BBC Scotland has ear marked £500k as a development fund over two years in its  search for its next returning series, following its success with comedy drama series Guilt and its other scripted titles including The Scotts, Granite Harbour, Scot Squad and Float.

Speaking at an industry supplier event in Glasgow this month, Louise Thornton, Head of Commissioning for BBC Scotland says: “We have seen such success over the last five years with many of our scripted titles and we want to keep going. Guilt was developed through BBC Scotland and brought something fresh and new to our scripted slate when it made its debut on the BBC Scotland channel in 2019. Working with our colleagues at BBC Two to realise the ambition we have been thrilled to see it do so well with audiences and critics alike both in Scotland and beyond.”

Granite Harbour has attracted over 7.5m requests to date on BBC iPlayer, making it one of the channel’s top performing titles on the platform and Mayflies, starring award-winning performances by Tony Curran, Martin Compston and Ashley Jensen, has had a positive reception. These co-commissions with BBC network drama are cited as demonstrating the scale of intent for the slate going forward. The short form drama Float, which started life as a BBC Writersroom pilot, is another success story, with series two now in production.

Commissioning executive Gavin Smith adds: “These titles demonstrate BBC Scotland is ambitious in the scripted space and that we have a proven track record in attracting emerging and established talents both on and off screen and backing premium quality content which surprises, delights and makes an impact with audiences. We are a collaborative channel and committed to working with network colleagues and international partners to support and develop ideas which bring something fresh and new in terms of storylines and portrayal and we are proud of our already strong credentials in this area. We’d love to hear from producers about what other stories set in Scotland we can get behind.”

BBC Scotland has a rolling commissioning process. Ideas for scripted projects both comedy and drama should be submitted to Gavin Smith via the BBC Pitch system. We invite pitches from suppliers who have an established track record in producing returning series for the UK market. The commissioning brief for BBC Scotland scripted can be found here.


Pippa Considine

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