Thursday, February 04, 2010

BFI to stage 'HBO weekend'

In the Independent, Arifa Akbar reports that the British Film Institute (BFI) will present an 'HBO weekend' looking at the work of the American cable channel that has produced critically acclaimed dramas such as The Sopranos and The Wire.

I can't see anything about it on the BFI website yet, but apparently it will run from 23-25 April.

Akbar's article quotes BFI artistic director, Eddie Berg, who says that part of the reason for bringing HBO execs and producers to London is to see what British broadcasters can learn from them.
"When people think of British drama around the world, we think of quality costume drama at the BBC, but what we don't think of is [it showing] series dramas like The Wire or The Sopranos, which are contemporary and edgy.

"We have to ask ourselves why can't the BBC seem to be able to do this with all the resources it has?"
Reporting on the same story, the Telegraph also has a comment from the BBC.
In response, the BBC issued a statement saying that television drama was "alive and well" in Britain, citing Criminal Justice, Small Island and A Short Stay in Switzerland as evidence of the corporation's commitment to risk-taking programmes.


  1. Can I also commend the efforts of MediaXchange, and organisation that brings over showrunners for open-to-all seminars and arranges programs in which Brits can shadow their LA counterparts for a week?

  2. And with regard to the comment from the BBC - there's much to be learned, even if they won't recognise it. No US TV executive would take six months to respond to a draft and expect to stay in their job.

  3. Seconded re. MediaXchange - went to an excellent weekend of theirs a few years back.

  4. It's also worth pointing out that HBO is a subscription funded channel. I see this as a road Britain will have to go down.

    The above BBC dramas are splendid but, for the most part, short and occasional bursts. British comedy and drama need more top class competition & diversity to raise its game.


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