×

BBC4 to continue to acquire drama

Despite cuts, channel chief looks for shows

LONDON — BBC4 — the pubcaster’s digital web, which airs “Mad Men” — will continue to buy acquired shows, despite plans to cut the overall BBC acquisitions budget by 25%.

BBC4’s controller Richard Klein, launching his spring-summer season, which includes John Lennon biopic “Lennon Naked,” said shows like “Mad Men” are cost-effective for the channel.

“We are always in the market for acquisitions,” Klein said. “At the moment I am looking for a replacement for ‘Flight of the Conchords,’ which has the same iconic value.”

The web is also scouting documentaries for its acclaimed “Storyville” strand and music shows.

It recently bought Peter Bogdanovich’s four-hour epic about Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, “Runnin Down a Dream.”

Klein said the 90-minute “Lennon Naked,” which stars Christopher Eccleston as the Beatle during the Fab Four’s fraught final days, would be shown as part of a BBC4 season exploring fatherhood.

In “Lennon Naked,” the rock star is reunited with his estranged father, Freddie.

BBC4 has won a reputation for low-budget biopics such as last year’s “Enid,” starring Helena Bonham-Carter as children’s author Enid Blyton.

Klein said the channel would continue to back fare of this ilk while broadening the mix of original drama.

An example of this more wide-ranging approach was an upcoming film based on the early days of rival web ITV1’s long-running, blue-collar soap “Coronation Street,” which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

More TV

  • Hugh GRant photographed by Shayan Asgharnia

    Listen: Hugh Grant on Why He Would Kill Social Media if He Could

    Hugh Grant has been very active in U.K. press reform initiatives, but he knows the problem is even bigger than the media moguls who control the world’s major news outlets. That’s why Hacked Off, the campaign he’s involved with, is also expanding its scope to include the impact of online propaganda. “It’s particularly terrifying, the [...]

  • Veronica Mars -- "Heads You Lose"

    TV Review: 'Veronica Mars' Season 4

    “Veronica Mars” was a slap to the face of high school dramas when it premiered on UPN in 2004. Creator Rob Thomas took the well-worn “who killed the pretty teenager?” whodunnit and hard-boiled it, following a traumatized girl desperately trying to harden herself to the world’s harsh realities as she tried to solve the case. [...]

  • Norah O'Donnell Invokes Edward R. Murrow

    Norah O'Donnell Invokes Edward R. Murrow to Launch New Era at 'CBS Evening News'

    Though Norah O’Donnell had her first turn as anchor of “CBS Evening News” Monday night, she didn’t rely on any attention-grabbing tricks to carry the day. There was no flashy drawing board, no rattling off of unsettling, urgent headlines and no wrap-up of the day with a mawkish end segment calling up some element of [...]

  • Alton Brown

    TV News Roundup: Food Network Announces Premiere Date of 'Good Eats: The Return'

    In today’s roundup, Showtime releases a full-length trailer for “On Becoming a God in Central Florida” and Food Network announces the return of Alton Brown’s “Good Eats.”  DATES After taking a break from the series, Alton Brown will bring “Good Eats” back to Food Network’s primetime lineup with “Good Eats: The Return.”  In its first [...]

  • 9-1-1: Angela Bassett in the series

    Fox Sees Primetime, Sports Ad Gains As TV Upfront Wraps

    Fox Corporation is the latest to benefit from stronger-than-expected trends in TV ad spending, as the company notched strong gains in advertising commitments for its next cycle of programming – its first since selling off a large chunk of its media assets to Walt Disney. Ad demand was stronger than many executives anticipated, according to [...]

  • Charles Levin Obit

    Missing 'Seinfeld' Actor Charles Levin's Body Believed to be Found

    Oregon authorities believe they have found the body of the missing “Seinfeld” actor Charles Levin. He was 70 years old. According to Associated Press, Levin’s son reported the actor missing from Grants Pass on July 8. On July 12, search and rescue teams determined a search area in a remote area northeast of Selma with [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content