19 March, 2008

"Flops lead Five to review drama and comedy output"

The Stage:

Five is reviewing its drama and comedy output after a string of flop programmes failed to make an impact in 2007.

In a review printed today about its performance last year, Five said it was reconsidering its “whole approach” to drama and would be ditching scripted comedy in favour of new entertainment formats in 2008.

Outlining its plans for drama going forward, the broadcaster said it was reviewing its approach to the genre after shows like Kitchen, a two-parter about a celebrity chef starring Eddie Izzard, attracted an audience averaging less than 500,000.

It said: “Over the last two years we have invested significantly in a number of single dramas and mini-series, but irrespective of their merits, none has gained a significant audience. We concluded that viewers will not come to Five to watch one-off original dramas, because we are not able to establish a reputation for them on the basis of occasional productions.”

The broadcaster said it was looking to commission long running drama series instead of single dramas and mini-series, claiming these will have “sufficient shelf life to attract and build and audience over time”.

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