After 18 years, 20 series and more than 40 specials, Time Team will air its final series on Channel 4 in 2013. Further one-off specials are planned for at least into 2014 and the series will continue to be repeated across both More4 and Channel 4.
Channel 4 will increase its focus on new and innovative history programming; with new commissions with exclusive access to archaeological discoveries including the recently announced The King in the Carpark: Richard III and the brand new The People of Stonehenge (w/t), The Hood (w/t) – as well Attack of the Zeppelins (w/t) with Hugh Hunt.
Head of Factual Ralph Lee says: “I am incredibly proud that, as well as providing hundreds of hours of education and entertainment on Channel 4, Time Team has invested, over and above production costs, more than £4m in archaeology in Britain over the past 18 years. Time Team will continue to be on our screens for at least a further two years and we are discussing other ideas around archaeology with Tim Taylor, Time Team’s creator and the production team behind it.
“Time Team was one of our first returning Factual formats and entirely original when it first aired – but with innovation vital to Channel 4’s DNA, 2013 will see a renewed commitment to history programming with bold new approaches and formats as well as a range of one-off programmes.”
Commissioning Editor for History Julia Harrington says: “Channel 4 history is all about bringing the past to life in eye-opening, entertaining and innovative ways, from the best archaeological scoops, to big factual dramas such as The Mill, to experiential formats such as Hilary Devey’s Dole Office, and Guy Martin on our industrial past in the current series How Britain Worked.”
Channel 4 is working with broadcaster Tony Robinson on a brand new history series Walking through History (w/t) for which he has devised four walks through major stories in British history: from charting the Second World War along the Dorset coast to the progress of industrial revolution in the Derbyshire Peak district, the Jacobin rebellions in the Scottish Highlands and the source of Tudor noblemen’s’ power in the Kent Weald.
Tony said: “Not many performers are given the privilege of featuring in two iconic TV series – but I’ve been lucky! Time Team was not only high-quality public service television; it also attracted a large and passionate audience both in the UK and overseas. I’m proud to have been associated with it.”
Twenty years of Time Team will be celebrated in the last programme of the final series in 2013 – looking back over the highs and the lows, the people and the places and the achievements of a series which ran for over 250 episodes.
The digs have provided a wealth of information and research material currently stored by Wessex Archaeology. Channel 4, along with the programme makers Videotext and Picture house TV will work to maintain this archive as part of Time Team’s academic legacy.