Wednesday 14 March 2007

Channel 4 changes plans

The Stage reports that Channel 4 has broken its promise to broadcast a new original drama every month. The television channel blames this change in policy on a revision of budgets. Channel 4 will air approximately eight dramas, which is a loss of four programmes.

Tessa Ross, head of film and drama, told The Stage: "Channel 4 is still hugely committed to drama and across our channels we are spending more. Shameless is now going to 16 episodes a series and E4 is doing homegrown drama. Skins, which has been a massive success, has been recommissioned and there are plans for another series in the pipeline.

"It is sad that there isn't the budget to stretch to 12 films a year but what we have done is talk to writers and created a variety of productions, so instead of just sticking blindly to the idea of a single play, we might instead have made a four-part mini series. It's better not to be prescriptive about the shape of our drama. Whether it is 90 minutes, a two-parter or a series, we still offer a great mix."

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