ITV Drama To Boost Drama: Report

With advertising revenues bouncing back, ITV1 is planning on boosting its drama output by around 40 hours a year from 2013, according to a report in The Guardian. In financial terms that equates to around £25m-£30m extra cash.

The emphasis on drama follows recent successes such as Marchlands and Downton Abbey, which rated well on ITV1 and sold around the world. While it”s too early to say what kind of content the channel is looking for, ITV drama chief Laura Mackie is believed to want returning series that can play in either 8pm or 9pm slots. According to The Guardian, Mackie wants to expand out of crime series.

At this early stage, it”s not clear if ITV is planning on investing an extra £25-£30m itself, or if it will look for a Downton Abbey-style deal, where the channel secured the series at a lower cost in return for handing international distribution rights to NBC Universal, the US owner of Downton Abbey producer Carnival.

Whatever the financial model, drama producers will welcome the fact that ITV is upping its interest in drama at the same time that the BBC and BSkyB are both very active in the genre. One explanation for the increase is that ITV won”t have any high-profile sport in 2013.

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