Friday, 13 March 2009

Broadcast: TV Drama Forum

The Broadcast site has brief features on what drama commissioners are currently looking for:

TV Drama Forum: BBC and ITV drama commissioners are on the lookout for more contemporary series about ordinary lives.

BBC drama commissioning controller Ben Stephenson said that as well as reinventing genres, such as Life on Mars or Spooks, that BBC1 9pm series and serials should also reflect people's everyday lives more closely.

"I'd like a greater range of stories about ordinary people's lives, with a little more heart," he said, citing The Street and Cutting It.

ITV drama controller Laura Mackie conceded that recent attempts to add more contemporary character-based pieces to ITV1's drama schedules had yielded mixed results.

"We've come unstuck because we haven't made sure there's enough story," she said. We really want them, but we need to look at the reason why our crime shows work: because they have a real narrative pulse. We've all got hung up on high concepts rather than stories."

Mackie added that dramas would be given more development time than in the past, so that ITV could get it right first time.

"We've been guilty of rushing things on to the screen," she said. "The Fixer for example, will come back stronger in its second series as Peter Fincham and I know what worked in the first series. We can't make mistakes - but that doesn't mean we don't take risks."

Ben Stephenson: BBC
Laura Mackie: ITV
Liza Marshall: C4
Peter Kosminsky: Where is the BBC's sense of mischief?

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