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peaky-blinders-posterFirst up, we have some exciting casting announcements – as production gears up on season 2 of Peaky Blinders, comes the news that Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises) will be joining the cast in a major new role. Created by Steven Knight, Peaky Blinders follows a notorious crime gang in 1920s Birmingham and stars Cillian Murphy (Inception) and Helen McCrory (Harry Potter).

Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter) has signed up to star in Gideon Raff (Homeland) and Tim Kring’s (Heroes) upcoming event series, DIG. Created for the USA Network, Isaacs will play an FBI Agent investigating the murder of an archaeologist in Jerusalem who uncovers a 2000 year old mystery.

ITV’s hit series, Downton Abbey, has added Richard E. Grant (Withnail & I), Anna Chancellor (Fleming) and Rade Sherbedgia (24) to its cast for for its fifth series, set to air later this year. Sherbedgia will play a Russian refugee, fleeing the revolution, whilst Grant will play Simon Brucker, a friend of Lord Grantham’s (Hugh Bonneville), and Chancellor will be Lady Ansthruther.

Following the news that Judy Davis had to leave the production of 24: Live Another Day due to “family matters”, comes the announcement that Game of Throne‘s Michelle Fairley has been brought in to replace her.

BBC One announced that its period drama, The Paradise, has been cancelled. Set in one of the country’s first department stores, it struggled to match the ratings success of ITV’s Mr Selfridge and its cancellation will allow the BBC room for new dramas.

The BBC’s legal drama, Silk, returns for its third series next Monday, 24th February at 9pm and ahead of its premiere, a new trailer has been released. Created by Peter Moffat (The Village), it follows a group of London barristers and stars Maxine Peake (The Village) and Rupert Penry-Jones (Spooks).

Some more return dates for you now: The Vampire Diaries will finish its fifth series run on ITV2 from 9pm on Tuesday 25th February, whilst over on Channel 5 in that timeslot, The Mentalist will also be back for the latter half of its sixth series. Meanwhile, Sky One will see The Blacklist return at 9pm on Friday 28th February.

J.J. Abram’s new series, Believe, will be shown in the UK on Watch from 9pm on Thursday 27th March. Written by Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity) and Mark Friedman (The Forgotten), it follows a young girl named Bo, gifted with special powers, who is forced to go on the run with an escaped convict named Tate and stars Jake McLaughlin (Warrior) and Johnny Sequoyah.

And finally, a trailer for Jonathan Creek‘s upcoming fifth series has been released, which sees Alan Davies back in action. The new series will also see Sarah Alexander (Coupling) as Polly, Creek’s wife. Take a look at what lies in store…

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