BBC Three

BBC Three announces The Idris Takeover

The week of content will be a mixture of comedy, drama, music and documentary, featuring some of the best new and emerging talent in the industry.

The season will tackle issues and topics that affect young audiences, telling modern and diverse stories of young British people. 

“There's a part of me in every aspect of this season; comedy, drama, documentary, sport all made by a truly diverse team both on and off screen," said Idris Elba.

BBC commissions Luisa Omielan's stand-up show What Would Beyoncé Do?!

Teaming up with King Bert Productions, this will be Omielan's first stand-up television debut and it will be filmed in front of a live audience at the Clapham Grand on January 19

She originally debuted this show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and has since built up a big following, with critically acclaimed and sell-out shows, such as Am I Right Ladies?!.

Planet Earth II tops iPlayer as most-watched

This year has been BBC iPlayer's best year so far according to stats from the BBC, recording the amounts of requests shows have had on the online platform. 

October and November saw the highest average number of daily requests BBC iPlayer has ever had, at 11.7 million in each month.

BBC Three had a good year on BBC iPlayer, with drama Thirteen’s first episode requested more than 3.2 million times, the second most popular episode of any series across the year so far. These are promising figures, considering BBC Three made the transition to online in February.

Commissioning for the Future

The panel (L-R): From left: Jane Martinson, Zai Bennett, Delia Bushell, Damian Kavanagh, Richard Watsham and Kevin Sutcliffe (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

Defining success in a connected content world is not straightforward. Is the buzz on social media more important than overnight ratings? And how does one commission shows that will play equally effectively on all devices across all platforms? 

Those were the main questions addressed in “Meet the new commissioners.” Session chair Jane Martinson, The Guardian’s head of media, asked some familiar faces with years of experience how the digital world is affecting their decisions. 

BBC announce Top Gear spinoff

Rory Reid, Top Gear, Extra Gear, BBC

Reid is part of the main Top Gear line up, and is the only presenter to have been found through the show's open auditions.

Filmed at the Top Gear hangar, Extra Gear will deliver behind-the-scenes access, exclusive footage, interviews and specially recorded films to fans of the show.

The show will be available on BBC Three’s live page and on iPlayer immediately after Top Gear finishes on BBC Two.

Crashing writer pens new comedy series, Fleabag

Fleabag, Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Fleabag, played by Waller-Bridge, is a dry-witted, angry, grief-ridden, porn-watching young woman who is struggling to come to terms with a recent tragedy.

The bitingly hilarious show pulls no punches as Fleabag throws herself headlong into modern living. Sleeping with anyone who comes too close, rejecting all assistance and keeping up a cold front worthy of the Gulf Stream, Fleabag is thrown into the dog-eat-dog world of modern London.

BBC Three heads to Class with Doctor Who spin off

Class, BBC Three, Katherine Kelly

Coal Hill School has been a regular site of alien activity since Doctor Who began in 1963, and all those years of time-travel have caused the barriers between time and space to start wearing dangerously thin, and something frightening is waiting on the other side.

This young adult drama is being created by young adult writer Patrick Ness, and will star The Night Manager, Happy Valley and Mr Selfridge actor Katherine Kelly as a Coal Hill teacher.

BBC Three: Adrift on the digital ocean

Cuckoo

Anyone who tuned in for BBC Three’s final broadcast in the early hours of 16 February might have noticed the youth channel go out with a whimper, not a bang.

Not for BBC Three, any self-congratulatory run-down of the best commissions in its 13-year history. Instead, a repeat of Gavin & Stacey was followed by a trailer for new, online drama Thirteen and it all ended with a test card announcing that the channel had moved.

Perhaps the lack of fanfare was part of the brand’s emphatic declaration that it wasn’t closing, but moving.

Mr Entertainment shifts into top gear

Mark Linsey, BBC, BBC Television,

Mark Linsey’s career in television has progressed from producing An Audience with Freddie Starr to the heady heights of running BBC Television. As Acting Director of Television – following the abrupt departure of Danny Cohen – Linsey finds himself playing a critical part as Charter renewal gathers pace.

Ask how an executive with 30 years in entertainment shows might play such a crucial role, and this safe pair of hands reaches for the word “distinctive”.