Friday, 13 March 2009

TV Drama Forum

Nope I wasn't there, at something like 600 quid a ticket, but Broadcast have handily provided some info of what was discussed:

TV Drama Forum: What BBC1 wants.

Drama commissioning controller Ben Stephenson outlined the following areas:

9pm midweek: Big pieces of "muscular storytelling" over several weeks in the mould of Life on Mars, Criminal Justice and the forthcoming Iraq drama Occupation.

With second series of Five Days and Criminal Justice in the works, no more stripped dramas are wanted.

Also looking for pieces about ordinary lives – whether in the mould of The Street or Cutting It.

7pm Saturdays: With Doctor Who, Merlin and Robin Hood, this slot is now full and Stephenson is not looking for any more - although he is still interested in "swashbuckling" boys-own style show

Single dramas: Stephenson said it was "quite rare" to read a single that feels big enough for BBC1, but he is keen for singles with "scale and talkability"

TV Drama Forum: What Laura Mackie is looking for.

Drama controller Laura Mackie is looking for:

Successors to earlier character-driven pieces such as Fat Friends and At Home with the Braithwaites. These have to have "a real narrative pulse" and show signs of being strong returning hits.

She doesn't want "niche" or "cool" dramas, and costume drama is out as it's "too expensive".

Singles: ITV1 will show fewer than in recent years, but there are still slots, with a particular emphasis on family dramas for bank holidays.

TV Drama Forum: What Channel 4 wants.

Head of drama Liza Marshall wants:

Producers to be entrepreneurial. She urged indies to come to the table with funding from third parties such as screen agencies to boost the budgets they can work with.

Purely 'grim' drama is out. "Don't bring me people addicted to heroin in council flats – it's too bleak," she said.

C4's 2009 drama slat is filled, but 2010 is up for grabs and the budget is looking "relatively healthy" for strong, author-led pieces. The key is that they can really cut through and get noticed.

And finally some more about looking for 'Ordinary Lives' stories here

So now we all know - better get back to writing this stuff now!

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