BBC Releasing Season One of ‘Killing Eve’ on Disc Oct. 9

BBC Studios will release Killing Eve: Season One on Blu-ray and DVD Oct. 9.

The Emmy-nominated series stars Sandra Oh as a bored MI5 security officer confronting a mercurial killer (Jodie Comer) in a game of cat and mouse.

Oh was the first Asian woman nominated for the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role. Phoebe Waller-Bridge was nominated for a writing Emmy.

A second season will air on BBC America in Spring 2019.

BBC Boss Strikes Populist Chord; Calls for Increased Funding, Greater Oversight on Foreign OTT Video

As expected, Tony Hall, director general of the publicly-owned British Broadcast Corporation, Sept. 18 issued a call to arms of sorts, as the public service broadcaster competes against international over-the-top video behemoths Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, among others.

In a keynote to the 2018 Royal Television Society London Conference in London, Hall said the BBC, which is funded by the government through a special tax, is increasingly asked to do more with less as operating budgets get cut.

He said that while Netflix and Amazon will spend a combined $13 billion on original content this year, the BBC and other public broadcasters will spend around $3.3 billion. Hall said the spending gap is resulting in a dearth of local content production, which he claims impacts British culture.

“Netflix and Amazon are not making up the difference,” Hall said. “Ofcom’s data suggests that less than 10% of the [catalog] of Netflix and Amazon [is] comprised of content produced in the U.K. Two separate estimates have suggested their investment into new U.K. programs is around £150 million a year.”

The executive believes reduced spending on localized content negatively impacts British viewers and the country.

“The content we produce is not just an ordinary consumer good,” Hall said. “It helps shape our society. It brings people together, it helps us understand each other and creates an incredibly powerful shared narrative.”

Specifically, the BBC claims to be a superior value economically to British consumers. Hall said each hour of BBC TV costs households 8 pence per hour to consume. For an equivalent SVOD service it’s around 17 pence and hour. And for a pay-TV service it’s 35 pence.

He said British media content is also a source of “soft power” required to combat fake news and online disinformation, which Hall claims contributes to the “undermining of traditional truths and values.”

The executive outlined five courses of action the BBC is addressing, which include original local content production, reinventing BBC services, investing more in children’s and young adult content, fighting fake news, and thinking beyond its London headquarters.

“But while we believe the BBC’s public mission is as important as ever, and that we can do more for Britain, we do not believe this ambition is sustainable with the resources we have,” Hall said.

He called on Britain to do more to support the broader PSB “ecology,” while sustaining “great relationships” with companies like Google, Apple, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Indeed, many “original” Netflix shows in the United States are licensed from the BBC, including, “River,” “The Great British Baking Show,” “The IT Crowd,” “Foyle’s War,” “Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell,” “Wallander,” “Broadchurch,” “Planet Earth,” “London Spy,” and “Call the Midwife,” among others.

Netflix just announced it has secured exclusive U.S. rights to BBC One Drama, “Bodyguard, set to begin streaming Oct. 24.

“It’s important we work with them now and in the future,” Hall said.

At the same time, Hall argued “it cannot be right” that the U.K. media industry is competing against global SVOD giants with “one hand tied behind its back.”

He said the BBC is often hamstrung by government-mandated competition rules, advertising, taxation, content regulation, terms of trade and production quotas – rules he said “barely” apply to Netflix & Co.

“That needs rebalancing,” Hall said. “The big picture is a simple one: the public believes in public service broadcasting and a strong BBC.”

‘[Netflix & Co.] have their job to do, their services to provide. We have ours. Scale is not everything. Smaller can be beautiful,” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apple Ups Original Content Game with Joe Oppenheimer Hire

Apple is looking to the United Kingdom to jumpstart its original video content aspirations.

The media giant reportedly hired Joe Oppenheimer, long-time executive at BBC Films, to its international content development unit. Oppenheimer’s credits include the 2016 drama I, Daniel Blake; Testament of Youth (2014) and the 2014 comedy Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, among others.

Oppenheimer reports to Jay Hunt, the former BBC and Channel 4 executive Apple hired last October to head its international TV unit.

Before departing Channel 4, Hunt acquired rights to “The Great British Bake Off,” a reported $99 million reality series that has generated big ratings in the U.K. targeting the coveted 18-34 year-old demo.

Last year, Apple hired former Sony Pictures Television executives Jamie Ehrlicht and Zack Van Amburg to get original streaming video off the ground.

One of their first moves was signing up Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon for a 20-episode, two-season series about a TV morning show.

Other deals include series from M. Night Shyamalan, Damien Chazelle (La La Land) and Ron Moore (Outsiders).

BBC Releasing Blu-ray of Tom Baker’s First Season on ‘Doctor Who’

BBC Studios June 19 will release Doctor Who: Tom Baker — Complete Season One on Blu-ray, featuring 20 episodes from the 1974-75 season of the classic British sci-fi series “Doctor Who.”

Comprising the show’s 12th season, the remastered episodes feature Baker’s introduction as the fourth actor to play The Doctor, a time-travelling alien who fights evil throughout the universe with the help of his human companions. The season includes the serials “Robot,” “The Ark in Space,” The Sontaran Experiment,” “Genesis of the Daleks” and “Revenge of the Cybermen.”

The marks the first time a complete season of the 1963-89 original run of the franchise is being released in a single volume. Previous DVD releases have been per serial or special compilations.

The six-disc Blu-ray includes more than 17 hours of bonus content, including:

  • “Tom Baker in Conversation,” a candid new one-hour interview with the actor.
  • “Behind the Sofa,” a selection of clips viewed by several stars of the show.
  • New making-of documentaries for “The Sontaran Experiment” and “Revenge of the Cybermen.”
  • An option to watch “Revenge of the Cybermen” with brand new, updated special effects.
  • An omnibus movie version of “Genesis of the Daleks,” unseen since its broadcast in 1975.
  • “The Tom Baker Years,” A 1991 special featuring highlights from the Fourth Doctor’s run, available on disc for the first time.
  • Immersive 5.1 surround sound mixes for “The Ark In Space” and “Genesis of the Daleks.”