BBC Four boss worries for future of Scandinavian drama

The Killing The third and final series of Forbrydelsen (The Killing) will start in spring 2013

BBC Four controller Richard Klein expressed his concern that there may not be as many Scandinavian dramas to acquisition in the future.

"The roll of great dramas will have to slow down," he said at the Edinburgh International Television Festival.

The second series of Borgen and third series of Forbrydelsen (The Killing) will return to the channel in autumn and spring respectively.

Klein put BBC Four's increase in share and reach down to "being smart about acquisitions and where we place things on the schedule".

He told the audience that the high quality of Scandinavian dramas are a product of a decade's work of rethinking drama in the region. But he predicted that there won't be so many Scandinavian dramas to buy in the future.

He said that their success on the channel was because, as well as being "beautifully shot", they also were "faintly exotic enough but just familiar enough" for the UK audience.

'Not axed'
Richard Klein BBC Four controller Richard Klein confirmed that he will still be commissioning new comedy

Klein also said that buying Scandinavian output worked out cheaper than making original British drama.

Stephen Mangan, the lead actor in Dirk Gently, hit out at BBC Four earlier this year for deciding not to make more of the detective series.

Klein responded at the festival by saying that it wasn't recommissioned, which is different to being axed. He also pointed out that no more episodes had been written.

Klein said he regrets losing original drama but that "it has done its job" by bringing publicity to the channel.

BBC Four is subject to cuts due to the licence fee settlement with the government, which means the corporation has to save an average of £700 million per year until 2017.

As a result, the channel has stopped commissioning original drama, history and entertainment programming.

"It was a government-led decision and it's my job to make the best of it," Klein added.

But he confirmed that BBC Four will still be commissioning new comedy.

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