Elba To Host BBC America Drama-Themed Programming Block

BBC America this summer will launch a weekly drama-themed block that will feature the sequel to its hit mini-series Luther.

The Wednesday night block,dubbed Dramaville, will feature several original drama/thriller miniseries beginning Aug. 17 wiht the launch of The Hour, a six-part espionage thriller set in the 1950, according to the network.

Dramaville will be hosted by Luther star Idris Elba, who will also serve as producer of the block. The sequel to Elba's Golden Globe-nominated miniseries Luther will run on the block after The Hour, followed by Whitechapel, a six-part contemporary crime thriller set in the shadow of Jack the Ripper and the infamous Kray Twins of the 1960s.

"British drama has long been a standard bearer of great scripted television and Dramaville will showcase the very best of British creativity in a clear destination drama fans can easily find," said Perry Simon, General Manager, Channels, BBC Worldwide America. "It's a real pleasure to welcome Idris back to the BBC America family as the host of Dramaville."

The network also announced that it has signed comedian Chris Hardwick to host the channel's new Saturday night comedy block Ministry of Laughs, which launches June 18. The block will feature the latest season of comedy series The Inbetweeners;Come Fly With Me, a new project from Little Britain creators and stars Matt Lucas and David Walliams;  and The Graham Norton Show, the UK's biggest talk show.
BBC America has also commissioned a pilot based on Hardwick's hit podcast Nerdist, said network officials.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.