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'Out with the old thinking’: How PSBs are responding to the streamers success

Queer Eye, which ITV produces for Netflix (credit: Netflix)

At first glance, the outlook looks less than sunny for traditional broadcasters faced with competition from Netflix and the other streamers. Dig a little deeper and the situation looks a lot more nuanced.  

That was the main takeaway from the second of two Steve Hewlett Scholarship debates, “British broadcasting in crisis?”, organised jointly by the RTS and Media Society.  

Casting announced for Stephen Merchant’s The Offenders

(credit: Big Talk)

Academy Award-winning actor Christopher Walken (The Deer Hunter) will be making his leading British television debut as Frank, a long-established swindler undertaking community service in Bristol.

The Offenders follows seven strangers from vastly different backgrounds, who come together as part of Community Payback sentence in Bristol. As they grow to become more involved in each other’s lives, they also accidentally become entwined with a hardened criminal gang.

RTS London looks at how to survive in the world of streaming

Over the past year, SVoD services such as Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock (NBCUniversal) and AppleTV+ have come on stream, joining the likes of Netflix and Amazon. 

Alan Wolk, co-founder of media consultancy TV[R]EV, speaking from New Jersey, dubbed the streaming boom a “flixcopalypse”. He said two more – Paramount+ and Discovery+ – were due to launch soon. 

Success is not guaranteed. The short-form streamer Quibi, launched by former Disney exec Jeffrey Katzenberg, collapsed this month after only half a year in business.

The creators of Britannia talk making history at RTS screening

Tom Butterworth, Annabel Scholey, Jez Butterworth, Eleanor Worthington Cox and James Richardson (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

But the makers of Sky Atlantic’s Britannia starring David Morrissey, Mackenzie Crook and Zoe Wanamaker took a more imaginative and freewheeling approach to their costume creation. 

The series is set approximately 2000 years ago when the Romans are attempting to stamp their bloody authority on a tribal land made up of Celts and Druids.