Yes, there is a television show headed to the BBC about Grand Theft Auto. Yes, it is actually about the game Grand Theft Auto and not just some tangentially related show about motor vehicle theft. However, it's probably not what you're expecting.
IGN has a brief rundown of what the BBC show will be like, and it'll actually focus on Grand Theft Auto's creators, Dan and Sam Houser.
The drama will be about the creation of the game, the ideas behind the game, the technology that powers the game, and the creative minds that made it all happen. It's a 90-minute program that delves into the behind-the-scenes nature of game development and looks at one of the biggest pop-cultural video game icons in the history of interactive entertainment.
According to Dan Houser, one half of the twisted minds behind GTA...
Rockstar was founded [in Britain] with a mission statement that video games were the next mass-market entertainment medium, that they were uniquely interesting and powerful. And that we as a company would serve two masters to prove this fact, combining the production values of movies with an obsession of gameplay above all else.
The original Grand Theft Auto, from DMA design, debuted in 1997. It was not the cinematic series you're familiar with. Instead, the original GTA was a top-down, Hotline Miami-esque arcade-driving-and-shooting game. One shot from the cops or rival gangs and you were dead.
The first game was hard and required as much planning as it did reflexive skill. It was easy to die, wreck your car, and get the cops after you, and it was a blast to play because it was the first top-down, open-world game of its kind (and yeah, modding was still heavily present, even in the original 1997 release).
GTA's "London, 1969" expansion offered more of the same with a new skin and some different vehicles to steal. But it wasn't until after the 1999 release of GTA 2 that the developers wanted to follow the Houser brothers, combining the cinematic thrill of Hollywood with the robust, interactivity of video games.
Enter 2001: Grand Theft Auto III releases to startling success, the first game in the series to make the leap into an open 3D game world. The Housers' dream had come true.
From 2001 onward, Grand Theft Auto became a household name. It encouraged naughty, fun, and deviant behavior and lots of controversy. The game and the brand have evolved over time, elevating the interactive entertainment medium with breakthroughs and technological advancements. It was one of the first franchises to fully utilize the procedural animation system from NaturalMotion called "Euphoria." The A.I., and player characters could react and interact with the world in completely unpredictable ways, creating a more organic and dynamic experience. Heck, there's even a sub-culture on YouTube, Imgur, and other media-sharing communities dedicated to the antics surrounding the Euphoria technology in the newer GTA games.
The BBC's program will be attached to an initiative to get more kids interested in technology and computer design. As reported by BBC News, the BBC will be giving away stripped down mini-computers to kids to help grow their interest in the design field. The new GTA drama will further tie in to the push by the cultural ministry to increase digital computing skills and tech knowledge for today's youth.