Czech Television prepares a new slate of original series
by Martin Kudláč
- Jan Prušinovský has made a family comedy which is not suitable for the whole family
Czech Television is preparing a new slate of series for the upcoming spring season. Besides the usual television fare such as crime series, Czech Television is also adding less conventional series to its portfolio. Recently, it aired a five-part mini-series entitled Cosmic, which was billed as a situational tragedy mixing the tradition of crazy Czech comedy and political and social satire in a Czech version of Red Dwarf. Similarly unorthodox is the latest addition from director Jan Prušinovský, who was behind the acclaimed The Snake Brothers [+see also:
interview: Jan Prušinovský
film profile]. This new creation, The Gnome, is promoted as an adventure family comedy which is “not suitable for the whole family”. Prušinovský already has wide experience in television comedy, having written and directed series District League and Fourth Star. The premise of his latest series is simple enough; a wish-fulfilling garden gnome appears in a small town and changes hands between the inhabitants. The director has revealed that he wanted to tap into the tradition of comedies by Miloš Macourek, which are “set in reality but tweaked slightly by fantasy”.
Along with the Czech adaptation of the BBC´s Life on Mars, the second season of crime series Labyrinth will also be aired, the first season of which was inspired by paintings by Hieronymus Bosch and was watched by roughly one million viewers. Jiří Strach remains in the director´s chair and will keep the original model of one case divided into seven episodes with a mystical air. Meanwhile, two hundred days, forty locations, 160 actors and almost 1,600 costumes went into Policemen from Luhačovice, a series of historical crime stories from the period of the first Czechoslovak Republic. “For me, working on the script, during shooting and in the editing room, was an interesting excursion into a time when crimes were on the one hand more brutal and remorseless than today, whilst on the other, perpetrators were more naïve and confessed to crimes more often out of fear of infernal torment or God´s punishment,” said the project´s creator, Petr Bok.
Among the new projects is a three-part mini-series entitled Justice, directed by Slovak filmmaker Peter Bebjak and shot by award-winning cinematographer Martin Žiaran, which revolves around a crime committed by the daughter of the investigating detective, along with Monster, a film about the author of Stalin’s memorial who paid the highest price, and Bohemia, a television novel about the lives of Czech film legends and Barrandov Studios.