Magazine article Variety

Int'l Auds Embrace Brit-Centric Shows

Magazine article Variety

Int'l Auds Embrace Brit-Centric Shows

Article excerpt

BEEB DRAMA PARADE

Don't tell precocious BBC drama topper Ben Stephenson you can't have your cake and eat it too.

Stephenson has brought an overriding sense of renewed confidence to the U.K. pubcaster's drama department.

Often he is helped in these endeavors by overseas coin provided by such U.S. partners as HBO and Starz, collaborators on Parade's End and the soon-tobow 15th century saga The White Queen respectively. But he rejects the notion of making a decision in order to please a potential overseas partner.

"The very best and most successful dramas that have played internationally have been very clearly made for the domestic British audience, insists Stephenson.

Of late, Stephenson's drama department is palpably producing triumphs, proving how effectively British shows can travel, especially in English-speaking territories. Sherlock sold to more than 180 countries, while Call the Midwife and Ripper Street resonated on both sides of the Atlantic.

At the high-end of his drama portfolio, Stephenson has lured such writers as Tom Stoppard back to the box. …

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