BBC commissions first iPlayer-exclusive drama, sees which way the wind is blowing

BBC sees which way the wind is blowing, commissions first iPlayerexclusive dramas

A few weeks ago, the BBC began to ask "Where Next?" and just like magic, it's now revealing its future direction. The corporation is commissioning its first strand of original dramas that'll air exclusively on its iPlayer VOD service. The deal's rather minor, given that it'll feature six short films in two years that are aimed at BBC Three's "youth" audience, but we can't imagine this won't be followed by something meatier down the line. Perhaps we could see the corporation remaking its seminal series House of Cards... oh.

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BBC commissions BBC Three drama strand exclusively for BBC iPlayer

The BBC today announced it has commissioned a BBC Three drama strand exclusively for BBC iPlayer.

The drama strand is a bold and exciting venture between BBC iPlayer, BBC Three and BBC Drama Production to commission six original short films over two years, written and directed by the best up-and-coming writing and directing talent from across the UK.

This ambitious new drama strand builds on BBC iPlayer's strategy to showcase more exclusive content within the service in 2013 and on the BBC Writersroom's on-going commitment to bring the best new writers to UK audiences.

During 2012, the BBC brought selected online-only programmes to audiences via BBC iPlayer. These included BBC Three 'Feed My Funny' new talent comedy pilots, a Doctor Who mini-series, called 'Pond Life', and curated archive programmes for BBC Four. These proved popular on BBC iPlayer, with 'Pond Life' receiving over 5 million requests, the BBC Three comedy pilots over 1 million requests and the BBC Four archive programmes receiving over 2 million cumulative requests.

Victoria Jaye, BBC Head of IPTV & TV Online Content, says: "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 a scheduled TV slot or duration. Audiences will be able to discover, share and enjoy these dramas whenever and wherever they choose."

Hilary Salmon, Executive Producer, BBC Drama, says: "This is a precious opportunity for BBC Drama Production to produce original content for the BBC iPlayer and the BBC Three audience and to build relationships with writing and directing talent that is on the way up."

Zai Bennett, Controller, BBC Three: "As a youth channel, BBC Three is at the forefront of new ways to commission and view programmes and to find up and coming talent both on and off the screen. This new drama strand is exactly the kind of venture BBC Three is all about."