Life on Mars launched on BBC1 in January 2006. With its combination of traditional cop show, time travel mystery and the inimitable DCI Gene Hunt, it quickly caught fire as a critical and ratings success. BBC1 made two series, and followed it with a successful spin-off, Ashes to Ashes.
But in the intervening two and a half years, BBC1 and ITV1 between them have come up with only one other contemporary weekday drama that can be called a hit – BBC1’s Mistresses.
Given that the two broadcasters between them spend in excess of £500million a year on drama, viewers and critics are rightly starting to wonder why the schedules from Monday to Friday are so unenticing – particularly in that important nine o’clock slot.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
In The Daily Telegraph, Neil Midgely looks at the how British broadcasters are continuing to search for hit returning drama series for 9pm weekday slots.