BBC dramas “No delay from the UK”

"BBC is on the move," Brian Walsh announced at the Foxtel Upfronts. "It's as easy as A-B-C."

2013-10-17_0027Last night at the Foxtel Upfronts much was made of the new BBC deal for Drama, Comedy and Factual.

There was more detail on the titles that will premiere on Foxtel, on the unnamed channel due to launch mid year. The deal, announced earlier this year, drew a volatile reaction from the ABC.

Matching its “Express from US” catchphrase, there is now “No delay from the UK.”

Director of Television, Brian Walsh, said,”Here in Australia for the first time, every BBC premiere series will launch first on Foxtel and will be exclusive to Foxtel in at least its first year, and in some cases for all time.

“The occasion will be marked by the launch of a new channel under the BBC brand, a perfect partner to our HBO Channel and Showcase, and a terrific drama offering on the Foxtel platform.”

Then rather cheekily he added:

“BBC is on the move. It’s as easy as A-B-C.”

New titles will include:

A Young Doctors Notebook,
The Village,
The Fall
The Musketeers,
Dead Boss,
The Fear,

17 Responses

  1. Dalmanic – Characters like Dexter and the guy in Breaking Bad might be dark but there is something compelling about them, something that draws you in. You like them. But shows like Crownies or The Straits just lack that charisma and the characters are just unpleasant to watch. Australians often have a hard time writing shows that are even close to being engaging. And they lack the slick pace that the US and Brits do so well.

  2. MHA with analogue turning off this Christmas maybe c2 might do native HD. C9 has already announced they are going to HD in Jan 2014, I can’t see the other channels giving them an advantage

  3. Yes Tatiana, I like bright uplifting shows like The Walking Dead, Dexter, Breaking Bad, Banshee, Game of Thrones etc.
    And those leading characters – so likeable, admirable etc.
    The only program made here this year that was worth watching was The Accidental Soldier.
    I taped it and only watched it recently, but was amazed how good it was. Uplifting? Quite the opposite!
    Good story, excellent acting – yes!

  4. The reasons why most Australian Dramas flop, is because the pace is too slow, the subject too dark and depressing and the characters are unlikable. Most of us don’t want to watch a bunch of nasty, selfish, ammoral losers leading awful lives. We want likeable characters that we can believe in. We want uplifting stories that don’t leave us reaching for the razorblades. The BBC knows this and thats why they are so successful. Why do shows like Paper Giants or Phryne Fisher work? They are bright, well made, a bit quirky, well paced and people like the characters. When will Australian writers get this?

  5. The ABC spends most of its budget on the organisation and the News and Current Affairs dept.

    For drama they outsource production, like most broadcasters do these days, using grants for local drama development from the federal government and arts bodies. OS sales of Miss Fisher etc. should generate more money.

    Miss Fisher has been a success with the Friday night murder mysteries audience. Some of the others have done OK but nothing spectacular but Crowies, Serangoon Road and The Straits have all been flops.

  6. I have nothing to do with Serangoon Road but I must say I am really enjoying that show. I didnt realise how tired I had become of BBC period dramas and cop shows until I saw that show. What a refreshing change! Asia during the 60s and 70s was an intriguing time in history and Australians had a lot to do there – but noone writes about it. Now Serangoon Road might not be a 10/10 but its still enjoyable. I also enjoyed An Accidental Soldier before it. Another interesting show. Why can’t the ABC make more shows about our fascinating history. Why not more shows about the Vietnam era for example. The Americans have told their stories, why not us? I am also loving Phryne Fisher. So maybe its time to stop worrying about the BBC and focus on our home grown stories.

  7. The BBC getting further into bed with Murdoch’s organisation?
    And their director making cracks at the ABC’s expense?

    My respect for the corporation has diminished somewhat.

  8. The BBC may have been better off to try to negotiate a stronger alliance with the ABC but the ABC has been pretty complacent over the years about this relationship and UKTV is essentially controlled from London by arrogant Brits. Foxtel will not get any meaningful subscriber increase from this new arrangement but the ABC will most likely still get second runs which will do very well and hopefully cost it a loss less. But it needs to completely rationalise its operations and improve its management if it wants to both liberate more money for top end production and produce better quality programs. It all sounds pretty messy to me.

  9. Will Foxtel run their new BBC Premiere channel the same as like BBC1 and BBC2 in the UK? As in no forced breaks within programs, and no on-screen marketing junk and logos plastered over the screen during programs? If not, I will pass. The only positive it has so far is that it will be HD, unlike the ABC which has no native HD.

  10. Good article David.

    Hopeful this content move pushes HBO’s Asia department into further Partnership with the ABC.

    And it pushes the ABC To produce more CO partnerships with HBO Asia like “Sarangoon Road”

    The more Australian content to that level we get the Better.

    ABC will have to lift there Game as far as providing Content is concerned to Plug the gaps left in General Programming left by the BBCS programming deal.

    Pull your trousers up ABC its going to be a long year next year. and you’ve got alot of ground to cover and not alot of time to do it in.


  11. Except for Doctor Who (and maybe New Tricks??) which the ABC has exclusive rights to and Sherlock which Nine has exclusive rights to, and Ripper Street which Ten has the exclusive rights to but wishes they didn’t.

    The ABC is only really interested in New Tricks and Doctor Who these days. They pass on a lot of the BBC stuff, even though their contract gave them options for it, and bury a lot of what they do pick up in late night slots.

  12. The BBC has killed its reach into Australia. When the overpriced fad of pay tv dies out they will have no foundation left. The ABC will have moved onto be virtually all Australian like the CBC is virtually all Canadian.

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