Thursday, April 7, 2016

A Hill of More Beans

Now the Radio Times says BBC drama chief Polly Hill is about to jump ship to ITV. Previous incumbent at the commercial broadcaster, cycling Steve November, departed a little suddenly last week, for 'new adventures'.

He may have been a little surprised about his 'decision' - his most recent commissions have been doing well, with The Durrells launching with 6.3m viewers and Marcella with 6.1m. And there are more big things to come, with an eight part drama on the early life of Queen Victoria likely to fill some of the big hole where Downton would have been from September. There's also a Cold Feet return nearly ready to go.

But there were some uncomfortable elements in the November catalogue. ITV in general misjudged their investment in, and scheduling of, Beowulf - said to have cost £17m. Scheduling was also the problem in getting a return on £14m spent on Jekyll and Hyde.

Will Polly Hill do better ? How much more than her current £224k did ITV offer ? And who will fill her shoes at the BBC ?

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