BBC’s science experiment

Pubcaster to promote subject across all its platforms

The BBC unveiled a push to promote science across all its platforms on Tuesday.

Co-productions may be getting tougher as broadcasters struggle to raise coin, but as far as science-based documentaries go the BBC remains in pole position.

Speaking at the launch of what was described as “a celebration” of the BBC’s commitment to science content, BBC Vision director Jana Bennett said, “Science is at the heart of everyday life, life itself and the universe.

In 2010 the BBC aims to illuminate, celebrate and evaluate science in the 21st century and how it’s shaped our history and culture.”

People want to work with us because they know the BBC name is a guarantor of high quality,” said the pubcaster’s commissioning editor for science and natural history, Kim Shillinglaw.

Without co-production funds from U.S. players, including Discovery, even the mighty BBC would have to scale back ambitious fare like new three-part series “Human,” exploring the history of our bodies.

Without co-production money we couldn’t make ‘Human’ or another new series, ‘How Life Works,’ ” added Shillinglaw. “Or, if we did, they would look very different.

The entire co-production market is very tight at the moment but people are still very interested in the right BBC shows.”

She said the BBC worked regularly with Discovery, National Geographic and Boston-based PBS station WGBH plus producers in France and Germany alongside in-house distributor BBC Worldwide.

As for budgets, Shillinglaw declined to provide any hard figures.

‘Humans,’ a co-production with Worldwide, Discovery and one of our European partners, is a biggie but I can’t talk figures on individual shows,” she said.

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