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BBC One launches 20 drama series and serials in 'epic' 2012

BBC One launches 20 drama series and serials in 'epic' 2012
Pippa Considine
23 November 2011

BBC One will launch over 20 new drama series and serials in 2012 and into 2013 in what is being described by Ben Stephenson, BBC controller of drama commissioning as an "epic year" for drama on the channel.

"Next year is a really big year for BBC One," says Stephenson. "We're on a big journey in terms of delivering on all of the possible colours of the rainbow...In the next 18 months we're launching many more series and serials than we've done for the last few years."

New series for BBC One in 2012 include Nemesis, Call the Midwife, Antony and Cleopatra and Savage, with up-coming serials Inside Men, May Day and Restless.

Although the BBC's Delivering Quality First proposed cuts would see reduced drama on BBC Three and the end of drama commissioning at BBC Four, BBC Two's increased levels of drama funding have been ring-fenced and BBC One's drama budget may even increase. "The plan is that there will be quite considerable investment in BBC One," says Stephenson.

2012 is shaping up to be another strong year for broadcast drama in the UK. Channel 4 has confirmed that its drama budget will continue at the same level as 2011 where it was increased by £20m to the region of £80m.

Meanwhile ITV has had a bumper year for drama, scoring eight out of ten of the highest rated dramas on the small screen. Drama hours will decrease in 2012 when the European Football Championships are on air, but ITV is commissioning more hours in 2013 when there are no big sporting events.

Sky is now commissioning drama across five channels - Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, Sky Arts, Sky Movies and Sky Living.

To read more about UK broadcast drama see the drama genre report in the December issue of Televisual, out on December 8.

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