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BBC’s Moore: Commissions reflect changing viewing habits

August 23, 2019

By Colin Mann

Recognising that the TV industry is in an age of changing viewing habits, Charlotte Moore, BBC Director of Content, has unveiled a raft of new commissions for BBC One at the Edinburgh TV Festival and spoken about the BBC’s approach to commissioning new programmes.

In the last year, BBC One has brought audiences Bodyguard, Line Of Duty, Doctor Who, Luther, Gentlemen Jack, Killing Eve II, Strictly Come Dancing, The Greatest Dancer, Ghosts, This Time With Alan Partridge, Dynasties, Climate Change: The Facts, Grenfell, Stephen: The Murder That Changed A Nation, and the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The channel and the BBC’s television portfolio is committed to telling British stories and commissioning for British audiences whilst supporting new talent, such as Nabhaan Rizwan (winner of the RTS Breakthough award for Informer) presenters such as Rylan Clark-Neal (You Are What You Wear) or the writers of upcoming drama Noughts And Crosses, Lydia Adetunji, Rachel De-Lahay, and Nathaniel Price.

However audience habits are changing quickly and in order to adapt to this change in behaviour the BBC must continue to adapt with them, says the Corporation.

Increasingly audiences are choosing to watch programmes on-demand at a time of their choosing. The audiences for many of the BBC’s programmes are seeing an increasing percentage of audiences coming from viewing in the days after the first transmission.

  • Ghosts saw huge uplifts from its overnight audience (2.2m) as viewing discovered it outside the broadcast window. It grew 100 per cent in the 28 days following broadcast to average 4.5m
  • Mrs Wilson grew by 112 per cent from its overnight audience of 4.6m to a 28 day 4-screen figure of 9m
  • Baptiste grew by 97 per cent from its overnight average 4m to the 28 day 4-screen audience of 7.8m
  • Earth From Space increased from 3m overnight to 3.9m after 28 days which is a 31 per cent increase
  • Killing Eve series one and two have had a combined total of over 96m requests on the BBC iPlayer

So in order to address audience needs, the BBC is making changes to the BBC iPlayer to make content available for longer, bringing back former series when new episodes of a programme air and making more use of content from the BBC’s archive.

“We are hugely proud of the programmes we’ve had on BBC One this year, but we are aware that we can’t stand still if we are to keep up with what the audience wants,” admitted Moore. “So we are making changes to the BBC iPlayer so there will be more programmes available for longer and a richer offer for everyone, young and old. With this in mind we’re increasingly looking to commission programmes that will work across both the linear channels and BBC iPlayer. The exciting commissions we’ve announced today will be a great offer for audiences however they consume them.”

The new commissions include three dramas from Steven Moffat, Sarah Solemani and Gwyneth Hughes, a new comedy Bumps and two standalone factual pieces on extinction, presented by Sir David Attenborough, and mental health featuring the Duke of Cambridge.

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