Single writer or showrunner: what's the best way to succeed in drama?

Hugo Blick and Gina Moriarty

It is the question that British writers and commissioners perennially ask: which system works best – the UK’s single voice or the US’s showrunner model?

Former head of BBC Worldwide Productions turned independent producer Jane Tranter tried to answer this key question with a panel of writers, who outlined their experiences to see how they compared.

She pointed out that, during her seven years in the US, it was not a subject the industry there generally debated openly.

It started with a book...

So, it’s a great story with great atmosphere, a range of colourful characters to whom lots of stuff happens and it's even a major bestseller, such as “The Casual Vacancy”.  Is that it?   Does it follow that  great tv drama will ensue?  

Does an epic novel automatically make for multi-series, unmissable TV? And do the rules change when the material is autobiographical and the author remains part of the process?

Downton Abbey unveils series finale promo

The worldwide hit TV drama based on the Crawley family and those who serve them is set to close its doors for the final time this September.

In a new promo video, this time set in 1925, of the prospect of not an entirely happy ending.

Downton Abbey is the highest rated UK television drama in the past decade, averaging 11 million viewers over the last five series.

The global phenomenon and BAFTA-winning show is produced by Carnival Films.

Major new drama One Of Us announced for BBC One

Filming is set to begin for new BBC modern thriller One Of Us.

The series is written by Harry and Jack Williams, the duo behind gripping drama The Missing.

Set between Edinburgh and The Highlands, the four-part series explores the fragile relationship between the once-close Elliot and Douglas families in the aftermath of two murders.

Channel 4 commissions a second series of Humans

The dystopian Channel 4 drama Humans has been recommissioned for a second series.

The show is set in an alternative present where Synths – robotic servants who eerily resemble humans – are a must-have household gadget. Over eight episodes, the science fiction drama has explored the consequences of artificial intelligence.

Humans has been the highest rated Channel 4 original drama in over 20 years with its debut launch in June garnering an audience total of 6.1 million.