TV unit to beef up investments in kiddie shows

The BBC will beef up its investment in children’s shows by at least £25 million ($41 million) over the next three years.

The pubcaster will also make more coin available for drama on BBC2, which will become the showcase for movies made by BBC Films.

Announcing that the funds would come from “efficiency savings,” BBC Vision director Jana Bennett said the increase “recognizes the particular pressures facing the genre.”

BBC2’s drama spend would increase by 50% over the next three years, and the web will air pictures made by BBC Films “to create a core of distinguished fiction on the channel.”

Bennett added: “We used to think of religion, current affairs and music and arts as … areas of output in which the BBC had a special responsibility.

“To those, we could now legitimately add children’s, comedy, specialist factual and drama. All those genres could be endangered in this tougher commercial world.”

U.K. producers have watched with alarm as commercial web ITV cut its children’s programming budget to a fraction of what was once spent.

Last week, scriptwriter and media entrepreneur Phil Redmond, creator of iconic BBC children’s skein “Grange Hill,” warned that local broadcasters had effectively given up on the older children’s audience.

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