The BBC has commissioned its first original drama for the BBC iPlayer catch-up TV service, which will comprise of six short films.
Part of a new BBC Three strand, the six short films will be broadcast over the next three years as a showcase for “new and upcoming talent”.
The original series will be the first content to be produced exclusively for the BBC iPlayer service, perhaps following the lead of Netflix, who has seen its original House of Cards series become the most watched TV programme on the online streaming service.
“This ambitious new strand builds on BBC iPlayer as a creative platform to bring original British drama to audiences online, and explores storytelling outside of scheduled TV slot or duration,” said Victoria Jaye, Head of IPTV and TV Online Content at the BBC. “Audiences will be able to discover, share and enjoy these dramas whenever and wherever they choose.”
The BBC iPlayer’s original content is part of the BBC’s commitment to showcase more exclusive content on the service and to bring new writers to UK audiences.
“This is a precious opportunity for BBC Drama Production to produce original content for the BBC iPlayer and BBC Three audience and to build relationships with writing and directing talent that is on the way up,” said Hilary Salmon, Executive Producer for BBC Drama.
The broadcasting giant provided a selection of online-only programming via BBC iPlayer over the course of last year, including Doctor Who mini-series Pond Life and pilots of comedy series Feed My Funny. This content received over 5 million and over 1 million views on BBC iPlayer respectively. Curated archive programmes by BBC Four, launched as BBC iPlayer exclusives, had over 2 million view requests as well.
It is not known yet when the first of the six short films will launch on the BBC iPlayer, but they are sure to be fairly youth-orientated, if the content currently shown on BBC Three, like Snog, Marry Avoid?, is anything to go by.
“This new drama strand is exactly the kind of venture BBC Three is all about,” added Zai Bennett, Controller of BBC Three.
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