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Sky has commissioned four more original drama productions, to be filmed in the coming months.

The new programmes include "high-octane" medical drama 'Critical', two new films for Sky's 'Playhouse Presents...' strand, and psychological thriller 'Penny Dreadful'.

Sky says the new dramas will feature "some of the most highly-respected drama talent working in television today".

'Critical' is a 13-part series from Jed Mercurio, to unfold in real-time on Sky 1.

Meanwhile, 'Penny Dreadful' is a psychological period horror starring Eva Green, Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, Rory Kinnear and Billie Piper, set to air on Sky Atlantic.

The first of the two 'Playhouse Presents...' dramas is 'Nightshift', which sees Ashley Walters and Daniel Mays star as two south-east London police officers discussing life, the universe and everything.

The second new Sky Arts drama is 'Foxtrot', which will see Billie Piper, Ben Whishaw and Lindsay Duncan star in a tale of a gang heist gone wrong.

Stuart Murphy, Director of Sky Entertainment, said the broadcaster is "so happy" with the original dramas it has made so far, such as 'Mad Dogs', 'Strike Back' and 'Fleming'.

"I hope our new programmes will underline how much we put a premium on creative endeavour at Sky," he stated.

"We really believe that our philosophy of backing world class creative talent and pushing them to make their best work is the way to go."

Cameron Roach, Head of Drama, said Sky "loved" making the new programmes.

"We hope that everyone who watches them feels like they’ve discovered something new, exciting and very special," he stated.

Sky has committed to invest £600 million a year in home-grown programming by 2014 - an increase of 50 per cent over a three-year period.

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