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BBC Orders Documentary Series on Rupert Murdoch’s Print Empire

The BBC has ordered “A Tabloid Empire,” a three-part documentary series on Rupert Murdoch’s influence over the British press.

The series will air on BBC Two in the U.K. and examine in detail Britain’s popular press between 1997 and 2012, a period that covers phone hacking and corruption but that also saw Murdoch’s and other papers wielding great influence over politics and society in general.

“House of Assad” producer 72 Films will make the series, which will use archives from the period as well as interviews with key figures from the time. The BBC promised that the series will document “the colorful characters and unrivaled power of those at the top, forensically deconstructing some of the most iconic and infamous moments of modern times.”

Despite closing down the weekly News of the World as a result of the phone-hacking scandal, Murdoch still owns The Times and The Sun in Britain. He has also had an antagonistic relationship with the BBC, which he has long complained enjoys an unfair advantage as a license-fee-funded pubcaster and which he wants to knock off its perch.

BBC Two controller Patrick Holland commissioned “A Tabloid Empire.” 72 Films’ Cate Hall and David Glover will executive produce.

“This series promises to combine the same forensic eye for detail with the best documentary storytelling to explore the decade which changed our relationship with the press forever,” Holland said.

Tom McDonald, the BBC’s head of commissioning, natural history and specialist factual, added: “This series promises intricate storytelling, beautifully assembled archive and fascinating interviews from those who witnessed and lived through these events.”

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