BBC Studios Content Boss on Finding the Next Wave of Global Hits

Variety | 7/5/2019 | Stewart Clarke
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Almost a year into running BBC Studios Productions, a major part of Ralph Lee’s task is securing more third-party commissions and generating new breakout hits that can sit alongside “Doctor Who,” “Dancing With the Stars” and its other top performers.

BBC Studios produces for British pubcaster the BBC, and now also for third parties. This week it landed orders for true-crime series “The Bust” for Viacom’s Channel 5 in the U.K. – a direct rival of the BBC – nature show “Fierce Queens” for Quibi, and factual series “One Cup, A Thousand Stories,” for China Mobile’s Migu.

Lee - Work - BBC - Year - Handful

Lee wants to do more outside the work for the BBC. “In the just under the year that I have been here I have seen a handful of mostly U.K. and relatively small scale non-BBC commissions turn into a really significant slate,” he said, noting the likes of “Good Omens” for Amazon and podcast series “Stay Free: The Story of the Clash” for Spotify.

China's Migu Commissions BBC Studios for Factual Series 'One Cup'

BBC - Work - Work - Clients - Organization

“It’s really crucial for us that we are accompanying the BBC work with work for other clients – it keeps the organization fresh, cutting edge and healthy. It makes us more competitive and in line with the rest of the creative sector.”

BBC Studios also has a sizable distribution arm. A trip to its huge Showcase sales fair in Liverpool at the start of the year shows the importance of the existing international hits, the epic natural history shows, “Sherlock” and other key dramas, and in unscripted, the likes of “Top Gear.” All...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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