
  • Channel 4 comes together as one single brand “Channel 4” across streaming and linear giving audiences a more seamless experience


A whole host of new stand out series are set to land on Channel 4’s rebranded streaming service, for free, over the coming months.


Brand-new acquisitions announced today, which will also join Channel 4 soon, include Dr. Death, based on the hugely successful podcast of the same name and inspired by the terrifying true story of Dr. Christopher Duntsch, a charismatic rising star in the Texas medical community, alongside Queer As Folk, Stephen Dunn’s vibrant reimagining of the original series by Russell T. Davies, that follows a group of friends in New Orleans who suddenly find their lives transformed following a tragedy that rocks their community.


Also arriving on Channel 4 is Becoming Elizabeth, a drama created and written by Anya Reiss which follows the younger years of Queen Elizabeth I who becomes embroiled in the politics of the English court on her journey to secure the crown; The Girl from Plainville a dramatic limited series inspired by the real-life trial of Michelle Carter, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter by encouraging her boyfriend, over text messages, to kill himself and Cruel Summer, from executive producers Jessica Biel and Michelle Purple, a thriller told over three summers in the 1990s, as a girl goes missing from a small town in Texas and another mysteriously takes over her life.


Previously announced Channel 4 originals include the return of hit prison drama Screw, created by Rob Williams and starring Nina Sosanya (Good Omens, His Dark Materials, W1A) and Jamie-Lee O’Donnell (Derry Girls) and crime thriller Before We Die, led by Lesley Sharp (Scott and Bailey, Three Girls)  which will return to Channel 4 for a second series alongside brand-new comedy drama The Change, created by and starring Bridget Christie (Edinburgh Comedy Award, Rose D’Or and South Bank Sky Arts Award winner) about a woman who becomes invigorated after her doctor tells her she’s going through menopause.


The titles will join Channel 4’s world class streaming service of the best comedy, drama, documentaries, reality, lifestyle and film titles as well as the very best of international content from Walter Presents, all available for free.


These new shows launch as Channel 4 becomes the first UK broadcaster to adopt one brand across its linear and streaming platforms, offering audiences a seamless viewing experience and helping them to find the shows they love from Channel 4. Whether viewers choose to stream or watch live, on their TVs, tablets or mobiles, they will know to simply look for Channel 4 to find iconic series and programmes which tell authentic stories from communities across the UK, as well as the best acquisitions from around the world. 


Audiences will be able to enjoy an enhanced Channel 4 streaming service with increased personalisation features to help viewers discover the very best content more quickly, as well as gain exclusive early access to shows through Channel 4’s premium streaming offering, Channel 4+. More live streaming will also be made available across even more platforms, including Amazon and Samsung devices, and more subtitles and audio descriptions will continue to be added to provide greater accessibility for Channel 4 audiences.


Zaid Al-Qassab, Chief Marketing Officer at Channel 4 added: “Channel 4 is passionate about bringing British viewers programmes they love and new ones they’re yet to discover. By bringing all our shows together under our iconic ‘Channel 4’ brand, we’re making it even easier for audiences, particularly younger viewers, to find and stream the very best telly available in the UK.”

Channel 4 has the UK’s biggest free streaming service and latest figures reveal that Channel 4 had its biggest April on record with more than five billion minutes of content streamed. This was driven by hugely popular content including season 10 of Married At First Sight Australia which was regularly the most streamed PSB programme each week during its nine week run, along with other hit shows including Made In Chelsea, Gogglebox, Hollyoaks, Taskmaster, as well as new series launches Rise and Fall, Scared of the Dark and Tempting Fortune.

Full details of the new content for summer announced today are below:


Acquired from NBCUniversal, stream and watch live on Channel 4


Based on the hit podcast from Wondery, Dr. Death is based on the terrifying true story of Dr. Christopher Duntsch (Joshua Jackson), a rising star in the Dallas medical community. Young, charismatic, and ostensibly brilliant, Dr. Duntsch was building a flourishing neurosurgery practice when everything suddenly changed. Patients entered his operating room for complex but routine spinal surgeries and left permanently maimed or dead. As victims piled up, two fellow physicians, neurosurgeon Robert Henderson (Alec Baldwin) and vascular surgeon Randall Kirby (Christian Slater), as well as Dallas prosecutor (AnnaSophia Robb), set out to stop him. Dr. Death explores the twisted mind of Dr. Duntsch, and the failures of the system designed to protect the most defenseless among us.

The series stars Joshua Jackson, Grace Gummer, AnnaSophia Robb with Christian Slater and Alec Baldwin.


Acquired from NBCUniversal, stream and watch live on Channel 4

Queer As Folk is Stephen Dunn’s vibrant reimagining of the ground-breaking British drama series created by Russell T. Davies and explores a diverse group of friends in New Orleans whose lives are transformed in the wake of an unimaginable tragedy that rocks their community. The series stars Devin Way, Fin Argus, Jesse James Keitel, CG, Johnny Sibilly and Ryan O’Connell. Kim Cattrall, Juliette Lewis and Ed Begley Jr. also guest star.


Acquired from NBCUniversal, stream and watch live on Channel 4

The Girl From Plainville is inspired by the true story of Michelle Carter’s controversial “texting-suicide”case. Based on the Esquire article of the same name by Jesse Barron, the limited series explores Carter’s relationship with Conrad Roy III and the events that led to his death and, later, her conviction of involuntary manslaughter. The series stars Elle Fanning, Chloë Sevigny, Colton Ryan, Cara Buono, Kai Lennox and Norbert Leo Butz.


Acquired from Lionsgate, stream and watch live on Channel 4

Created and written by Anya Reiss, Becoming Elizabeth is the untold story of England’s most iconic Queen, before she ascended the throne. Henry VIII’s death throws a young orphan Elizabeth Tudor into the unpredictable and dangerous English court. Cast includes Alicia Von Rittberg, Romola Garai, Oliver Zetterström, Jessica Raine, Tom Cullen and Bella Ramsey.


Acquired from Entertainment One (eOne), stream and watch live on E4


From Executive Producers Jessica Biel and Michelle Purple, Cruel Summer season one is a psychological thriller that takes place over three summers - 1993, 1994, and 1995 - when a beautiful, popular teen, Kate (Olivia Holt), is abducted and, seemingly unrelated, a girl, Jeanette (Chiara Aurelia), goes from being a sweet, awkward loner to the most popular girl in town and, by ‘95, the most despised person in America. Each episode is told from alternating point of views. Cast includes Olivia Holt, Chiara Aurelia, Michael Landes, Froy Gutierrez, Harley Quinn Smith, Allius Barnes, Blake Lee, Brooklyn Sudano and Sarah Drew. Cruel Summer comes from studio eOne and was created by Bert V. Royal. Tia Napolitano serves as showrunner. Executive producers include Napolitano, Royal and Iron Ocean Productions’ Jessica Biel and Michelle Purple.


THE CHANGE - 6x30”
Produced by Expectation, stream and watch live on Channel 4


Who is she? What is she? Is this it? Convinced she’s got early onset dementia after forgetting what a shoe is called, Linda's GP informs her it is, in fact, the menopause. Feeling invigorated and empowered by this information, Linda (played by Bridget Christie) decides to claw back some of the time she's spent doing 'invisible work' over the years (not all 3.5 million minutes, just 131,500 of them) and do something for herself... for a change. Dusting off her old Triumph motorbike that she hasn’t ridden in 30 years, Linda sets off alone to the spectacular wilderness of The Forest of Dean – in search of an identity, a purpose, and a tree she climbed as a child. Along the way she meets an array of eccentric locals, including the infamous Eel Sisters, an angry local radio presenter and a mysterious man who lives in the woods with the wild boar. What could possibly go wrong? Alongside Bridget Christie, the cast also includes Monica Dolan, Susan Lynch, Tanya Moodie, Liza Tarbuck, Omid Djalili, Jerome Flynn, Jim Howick and Paul Whitehouse.


Produced by STV Studios, stream and watch live on Channel 4

The critically acclaimed prison drama returns, joined by Lee Ingleby (The Serpent Queen, The Hunt for Raoul Moat) as Morgan, a new prisoner with a hidden agenda. The team of embattled prison officers played by Nina Sosanya, Jamie-Lee O’Donnell, Faraz Ayub (Suspicion, The Capture), Stephen Wight (I May Destroy You, Rain Dogs), Ron Donachie (Titanic, Game of Thrones), and Laura Checkley (King Gary, Detectorists) will all be returning. Ben Tavassoli (Bulletproof, Compulsion) will also reprise his role as Louis Costa. Other new faces on the wing include Barnaby Kay (Wallander, The Five) playing the new Governor; Leo Gregory (Out of Control, Green Street) playing prisoner Reeks and David Judge (Romeo and Juliet, Prey) playing prisoner Hemmings.


Produced by Eagle Eye Drama, stream and watch live on Channel 4

Lesley Sharp (Scott & Bailey, Three Girls) as detective Hannah Laing is back to head up the cast of this hit returning series. Hannah joins forces with maverick detective Billy Murdoch, played by Vincent Regan (Troy, 300) in a desperate bid to protect her son Christian, played by Patrick Gibson (The OA, Guerrilla).  Season two will see Hannah pitched directly against Dubravka, played by Kazia Pelka (World's End, Casualty) the matriarch at the head of the Mimica Croatian crime family. Steve Toussaint (House of the Dragon) also returns and Priyanga Burford (No Time to Die) joins the cast for series 2.


Specific transmission dates will be announced in due course. Images will be available via picturepublicity@Channel4.co.uk

For more information, please contact:

Harriet Wilson, Publicity Lead, Drama, Comedy & Acquisitions, Channel 4

About Channel 4:

Channel 4 exists to create change through entertainment. Publicly owned yet commercially funded, Channel 4 generates significant and sustainable cultural, economic and social impact across the UK – at no cost to the taxpayer.

The broadcaster’s distinctive remit is set by Parliament, and it has a role to represent unheard voices, challenge with purpose and reinvent entertainment. For over 40 years, it has been a British success story, engaging generation after generation of young people.

Through a unique publisher-broadcaster model, Channel 4 commissions its content from the UK independent production sector. Working with around 300 creative companies every year, Channel 4 makes a major contribution to the local, regional and national economy, creating and supporting thousands of jobs and businesses across the country.

In 2020, Channel 4 launched its Future4 strategy to become a digital-first public service media company and to continue to deliver significant impact for UK audiences and investment into the UK creative economy.

Across its bases in London, Leeds, Manchester, Bristol and Glasgow, Channel 4 is turbocharging its efforts to find, nurture and develop talent across the UK. Through its training and development initiative 4Skills, Channel 4 is opening up opportunities in broadcasting, with a particular focus on disadvantaged young people, and addressing skills gaps across the Nations and Regions.

Channel 4 has the UK’s biggest free streaming service plus 11 television channels including: Channel 4, E4, E4 Extra, More4, Film4, 4Seven and The Box Plus Network. Through Film4 Productions, Channel 4 also invests in British filmmakers to huge critical acclaim, producing 37 Oscar wins and 88 BAFTA wins in its history.