Urban Myths

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Urban Myths
GenreComedy drama
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of series2
No. of episodes14 (list of episodes)
Running time21–26 minutes (w/out advertisements)
Production company(s)Sky UK
Original networkSky Arts
Original release19 January 2017 (2017-01-19) – present (present)

Urban Myths is a British comedy drama television series first aired on 19 January 2017 on the Sky Arts Channel. Each episode featured a story surrounding popular culture which may or may not be true, ranging from Muhammad Ali talking a man down from a ledge to Bob Dylan turning up on a stranger's doorstep. A second series was announced featuring The Sex Pistols and Salvador Dali, which began airing on 12 April 2018.[1]

The series was most notable for a controversy surrounding the casting of Joseph Fiennes in the role of Michael Jackson, an episode that was pulled from transmission.[2]


After it was revealed that Joseph Fiennes was to portray Michael Jackson in the series, several members of Jacksons' family objected, including his daughter, Paris Jackson, who wrote on Twitter, "I'm so incredibly offended by it, as i'm sure plenty of people are as well, and it honestly makes me want to vomit." The tweet was later deleted.[3] After widespread criticism following the release of the series trailer, the episode was pulled from broadcast indefinitely.[4]


Although stories surrounding the pulled episode overshadowed the rest of the series, the aired episodes attracted a positive response. The opening episode, featuring Eddie Marsan as Bob Dylan was described in newspaper reviews as "charming and hilarious"[5], "short, charming and light-hearted"[6] and "different and pleasing"[7]. The series drew over 600,000 viewers and charted in the top three programmes for Sky Arts each week it aired, save for the episode "Cary Grant and Timothy Leary", which came seventh, largely due to broadcasts of the programme Portrait Artist of the Year.[8]



Series 1[edit]

Episode Title Directed by Written by Viewers
(millions) (Source: BARB)
1"Bob Dylan: Knockin' on Dave's Door"Ben PalmerNeil Webster0.9419 January 2017 (2017-01-19)
2"Samuel Beckett and Andre the Giant"Ben PalmerNeil Forsyth0.7826 January 2017 (2017-01-26)
3"Hitler the Artist"Dan ZeffBen Edwards0.662 February 2017 (2017-02-02)
4"Cary Grant and Timothy Leary"Geoffrey SaxRoger Drew and Ed Dyson0.429 February 2017 (2017-02-09)
5"The Greatest of All Time"Ben PalmerNeil Webster and Mark Boutros0.7216 February 2017 (2017-02-16)
6"Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon"Ben PalmerNeil ForsythN/AUnaired (Unaired)

Series 2[edit]

Episode Title Directed by Written by Viewers
(millions) (Source: BARB)
1"Marilyn Monroe and Billy Wilder"Sean FoleyDavid CummingsTBA12 April 2018 (2018-04-12)
2"Backstage at Live Aid"John HardwickNeil ForsythTBA19 April 2018 (2018-04-19)
3"Johnny Cash and the Ostrich"Al CampbellFrank SkinnerTBA26 April 2018 (2018-04-26)
4"The Dali and The Cooper"TBATBATBA3 May 2018 (2018-05-03)
5"David Bowie and Marc Bolan"TBATBATBA10 May 2018 (2018-05-10)
6"Agatha Christie"Guillem MoralesPaul Doolan and Abigail WilsonTBA17 May 2018 (2018-05-17)
7"Public Enemy (feat. Kev Wells)"Ben PalmerTBATBA24 May 2018 (2018-05-24)
8"The Sex Pistols vs. Bill Grundy"TBATBATBA31 May 2018 (2018-05-31)


Year Award Category Nomination Result
2018 46th International Emmy Awards Best Drama Series Urban Myths[9] Nominated


  1. ^ "Sky Arts Presents: 'Urban Myths'". Sky Corporate. 17 January 2017. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  2. ^ Barraclough, Leo (13 January 2017). "'Urban Myths' Episode With Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson Canceled by Sky TV". Variety. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  3. ^ Sisavat, Monica. "Paris Jackson Is 'Incredibly Offended' by Joseph Fiennes Playing Her Dad, Michael". PopSugar. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  4. ^ Kreps, Daniel (13 January 2017). "Joseph Fiennes' Michael Jackson Episode Pulled After Outcry". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  5. ^ Wollaston, Sam (20 January 2017). "Urban Myths: Bob Dylan review – his Bobness pops to Crouch End for tea". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  6. ^ Butler, Mark (20 January 2017). "Urban Myths review: Eddie Marsan had a blast as Bob Dylan". The i newspaper online. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  7. ^ McEwan, Cameron K. (22 January 2017). "'Urban Myths' Premiere Recap: 'Bob Dylan: Knocking' on Dave's Door'". The Observer. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  8. ^ "Weekly top 10 programmes". BARB. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  9. ^ "International Emmy Award Nominations Unveiled". Variety. Retrieved 27 November 2018.

External links[edit]