Edinburgh TV Festival: BBC controller of drama Piers Wenger says there is “an awful lot of very dark dramas across all channels” and that he would like to be pitched more entertaining and inspiring drama ideas for BBC1.
Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival in a session about BBC1 commissioning, Wenger said: “I am thinking a lot about the role that drama plays in people’s lives and the role that storytelling plays in people’s lives. And I think there is an awful lot of very dark drama across all channels, and I would love to see some more inspiring stories.”
Specifically, Wenger said he’d like “a Sunday night show which examined heroism and what it means to be a hero. Midweek, I’d love to be pitched more ideas that take us into entertaining worlds, worlds that might even be aspirational.”
He cited The Split, Abi Morgan’s upcoming drama about divorce lawyers. “Watching the rushes of that show, it’s really exciting to be in world which isn’t about dead bodies.
He also referred to Press. Mike Bartlett’s next show which examines the changing world of journalism.
“It just feels really exciting not to be just inside a straight forward procedural.”
Asked if he wanted to be pitched less ‘dark’ stories, Wenger replied: “There has to be a mix. Sometimes we have to go to very dark places to take stories apart and understand the world and the way the world is changing around us, but I just think you need a better mix.”
BBC director of content Charlotte Moore added that BBC1 will continue to commission darker shows: “But varying the pace and tone and precincts that we operate in is very exciting and fun.”
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