Monday 23 October 2017

BBC Studios given three-year deal to keep producing hospital drama Holby City

By Lucy Mapstone

The popular programme has been on TV screens for nearly two decades.

Long-running TV series Holby City will continue to be produced by BBC Studios for the next three years, the corporation has confirmed.

The BBC won the bid to go on creating the medical drama, a BBC One mainstay since 1999, after being put out to competitive tender as part of the new Charter agreement.

Casualty spin-off Holby City was the third title to be put out to competitive tender as part of the Government’s request that the BBC put all existing BBC Studios network TV output out to competition over the next 11 years.

BBC Studios won the first tender to continue producing A Question Of Sport, while the right to produce religious programme Songs Of Praise was won by Avanti Media and Nine Lives Media.

The compete or compare strategy was launched by the BBC’s director-general Lord Hall in 2014.

It puts returning series currently produced by the BBC out for tender as part of the corporation’s commitment to commission the best programming for viewers, whether it was produced by BBC Studios or external suppliers.

The tendering process decides who makes each programme, but the BBC public service will continue to retain all intellectual property rights for those programmes.

Mark Linsey, director of BBC Studios, said: “I am delighted that we will continue to make Holby City, the much-loved award-winning drama that is enjoyed by millions of viewers each week.

“We put forward a strong bid which demonstrated the team’s creativity, expertise and passion for making the show.

“We look forward to creating more compelling storylines and showcasing new and diverse talent on the programme.”

Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama – who led the evaluation team, said: “Following a strongly-fought competitive process, the evaluation team and I have agreed that BBC Studios will continue to produce Holby City for the next three years.

“Their pitch demonstrated new and innovative ways to develop the show into the future and deliver efficiencies.

“They were successful against published criteria including value for money and editorial innovation. I would like to thank all the producers for their time and creativity in this process.”

BBC Two documentary series Horizon is also up for competitive tender, and further titles will be announced across 2017.

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