Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Art for art's sake

Is it possible the nascent BBC Studios have gone off message so early in their young life ?  Lisa Opie has just re-structured her factual teams - and there is no longer a department called 'Arts'. Instead there are 'business units' bringing together a range of genres across various far-flung sites. (In the normal way of restructuring, this means existing bosses compete against each other for a diminishing number of jobs - by my rough reckoning, nine people chasing five jobs.) So, if you want to be in overall charge of programmes like, say, Imagine, with its formidable editor/presenter Alan Yentob at the helm, you'll be applying to run BBC Studios Scotland Factual. Or will Al end up in Documentaries ? Clear as mud, Ms Opie.

Here's the full run-down of the new units - language and punctuation brought to you by the ever-distinctive BBC.

Scotland Factual: A cross genre creative business unit with proven skills to deliver a wide range of factual content. BBC Studios Scotland Factual will produce local and network Arts, Daytime, Docs, and History. This is an exciting business, founded on the reputation of recent titles such as the award winning Handmade, What Artists Do All Day and the highly successful Landward produced out of Aberdeen. 

Popular Factual (working title): Based across Bristol, Northern Ireland and Wales, this unit will focus on building new returning lifestyle and features series, spanning the genres and offering an opportunity to work differently with talent on screen and off, bringing teams together from different genres and bases, to encourage collaboration and creativity. 

Natural History Unit: With a global reputation and rich heritage, it is our ambition to build on that reputation, driving innovation, broadening our offer and deepening our storytelling skills. 

Documentaries: Bringing together Arts, History and Documentaries and building on the success of the existing London team, this unit will supply reputational, popular, and critically acclaimed factual television, from observational access series through to history, arts, factual drama and feature length singles. At the heart of this unit will be a commitment to brilliant story-telling and high production values. 

Science: We will look to build on the success of programmes such as Forces of Nature with Brian Cox and Trust Me I’m A Doctor. With our global reputation and important co-production partnerships we are confident that we can continue to excel. 

Topical and Live: Based across London and Salford, BBC Studios Topical and Live is a new creative business unit that encompasses The One Show, Consumer and Live and the topical unit based in Salford. Our aim is to make this unit a powerhouse in it's field, with credibility and expertise unmatched elsewhere in the market.

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