BBC Scotland is embarking on a quest to find its next compelling series following the remarkable success of the critically acclaimed comedy drama Guilt and a lineup of scripted titles, including The Scotts, Granite Harbour, Scot Squad, and Float. These shows have captivated audiences and garnered widespread acclaim, propelling BBC Scotland to announce a development fund of £500k over two years. The aim is to attract scripts of a similar caliber in both the drama and comedy genres.
Louise Thornton, Head of Commissioning for BBC Scotland, made the announcement at an industry event in Glasgow this month. “Over the past five years, we have experienced tremendous success with many of our scripted titles, and we want to continue that momentum,” she said. Guilt, which debuted on the BBC Scotland channel in 2019, exemplifies the fresh and innovative approach that BBC Scotland seeks to bring to its scripted slate. The collaboration with BBC Two has been instrumental in its success, garnering praise from audiences and critics alike, not only in Scotland but also beyond.
The performance of recent shows has solidified BBC Scotland’s reputation for commissioning high-quality scripted content that leaves a lasting impression. Granite Harbour, for instance, has amassed over 7.5 million requests on BBC iPlayer, establishing it as one of the platform’s top-performing titles. Mayflies, featuring outstanding performances by Tony Curran, Martin Compston, and Ashley Jensen, has also received accolades for its acting and overall production quality. These co-commissions with BBC network drama demonstrate the scale of ambition for future projects. Meanwhile, the short-form drama Float, which originated as a BBC Writersroom pilot, has achieved remarkable success both in Scotland and internationally, receiving numerous awards. The eagerly anticipated second series is currently in production and is set to be released later this year, continuing the captivating LGBT+ love story.
Commissioning Executive Gavin Smith expressed his enthusiasm for BBC Scotland’s ventures in the scripted space, stating, “These titles exemplify BBC Scotland’s ambition and our ability to attract emerging and established talents both on and off screen. We are dedicated to supporting and developing premium quality content that surprises, delights, and resonates with audiences. As a collaborative channel, we are committed to working with our network colleagues and international partners to bring fresh and innovative storylines and portrayals to the screen. We are immensely proud of our strong credentials in this area and eagerly anticipate hearing from producers about other compelling stories set in Scotland that we can champion.”
With its commitment to fostering creativity and originality, BBC Scotland is poised to continue its remarkable streak of delivering outstanding scripted content that captivates audiences both at home and abroad. Producers are encouraged to bring forth their ideas and contribute to the vibrant storytelling landscape of Scotland.