Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Apprentice DG - Charlotte

Charlotte Moore couldn't really have had a better 2016. She started the year as Controller of BBC1, and in July was anointed Director of Content, with a seat on the Executive. Figures earlier this week show that in 2016 so far, BBC1 had 31 of tJameshe top 40 most watched programmes on UK tv.

Sadly, she's lost the show that provided all but one of the top 11 slots - Bake Off. There's also a question mark over the future ratings she can expect of Top Gear, with the second, post-Chris Evans, series in production. Matt LeBlanc will have to go some to create the sort of publicity tornado generated by Clarkson, Hammond and May for The Grand Tour. She's lost The Voice to ITV, and the New Year replacement, Gary Barlow's talent contest Let It Shine (up against The ITV Voice from January 7th) has a niff of turkey left-overs about it. Waiting in the wings for Saturday night - Pitch Perfect, a contest to find the UK's top singing group, over six one hour shows. And the Saturday schedules will be tidier without the National Lottery Live.

On the topic of shiny floor shows, Charlotte tangled with previous Culture Secretary John Whittingdale over definitions of distinctiveness, and now can point proudly to Planet Earth II, and its fairly comprehensive audience win over XFactor Results shows.

In her back pocket for 2017: Lord Hall's initiative Civilisations, rebooting the Kenneth Clarke's 1969 culture fest with Simon Schama, Mary Beard, and David Olusoga. Spookily, it looks like Charlotte's husband, freelance cameraman Johann Perry, has been an occasional member of the Nutopia production team. She has more Call The Midwife to come; she has three Scottish comedies in play (surely a post-Para Handy peak); she can hope that Citizen Khan gets a better script doctor; she's commissioned a series of Home From Home, with Johnny Vegas playing out a 21st century Good Life in the Lake District; she has Bodyguard coming from Jed Mercurio, and The Split from Abi Morgan.

Issues for 2017: taking BBC3 online hasn't helped with audiences aged 16-34. She needs to be massively more active on the diversity front, on screen and in her team, where she's got painful cuts to make in her commissioning teams in the new financial year. Most importantly, Lord Hall's only got four seats for the BBC side of the new unitary board. Presuming Lord Hall, Anne Bulford and James Harding fill three, Charlotte needs to beat James Purnell to the fourth.

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