BB axed: That’s good news for television drama

Channel 4 are to axe Big Brother following the current series' dismal ratings, freeing up an extra £20 million a year which will go directly towards making drama.

AXED: Big Brother 2008 contestant Kat

The bubble has finally burst for Big Brother. Channel 4, which has been airing the reality series for ten years, announced that the show will end after one final series in 2010.

The decision will be welcome news to actors and writers across the country, as a large proportion of the £50 million that will be saved, is to be ploughed into television drama and comedy. The broadcaster said it was looking to independent drama commissioners to submit ideas for new programmes that can be put in its place.

Channel 4 is at its best when it does things that others don't or won't.

The Stage has reported that Director of television and content at Channel 4, Kevin Lygo, has said the extra available funds would allow the broadcaster to deliver more “event dramas” such as this year's Red Riding and The Devil's Whore, but added Channel 4 would be looking for “more quirky, returnable series aimed at younger audiences”.

“Channel 4 is at its best when it does things that others don't or won't. This is a fresh opportunity to reach out to audiences underserved by drama on the more mainstream channels. We don't want to be prescriptive about themes or formats. We just want the most creative ideas from Britain's best new and established drama talent,” Lygo explained.

It marks a new era for the broadcaster who had previously indicated that they had considered dropping the making of television drama altogether. A number of new drama serials will be broadcast in 2010.

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