Channel 4

Is American ownership of UK producers good for British television?

David Abraham and Nick Southgate (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

There is little agreement about whether increasing US ownership of Britain’s independent sector threatens or sustains home-grown production and the UK’s unique creative culture.

A feisty session at the Convention, “Working for the yankee dollar? Consolidation and creativity”, offered conflicting views, not only on foreign ownership but also on the surprise review into the terms of trade announced by minister John Whittingdale the day before.

'Great comedy will always find an audience' says BBC's Gregor Sharp at RTS event

 Nerys Evans, Simon Lupton, Boyd Hilton, Jessica Knappett, Gregor Sharp

Plans to put BBC Three online could rob a new generation of comedy writers and performers of the opportunity to find an audience, said Jessica Knappett, creator of E4 sitcom Drifters.

Knappett, who writes and stars in the series said: "I feel like BBC Three going online is a door closing, it's an opportunity that's been taken away from me. I feel personally it's exactly the sort of channel I would write for and I found it difficult enough to get an audience on E4."

In pictures: RTS Cambridge Convention 2015

The RTS Cambridge Convention 2015 took place from Wednesday 16 to Friday 18 September, seeing senior leaders from the television industry on both sides of the Atlantic converge on the city. 

The topics covered over the three days ranged from the importance of the BBC worldwide, to a debate about the lessons learnt from the General Election 2015, to the continued challenge that the television industry faces with the rise of video content emerging on digital platforms. 

No laughing matter: how does comedy fight back?

Key industry players provide an insight into the evolution of sitcoms and discuss whether the genre has become more risk averse because of the pressure to land a hit, or simply evolved to meet the changing taste of viewers. We also examine if money is being redirected into genres that are cheaper and easier to make, how BBC Three moving online might affect the development and growth of new comedies, and who is putting their head above the parapet and trying to put scripted comedy back at the heart of TV viewing.

Panel: