Channel 4

Channel 4 launches foreign drama on-demand service

Walter Presents

Channel 4 will launch a new on-demand service showcasing the best of foreign-language drama in January.

Walter Presents will be available for free on the channel’s digital hub All 4.

Former creative director at Betty, Walter Iuzzolino, will hand pick the content, drawn from around the world.

The first slate of dramas on the service, which launches on 3 January, includes Belgian drama-comedy Clan, German/US co-production Deutschland 83 and Argentinian psychological thriller Pure Evil.

New Creative Skillset Series Producer Programme open for applications

Creative Skillset Series Producer Programme

The new Creative Skillset Series Producer Programme is open for applications, offering the opportunity to make the leap from Producer to Series Producer. 

Backed by the BBC, Channel 4 and Channel 5, this year-long scheme will find the next generation of SPs to help the industry advance and grow.

Who Benefits? TV and Poverty

This was one of the key findings of new research undertaken by the BBC looking at a style of television often described as “poverty porn” by TV reviewers.

The study was unveiled at a conference in Manchester, Who Benefits? TV and Poverty.

The event was backed by the RTS, the BBC, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.

Click here to watch the full video of the event. 

Channel 4 commissions first drama series for female writing duo

Kate Ashfield, When The Lights Went Out, Sky,

Channel 4 has commissioned the writers Tracey Malone (Silent Witness) and Kate Ashfield (Line of Duty) for their first drama series as a duo.

The psychological thriller, under working title Born to Kill, will be made by World Productions, and looks into the mind of a teenage boy who suppresses psychopathic desires.

TV comedy experts examine the challenges facing the genre

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

The classic sitcom no longer rules the TV schedules in the way that shows such as Fawlty Towers, Open All Hours and Porridge did in the 1970s. Or does it?

A panel of TV practitioners attempted to tease out the answer last month at an RTS early-­evening event, “No laughing matter: how does comedy fight back?” This stimulating debate made one think that we could be living through another golden age of TV comedy without necessarily knowing it.

Dramatist Jack Thorne discusses the truth of storytelling

The Last Panthers

As a child, Jack Thorne was a devoted TV viewer who’d some-­times risk compromising his personal hygiene – all for the sake of his favourite programmes. He was reluctant to leave the box’s magical embrace and delayed taking a shower until the commercial break rolled round.

“That’s fine when you’re eight, but less good when you’re 14,” says Thorne. He has a wide, open face, which lights up like a Belisha beacon when he recalls his childhood and adolescent TV addiction.

Hunted to return for second series

This September saw the launch of Channel 4's unsettling reality series Hunted, in which groups of "fugitives" attempted to go off the grid and escape capture by the expert "hunters" who used surveillance  technology to track them down. Audience ratings averaged 2.2million per episode, with no financial prize for any triumphant fugitives. This time, there's £100,000 up for grabs if they're able to avoid and outsmart the hunters for up to 28 days.

Is Channel 4 for sale?

When Ofcom holds its final board meeting of 2015 in December, it will have a list of the candidates competing to be the next Chair of Channel 4. At the top of the list will be Mark Price, outgoing Chief Executive of Waitrose and Deputy Chair of John Lewis.

The advert for the post – a hugely sensitive one, as the Government explores the possibility of selling off Channel 4 – was hurried out on 10 October by favoured headhunter Dom Loehnis of Egon Zehnder, with a closing date of 16 November.