Monday, January 17, 2005

Goodbye Mal, hello Mackie

With Mal Young departed, the BBC's new Head of Drama Series and Serials, Laura Mackie appears to be taking things in a new direction, writes Maggie Brown in Media Guardian (free registration required), starting with a series of Dickens and Shakespeare adaptations.
The classics project does not means that the BBC is retreating from weekly dollops of ever popular Holby City and Casualty, which provide a ratings safety net. Other gritty adult strands, such as Waking the Dead and Silent Witness, are being built up. Yet the focus is clearly changing. For seven years, Young pursued a single-minded drive to make popular drama series work on BBC1. Mackie, 44, signals a touch on the tiller, at the very least: "The brief is essentially to develop dramas that feel original, and in some cases are risky." Some existing shows may get the chop.
The new post-Young drama structure has split series from long-running series, which are run by John Yorke.

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