BBC Three Winter/Spring 2008
Danny Cohen writes...
I'm delighted to unveil not only BBC Three's exciting new programmes for the Winter/Spring season but what I believe to be a fresh and innovative approach to television for young audiences.
It's time for the channel to change. We're changing the way we look – yes, the Blobs are going – and it's also time to take some big and risky steps into the future.
Let me explain what that means. The channel should be obsessed with all things new – new talent, new programmes and a new relationship between television and the internet.
So, in February, BBC Three will be transformed – and I hope will become known for being Britain's most ambitious attempt to combine television and the web.
I want all of BBC Three's content to live across TV and online and there are a number of innovative ways in which we will do this – starting with becoming the first non-news BBC channel to simulcast our programmes on the web.
We will also commit ourselves to placing innovative, interactive ideas at the heart of our programmes. Take Lily Allen And Friends, for instance – a programme I'm delighted to have on the channel. It's a show that has online social networking at its very heart.
In the same vein, coming later in the year, is The Wall – a live and interactive comedy-entertainment show. This is a dynamic new space for emerging talent to hone their craft and develop a reputation. I really hope this show helps to create some of tomorrow's biggest stars.
BBC Three's new approach to television for younger audiences also means that online content is produced with the passion and production values normally associated with television.
Upstaged, for example, is a new eight-week live event that mixes talent show, stamina and social networking. For the first five weeks it lives solely on the web and then becomes a joined-up TV and web adventure for its final three weeks. It's a risky endeavour that we hope sends the message that BBC Three wants to kick-start the next generation of new-media projects.
I'm also handing over some of the channel's airtime to our young audiences – user-generated content will be at the heart of the peak-time schedule. Don't be surprised to see our viewers on screen introducing BBC Three's programmes.
The brand-new BBC Three website makes this possible, allowing them to upload their own programme introductions, the best of which we will use on air.
All of this, of course, needs to be in the service of high-quality, innovative public service content for young audiences. We're taking the opportunity of this multi-platform rebirth to launch a colourful range of fresh programmes – with a focus on new talent and homegrown production.
The upcoming Drama Pilots are part of an increased commitment to imaginative and youthful Drama on BBC Three.
There's bold new Entertainment to sit alongside the channel's ongoing dedication to developing the next generation of British comedy talent. And there's a new, spikier feel to our Current Affairs and Documentary output, as well as a re-vamped plan for News.
There are more details of these programmes on the pages that follow. I hope you find many things to enjoy on BBC Three this season.
With the likes of Lily Allen, Noel Fielding, Julian Barratt, George Lamb, Jaime Winstone, Eddie Shin, James Corden, Ruth Jones, Sharon Horgan and Scott Mills involved with major projects on the channel, I think 2008 is shaping up to be an exciting year!
Controller, BBC Three