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UK drama now more like US drama

British drama has finally lost its reputation for {gritty storylines and ugly actors,{ according to one of the industry's most powerful commissioning editors.

Gareth Neame, head of independent drama at the BBC, said new British drama was now {younger skewed, better looking and fast-paced{ than in years gone by. Gritty storylines and a tendency to focus on domestic social issues are often been blamed as key factors in UK drama's failure to sell overseas.

But producers at yesterday’s inTELEgence conference in London said that was no longer the case. {To portray British drama as slow, dark, and gritty with ugly actors is simply not true anymore,{ declared Neame. The consensus was that UK drama is getting more like US drama, with Kudos' Spooks for BBC1 as a prime example.

{We make around 1,000 hours of drama programming across a year, and we want to see new shows that complement our existing profile. You have to find a new way of telling a story,{ continued Neame. {We are going to want several new cops shows every year, but if someone brings a proposal for a series which you could have seen two, four or five years ago, then it’s not going to go anywhere.{

Samie Kim, director of current programming at Fox Broadcasting in the US, told the conference she was looking for more franchise series along the lines of hit crime series CSI, which can spawn several spin-off series.

{Drama series tend not to repeat very well in the second window after-market, but a show like CSI has self-contained episodes and can have children, like CSI Miami. It’s about finding a new franchise, which can then spin off into different versions, which is story driven, not character driven.{

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