Over at Complications Ensue, Alex talks to Stephen Gallagher about how one sells a show in the UK. It’s interesting, if slightly depressing material which tends to bear out many of the conclusions I had come to from simply watching TV, namely that BBC2 and C4 don’t give a rat’s ass about original drama any more unless it meets their narrow views, and that the whole process of creating and running a show is entirely producer led - all writers are freelancers.
However, there are a couple of things Stephen doesn’t touch on, such as the phenomena of the newly emerging showrunners on shows such as Doctor Who and Shameless - shows where the writer has creative control, and he laments the fact that the only two people in the industry have significant green-lighting power, the Controller of BBC One and the ITV Network Drama Commissioner, despite the fact that some of the best drama of the last two years has come from the digital sector: BBC Three in particular.
I get the feeling from some of the new shows being produced that this is a very interesting time to be involved in creating drama in the UK, that a certain old school of thinking is coming around to a more American view of production and that the industry is beginning, belatedly, to search for new ideas. I hope the interview continues along a more encouraging vein.
Category: Movies and TV