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Content Canada 2019

BBC1 rejigs for youth shows

BBC3 programming including Fleabag will air after the news on BBC1

UK pubcaster the BBC is to cut back news coverage on its flagship channel to make room for a new slot devoted to youth-focused programming from online network BBC3.

BBC1 will start airing programming from BBC3 at 22.35 from Monday to Wednesday, with the main network news and weather being cut from 45 minutes to 35 minutes.

Shows including the second season of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s comedy-drama Fleabag, dating format Eating With My Ex and Stacey Dooley-fronted make-up competition Glow-Up are among the first that will take the new slot.

Current affairs show Question Time is now set to air in the slot on Thursdays, with Friday’s news and weather already scheduled to end at 22.35.

The changes will take effect on Monday March 4 and come four years after the BBC introduced the 45-minute news and weather slot.

The pubcaster, which said it believed the move would “better serve all our audiences,” is also introducing changes to iPlayer to make BBC3 programming more prominent on the VoD platform.

BBC3 became online-only three years ago and has been behind shows including Murdered for Being Different, This Country and People Just Do Nothing.

It has become a key part of the public broadcaster’s attempts to attract younger viewers, with the BBC admitting in its annual plan last year that young people were spending more time watching streamers than all of the BBC’s radio and TV programming put together.

Last year, requests for BBC3 programming on iPlayer were up 58% on 2017, with 4.2 million requests per week in 2018. Some 47% of those watching BB3 content on the VoD service were aged under 35. UK views of BBC3’s YouTube channel have also grown by more than 80% year-on-year (Oct-Dec 2018 vs Oct-Dec 2017).

In related news, BBC3 has greenlit a comedy series about a man living with cerebral palsy. Jerk (4×30’) is being produced by Roughcut TV and written by Shaun Pye, Tim Renkow and Stu Richards.

The series originally piloted as A Brief History of Tim as part of BBC3’s 2016 Comedy Feeds, showcasing emerging talent.

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Content Canada 2019
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