Wednesday, March 19, 2008

TV drama and comedy funding news

In The Stage, Matthew Hemley reports that Five is reviewing its strategy for original comedy and drama. They plan to move away from scripted comedy and one-off drama.
“Over the last two years we have invested significantly in a number of single dramas and mini-series, but irrespective of their merits, none has gained a significant audience. We concluded that viewers will not come to Five to watch one-off original dramas, because we are not able to establish a reputation for them on the basis of occasional productions.”

The broadcaster said it was looking to commission long running drama series instead of single dramas and mini-series, claiming these will have “sufficient shelf life to attract and build and audience over time”.
Elsewhere in The Stage, Hemley reports that Sky are planning to invest in more high definition drama.
The channel has announced an undisclosed eight-figure commitment to HD drama in 2008 and 2009, which it claims is the one of the largest from any UK broadcaster and is the biggest in Sky’s history.

As part of its slate of new programmes, the broadcaster has announced a six-part series based on Chris Ryan’s book Strike Back, which will be made by Left Bank Pictures, the company formed by award-winning producer of The Queen, Andy Harries.

Sky One will also be bringing the works of author David Almond to the screen for the first time, with a dramatisation of his children’s book Skellig.

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