Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ben Stephenson on drama series

In Broadcast, Ben Stephenson, controller of BBC drama commissioning, says that drama series are undervalued.
I worry that there is residual snobbery in the UK surrounding drama series. That somehow making something that is there to entertain isn’t quite good enough. The best of entertainment isn’t fluffy, silly or undercooked - the best entertainment is innovative, authored, intelligent, shocking and emotional.

I believe the writers and directors in this country are world class. Across the networks, they are already producing some of the finest series we have ever seen. But I feel we can all do more to foster an environment in which multi-episodic television is king.


  1. Anonymous6:41 pm

    "I believe the writers and directors in this country are world class."

    Sure they are. That's why so many of them are working away from the UK.

  2. Anonymous11:18 am

    If Drama series are so valued then why was I told by a BBC official that as a new writer it was pointless for me to submit drama series pilots and formats?

  3. Because - anonymous (above) - getting a series away is massively challenging even for top writers. If you're a new writer getting a series away would almost be like winning the lottery without buying a ticket. It's just never going to happen, I'm afraid. Sure the BBC person could have put it better to save your feelings and not knock your ambition but really they were just being honest. Write a spellbinding calling card script and go from there but don't expect miracles!


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