Monday, November 17, 2008

Laura Mackie interview

In The Guardian, Gareth McLean interviews ITV's Controller of Drama, Laura Mackie.
ITV has followed BBC1 into Saturday teatime family drama (adding the imminent Demons, starring Philip Glenister, to Primeval), and ITV2 will be home to a third series of Secret Diary of a Call Girl and a new show, Trinity, which Mackie mind-bogglingly describes as "American Pie meets Brideshead Revisited". But the ITV1 weeknight 9pm slot remains "absolutely crucial" to her strategy.

"Our strategy is very simple and is something that Peter [Fincham, ITV director of television] has been very clear about since he came in. We want to deliver a broad range of popular, quality series."
On his blog, McLean reflects on the interview.
Speaking to people about Mackie and ITV, I realised there's an enormous amount of generosity towards her and a will for ITV drama to succeed – for more than purely selfish reasons. If nothing else, it keeps the BBC on its toes and goodness knows it needs the exercise...

There is, of course, plenty still to be done at ITV but I think Mackie is the person to do it. She said she wasn't interested in the BBC head of Fiction job. I really hope she meant it – unless she plans to go and dismantle it. But let's not get me started on that one.
Update (18.11.08): A more downbeat message in a report by Kate McMahon in Broadcast:
ITV chief operating officer John Cresswell has hinted that the broadcaster could scale back its drama output to focus on entertainment shows as the economic crisis deepens...

Asked about the future of drama, Cresswell said: "Will drama programming change? Well, Peter [Fincham] has got some really interesting ideas. The mix is always up for review. Drama plays an important part in the appeal of ITV to advertisers as it has a reach very much targeted at ABC1s, but for us, we may get more value from other big entertainment shows and perhaps even more specialised factual shows."


  1. Trinity sounds awesome!

  2. Anonymous10:59 pm

    Graham Maclean is one of my favourite media commentators. I hope he's the next editor of Media Guardian.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.