Channel 4 launches The State of the Nation initiative

LONDON - Channel 4 is kicking off its autumn schedule with a year-long programming initiative, The State of the Nation, as part of its Next on 4 pledge to air new factual programming.

The State of the Nation season launches in September with The Family, an eight-part series and the first of five observational documentary series about different social and public institutions.

A four-part series, Life and Death at 18, will examine how the NHS is coping with gun and knife crime, binge drinking and rising obesity, while The Force will document the reality of policing in the 21st Century.

Other gritty topics include human trafficking in the UK and the Government's overhaul of the benefits system.

The State of the Nation will include a campaigning season raising awareness about Britain's adoption system. The centrepiece will be a series called Adopt Me, in which five sets of prospective adopters will be encouraged to consider adopting from among the hardest children to place. Drama feature, The Unloved, offers a child's view of what it's like to grow up in care.

Headlining Channel 4's drama output for the new season is four-part serial, The Devil's Whore, about the English Civil War.

Channel 4 is also relying on its favourite chefs and a follow up to its surprise hit health education series Embarrassing Bodies series called Embarrassing Teenage Bodies. Jamie Oliver is back with four-part series Jamie's Ministry of Food, while Gordon Ramsay will also be aiming to extend the nation's culinary repertoire with a seven-part series of Live Cookalong.

In comedy, Channel 4 is bringing back The IT Crowd, Star Stories, Fonejacker, and Russell Brand's Ponderland.

Digital channel E4 has commissioned a new horror drama series set in a fictional Big Brother house. The new five-part thriller, Dead Set, is written by Charlie Brooker and stars Jaime Winstone as a production runner working on a fictional series of Big Brother who tries to fend off the waking dead alongside the remaining housemates.

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