In news that should surprise nobody, Doctor Who's mature viewers spin-off Torchwood is getting a second series. This was always on the cards after the first episode got 2.4 million on the digital channel BBC3 - one of the highest audiences ever for a non-terrestrial drama. Ratings have dropped considerably since then, but the first run of Torchwood is still out-performing the third series of Lost on Sky. Sky paid nearly a million pounds an episode to snatch Lost away from Channel 4, so Torchwood is a bona fide hit whichever way you slice it.
A slight surprise comes from the fact that the second series of Torchwood will make its debut on BBC2, not BBC3. It seems BBC2 controller Roly Keating won the battle to wrest the show away from his counterpart at BBC3 - no doubt that decision was less than popular at BBC3 when it was announced. Shooting for Torchwood's next series begins in the spring for an autumn 2007 launch. I've only seen a few episodes of the first run, so I can't comment with any authority about the series, but I have heard tell the quality is getting more consistent after some early peaks and troughs.
In other news from the BBC2 winter/spring launch, it's not long until the debut of Party Animals, an eight-part series about twentysomethings pursuing careers in politics. Sounds like a British blend of This Life and The West Wing, which would be a great thing if it works. The show is made by World Productions, who've also got the much-anticipated This Life reunion special on BBC2 over the festive season. I sat next to a development script editor from World during the TAPS course and she was singing the praises of Party Animals, so I'll definitely be sampling that series.
In other news, World is being sized up for acquisition by another independent British television production company, Shed. If the deal goes ahead, it could well signal a fresh wave of cannabalistic mergers and acquisitions within the sector. It's be a shame in at least one way if Shed swallows World, as World is among the few indie prodcos that will read unsolicited material. Time will tell, as usual...