Timeline of British Television Drama

1930 First television drama The Man With the Flower in His Mouth, an adaptation of short play by Luigi Pirandello.
1936 ‘High-definition’ launched from Alexandra Palace in London – the BBC Television Service.
1936 First drama mounted in ‘high-definition’, twenty-five minute selection of scenes from West End play Marigold – described as stage play being filmed, broadcast live.
1937 Survey conducted found 90% television viewers enjoyed the drama productions.
1938 Modern dress adaptation of Julius Caesar praised by The Times for the ambition of the department.
1938 First television drama to have been written specifically for television was Felicity’s First Season.
1938-39, 1946 Telecrime series broadcast – notable for depicting crimes and giving the viewer the clues to be able to solve the crimes themselves.
1938 Drama was an integral part of the schedule; in the Christmas week, fourteen of the twenty-two hours transmitted were dedicated to it.
1939 Television broadcasts ceased in anticipation of World War Two.
1939-1945 World War Two. The BBC became affectionately known to the nation as ‘Auntie’.
1946 BBC Television Service resumed broadcasting, picking up exactly where it left off.
1949 The Director of Variety, Michael Standing, attempted to construct a set of rules which made clear which sort of jokes were acceptable in comedy programmes and which were not. The document was entitled the ‘Green Book’.
1950 BBC Script Department established, involved in hiring in-house or ‘staff’ writers.
1950-1 Ellen Baskin cites an adaptation of Little Women to be the first British television drama serial – a number of episodes for one story.
1950 The Quatermass Experiment first airs. This popular science-fiction drama is the earliest existing example of television drama in Britain. It returned in 1955, 1958-9, 1979 and 2005. John Caughie says it ‘evoked terror and pity in an audience which was not yet schooled in home entertainment, and had yet become immune to undomesticated television.’
1953 The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II made television a high-profile medium, which in turn increased drama output.
1953 Head of Drama Michael Barry invested the majority of the department’s budget into six-part science-fiction serial Quatermass II.
1954 Beginning in April and running until 1957, arguably Britain’s first television soap opera, The Grove Family, was transmitted. Surveys say that 50% of the adult audience were ardent viewers.
1954 In July, the BBC broadcast the first bought-in serial, I Am the Law, from the U.S.
1954 In December, Quatermass writer Nigel Kneale’s adaptation of Nineteen Eighty-Four was broadcast to great critical acclaim. It did, however, court controversy due to the scenes where Winston is tortured.
1955 ITV network established. The BBC suffered as a result, and was criticised for being too high-brow.
1955 Dixon of Dock Green was first broadcast, a police drama notable for its ‘realism’, dubbed a forerunner of Z-Cars and ITV’s The Bill. It held a family viewing slot and ‘realism’ implied more homely than violent and gritty.
1956-74 Sydney Newman’s drama anthology series Armchair Theatre ran.
1957-67 First hospital-based soap, Emergency – Ward 10 broadcast on ITV.
1960-89 Considered by some the “Golden Age” of television drama.
1960 In the five years since ITV’s launch, the network had broadcast some very popular and acclaimed programmes, generally eclipsing the BBC in public opinion and ratings. As a new decade began, the Pilkington Committee published a report considering ITV’s impact and worth; the document was full of scathing criticisms and the BBC regained their reputation for quality. It also suggested that the BBC should be given the second channel they had been refused by government in 1959.
1960 Tony Warren had an innovative idea: a drama of ordinary people, in a back-street in Manchester, ordinary lives. The result: Coronation Street launched on ITV.
1962 Sydney Newman, the Canadian broadcaster responsible for The Avengers, replaced Michael Barry as Head of Drama and restructured the department; separating Series (continuing dramas with self-contained episodes), Serials (for stories told over multiple episodes) and one-off drama programmes.
1962-78 Created as a response to the Dixon, Z-Cars aimed to better represent police procedure.
1963 The Coronation Street production team plan a highly controversial storyline known as Sheila’s Suicide. Due to the barrage of negative press attention, the scripts were hastily rewritten so the version broadcast showed her merely take some pills and then next episode get rescued by neighbours, before going off to live with her parents.
1963 Long-running, popular science-fiction show Doctor Who was created and first broadcast.
1963-64 Continually disillusioned by what she saw on her television screen, Mary Whitehouse launches highly influential pressure group the National Viewers and Listeners Association. They would go on to complain regularly about drama violence, especially in Doctor Who and EastEnders, but other than that, they were predominately preoccupied by sexual permissiveness.
1964 BBC Two launches, Britain’s third television channel.
1964-70 The Wednesday Play runs, including the classic which prompted social change, Cathy Come Home, 1966.
1966 The BBC announces plans to begin colour broadcasting in the near future.
1966-67 Adam Adamant Lives! Created as a comedy adventure series for children, it became an adventure show for all the family and is now a cult classic.
1967 BBC Two broadcasts its first colour programmes. Six months later, BBC One follows suit.
1967 The Forsyte Saga was transmitted on BBC2, not BBC1, unusually for this period. It succeeded in attracting an audience of 6 million, thus putting BBC2 ‘on the map’. A lurid rape scene prompted national debate.
1967-81 Shaun Sutton takes over Newman’s post as Head of Series and Serials, and reigns during what is described by many as the ‘zenith’ of television drama.
1967-8 Cult fantasy The Prisoner is broadcast on ITV.
1968 By this date, most of BBC Two’s programmes were filmed and broadcast in colour.
1970 The Annan Committee makes inquiries into the future of broadcasting. Under the chairmanship of Lord Annan, two of its recommendations were crucial to the BBC: “Broadcasting services should continue to be provided as public services, and should continue to be the responsibility of public authorities. These Broadcasting Authorities should be independent of government in the day-to-day conduct of their business” and “the BBC should continue to be financed from the revenue of the broadcast receiving licence.”
1970 Play for Today begins; the successor to/continuation of The Wednesday Play.
1971-75 The original Upstairs, Downstairs airs on ITV, made by London Weekend Television, giving the BBC’s reputation for the best costume dramas a run for its money. Upstairs, Downstairs was the brain child of commissioners and actresses Jean Marsh (who starred in the series as Rose Buck) and Eileen Atkins (who appeared in the 2010 revived series). It honed the period drama genre as we know it.
1972 Emmerdale Farm, a new soap opera on ITV, is launched. It was comparable at that time to radio soap The Archers.
1972-4 Historical drama saw an upsurge in popularity, partly due to the BBC’s acclaimed Colditz.
1972 Round-the-clock broadcasting begins, allowing for more frequent repeats of dramas.
1974-5 In spite of the ‘zenith’, there were some failures; a twenty-six part historical drama Churchill’s People was slated for poor performances and production values. This set the precedent that series’ would be commissioned for no more than thirteen episodes at a time; a few years down the line, even that was thought to be too excessive.
1975-1978 ITV airs popular drama The Sweeney. Long-running dramas such as these overtook one-off classics as recession and unrest kicked in, and series were seen as more cost effective.
1976 I, Claudius, starring Derek Jacobi, is transmitted, later to be hailed as one of the best television dramas of all time.
1976 Dennis Potter’s Brimstone and Treacle censored. Eventually broadcast in 1987.
1976 The original Bouquet of Barbed Wire is broadcast.
1976 Dixon of Dock Green is cancelled.
1978 Phil Redmond devises a new ‘teen soap’ to air on CBBC, Grange Hill.
1979 Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is transmitted on BBC2.
1981 The acclaimed adaptation of Brideshead Revisited is broadcast on ITV.
1982 Tinker sequel Smiley’s People is broadcast.
1982 Channel 4 goes live on air for the first time.
1982 Boys from the Blackstuff airs, seen as a beacon of defiance against an anti-working class Thatcher government.
1984-92 The BBC adapt Marple novels by Agatha Christie in a long-running series entitled Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, starring Joan Hickson (not to be confused with the 2004 ITV series).
1985 EastEnders is launched on BBC1. It was to be a grittier, more modern and more grounded soap opera set in East London.
1985 Highly acclaimed political thriller Edge of Darkness is shown.
1985 The BBC and Controller of BBC One Michael Grade announce that long-running science fiction series Doctor Who is to be rested after Series 22, Sixth Doctor Colin Baker’s first full series. Many later attribute the show’s decline in popularity both inside and outside the BBC to its increasingly violent and grim tone.
1986 Casualty begins on BBC One. This continued the trend to maintain continuing dramas and soap operas such as this but reduce the amount of other long-running series; most series were now treated to only six- or eight-part runs.
1986 Doctor Who’s belated and reduced-down Series 23 is broadcast. The upper echelons at the BBC give the production team little guidance in how to rectify the show but Grade is still unhappy and therefore orders the sacking of Baker.
1986 The Christmas Day episode of EastEnders (which famously saw Den Watts present divorce proceedings to his wife Angie) received a phenomenal 30.15 million viewers, the highest non-sport rating for a British TV show ever.
1987 Doctor Who returns for its twenty-fourth series, with new Doctor Sylvester McCoy. In response to recent criticism, John Nathan-Turner imposes a lighter tone. However, ratings decrease steadily.
1987-2000 Inspector Morse runs. It kick-started the tradition of two-hour whodunits that are now the standard on ITV.
1988 As of Christmas, Emmerdale no longer takes seasonal breaks; like fellow soap operas EastEnders and Coronation Street it runs all year round.
1988 Series 1 of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads is transmitted.
1989 ITV launches a new series of adaptations of Agatha Christie’s works; Poirot starring David Suchet is an instant hit.
1989 Another ‘teen soap’ is launched on CBBC, Byker Grove. During its seventeen-year stint it tackled many controversial storylines.
1989 The first episode Doctor Who’s twenty-sixth series gains only 3.1 million viewers, an all-time low for the series, and the programme is subsequently axed at the end of this run.
1989 Popular soap Emmerdale Farm is rebranded Emmerdale, reflecting the change in focus of the series.
1989 Britain’s first satellite channel, Sky TV, hits the airwaves.
1990 Political thriller House of Cards is broadcast on BBC1. The series would be the unlikely target of a Netflix US reboot in 2013.
1990 The Broadcasting Act enables the BBC to source 25% of its programming from independent production companies. A decade later and the BBC’s in-house costume, make-up and special effects departments were disbanded, meaning that even BBC productions sourced these facilities from elsewhere. It also creates the Broadcasting Standards Commission to regulate violence.
1991-2006 Prime Suspect by Lynda LaPlante, starring Helen Mirren, runs. It is hugely popular with viewers and critics alike.
1992-2010 Long-running police drama Heartbeat airs, with the distinction of being deliberately tailored, ‘consumer-led’, to attract the highest possible audience.
1992 Eldorado is created by Julia Smith and Tony Holland, who created EastEnders.
1993 Eldorado is axed after being maligned by critics and boycotted by viewers, described by many as one of the BBC’s most costly errors of judgement.
1993 With the ratings falling sharply, ITV planned to axe soap opera Emmerdale. Phil Redmond, creator of Brookside, Hollyoaks and more, was brought in to save the programme and his solution was a plane crash which would devastate the village, kill off many characters and increase interest. It was a major success; viewing figures rose to 18 million – a record for Emmerdale – however ITV received a lot of criticism for its scheduling; it was near to the fifth anniversary of the Lockerbie disaster. It cemented Emmerdale as one of the most popular soap operas in Britain, and is still regularly remembered by those characters who were involved.
1993-2006 Sporadically, three series and two specials of Jimmy McGovern’s Cracker are filmed and shown.
1995 Andrew Davies’ adaptation of Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth proves to be the most successful of a run of classic literature dramatisations in the 1990s.
1995 Brookside creator pioneers a brand new soap opera, to be broadcast on Channel 4. Hollyoaks is aimed at teenagers and quickly becomes one of the leading British soap operas.
1996 Critically acclaimed serial Our Friends in the North is dubbed one of the few BBC dramatic successes of the 1990s, and claimed almost BBC Two’s entire drama budget for the year. In lots of ways it is a revival of the social realism trend from the 1950s and 1960s.
1996 In an American co-production, Doctor Who is revived for a television movie, the potential pilot for a revised series. Whilst it is a commercial success in the UK, it fares poorly in the USA, and plans to continue are scrapped. A number of edits are made to the episode, namely the removal of the Doctor’s scream as he regenerates into his eighth body, and the reducing of the gun violence sequences in light of the pre-watershed timeslot and the recent Dunblane massacre.
1996-7 This Life is hailed as another drama success of the 1990s. It was said to pioneer the ‘more upmarket, youth oriented’ style of drama.
1996 The turbulent times for the drama department are heightened by the lack of a proper head. Director of Television Alan Yentob is forced to step in and oversee the department on a temporary basis.
1997 Channel 5 is launched.
1997 The BBC launches the country’s first 24-hour News television service, BBC News 24 (later the BBC News channel).
1998 The second series of Talking Heads, ten years since the first, is broadcast on BBC1.
1998 Digital television services are made available for the first time. Sky launched in Britain.
1999 Because of the numerous channels available now, a survey shows that the BBC’s audience share falls below 30%
1999 Toby McHale and Mal Young create Casualty spin-off, Holby City, a new continuing drama for BBC One.
1999-2000 Russell T Davies’ breakthrough controversial drama Queer as Folk is broadcast on Channel 4.
2000 A new soap opera is launched on BBC One, Doctors. It differs from other soap operas in the sense that it is guest-star driven individual stories. It is produced by BBC Birmingham.
2000 EastEnders’ huge, media phenomenon of a story, ‘Who shot Phil Mitchell?’ proves hype can eclipse complaints about violence in soaps.
2000-2003 Clocking Off airs on BBC One.
2001-2002 Two series of Paul Abbot’s comedy drama Linda Green is transmitted.
2001-2004 Sometimes-surreal comedy drama Teachers airs on Channel 4, initially starring Andrew Lincoln. The cast and the show’s style changes across the four series but many tonal aspects remain consistent: e.g., the shocking student-on-student violence in the background.
2002 The BBC launches digital channels for children, the CBBC Channel and CBeebies. (Children’s broadcasting nevertheless continues on weekday mornings on BBC Two and afternoons on BBC One.)
2002 The BBC launches BBC Four.
2002 Mary Whitehouse dies.
2002-11 BBC One airs ten series of Kudos Productions’ Spooks, which is both critically and commercially acclaimed and praised for its daring nature, famed for a number of main characters unexpectedly killed off. For series-by-series reviews see https://grahameveleigh.wordpress.com/category/spooks/
2003 Paul Abbot’s acclaimed political serial State of Play airs. It is reminiscent of the thrillers of the 1980s such as Edge of Darkness. The series is very adult in theme, airs after the watershed, and is seen to depict violence and gore right from the first sequence.
2003 The various regulators of violence (among other things) are amalgamated as the influential, media-courting giant Ofcom.
2003- BBC One air a pilot of new comedy-drama about an unsolved-crime police squad entitled New Tricks. It is picked up a year later for a full series and continues to run to the present.
2003 The BBC launches BBC Three, after some delay.
2003 Acclaimed writer Russell T Davies announces plans to revive Doctor Who on BBC One, as a BBC Wales production. This follows the trend of the regionalisation of drama; in subsequent years Wales will become one of the UK’s biggest bases of television drama. Davies says new Doctor Who will be ‘full-blooded’, ‘fun, contemporary, exciting and scary’. The revived series will go on to be a huge commercial and critical success.
2004-2013 Paul Abbott’s series Shameless, which shows violence as a routine part of life, airs for ten series on Channel 4.
2004 Agatha Christie’s Marple is created, as a sister-show to Poirot, which is subsequently renamed Agatha Christie’s Poirot. The series differs from its elder in terms of its tongue-in-cheek, post-modern slant and the more liberal way in which the original stories are adapted.
2004-2007 Comedy drama Green Wing airs on C4. The second series includes a character beating a dwarf to death and a penknife being thrown at somebody’s head.
2005 Russell T Davies’ Casanova airs on BBC Three.
2005 Bleak House, a serial adaptation of Dickens’ novel of the same name, airs on BBC One in a somewhat experimental soap opera format.
2005- Doctor Who returns and runs each year as well as producing an annual Christmas Special, all broadcast on BBC One. In 2009, a number of specials are scheduled throughout the year. The series then returned in 2010 with a new production team and new Doctor. Coupling’s Steven Moffat takes the reigns from Davies that year.
2005 A live remake of The Quatermass Experiment starring David Tennant is aired on BBC Four, as part of the ‘TV on Trial’ season, examining past productions.
2006-7 BBC Wales and Kudos develop and air two series of Life on Mars, a hugely popular time-travel police procedural drama.
2006- Lewis, spin-off of Inspector Morse, runs, starring Morse’s previous sidekick Kevin Whately with Laurence Fox as Sergeant James Hathaway.
2006 Byker Grove is cancelled.
2006-2009 Three series of Jimmy McGovern’s The Street airs.
2006-2015 Continuing drama Waterloo Road airs. It also deals with many (often teenage) topical issues. Go to http://wp.me/p3KHHr-in.
2006 Doctor Who showrunner creates a new spin-off for adult viewers; Torchwood pushes the boundaries of modern drama, particularly in terms of sex and violence. In this thirteen-part format it ran 2006-7 and 2008 for two series.
2007-2013 Highly irreverent teen drama Skins airs: a ‘voice of a generation’ drama on E4.
2007-2011 Sexy drama Secret Diary of a Call Girl starring Billie Piper runs for four series, achieving some of the highest ratings for ITV2.
2007 The CBBC approach Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies about creating a spin-off for children. He proposes The Sarah Jane Adventures. An initial special and a series of ten episodes is commissioned, airing on New Years Day, the series following in September.
2008-10 Life of Mars spin-off Ashes to Ashes airs for three series. See a review of Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharoah’s later work, Eternal Law (2012) here: https://grahameveleigh.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/eternal-no-law-barely/
2008 A violent year for soaps, the most notable storyline being Whitney and Tony’s EastEnders paedophilia story.
2008 Grange Hill was axed after thirty years.
2009-2013 Supernatural drama Being Human runs on BBC Three. It proves a big success for the channel.
2009- ITV detective series with a historical edge, Whitechapel airs. Series 3 (2012) is reviewed here: https://grahameveleigh.wordpress.com/category/whitechapel/
2009- Law & Order: UK airs. In just 44-minute slots, we smash-cut from the violent crime to the comeuppance of the criminal.
2009 Torchwood is promoted to a 9pm BBC One slot for a five episode daily run, subtitled Children of Earth. Controller of BBC One Jay Hunt, not anticipating the strong ratings, requested that the disturbing climactic sequence be reduced down. For an article discussing key plot points of this series go to http://wp.me/p3KHHr-4O.
2010- BBC One’s Luther airs, contributing the long history of police procedurals but with a twist; Luther can be as dangerous as the criminals he fights. A second series aired in 2011 and a third and probably final in 2013. The third is reviewed here: https://grahameveleigh.wordpress.com/category/luther/
2010 The remake of Bouquet of Barbed Wire airs on ITV1.
2010- Downton Abbey, the most popular drama in recent years, brings costume dramas back into vogue. For everything Downton go to https://grahameveleigh.wordpress.com/category/downton-abbey/
2010- Instant hit Sherlock, a modern retelling of the Arthur Conan Doyle detective stories, is broadcast on BBC1 to huge viewers. It becomes one of the most critically-acclaimed dramas of all-time, and returns sporadically for three TV films across several series.
2010-2012 Upstairs, Downstairs is revived by the BBC, with Jean Marsh at the front and centre again.
2010-2011 EastEnders’ most controversial storyline: the Baby Swap plot.
2011 Hugo Blick’s dark BBC Two thriller The Shadow Line is broadcast, to critical acclaim. New review of the series here: http://wp.me/p3KHHr-kb.
2011 Adaptation of Christopher Isherwood’s memoir Christopher and His Kind, starring Matt Smith, airs on BBC Two. See https://grahameveleigh.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/i-dont-know-to-whom-i-belong/
2011 New period drama Call the Midwife storms the ratings charts as the biggest BBC drama for a decade. It continues for many series and is even granted Christmas specials. For a special essay related to this drama click here: https://grahameveleigh.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/the-east-end-bike/
2011 The Sarah Jane Adventures star Elisabeth Sladen dies. The series has six episodes left to broadcast, and do so in the autumn of that year. The Sarah Jane Adventures saw CBBC regain its reputation of quality children’s drama, and achieved the highest ratings for the digital channel since it launched.
2011 Torchwood: Miracle Day airs in the summer, a co-production with American network Starz, continuing the series’ trend for violence and gore. Russell T Davies announces that some small edits will be made to certain episodes because of Jack’s status as a children’s hero. However, in many ways the backbone of the series is the shocking similarities – and differences – between Jack and convicted child-killer and paedophile Oswald Danes. Individual episode reviews can be found here: https://grahameveleigh.wordpress.com/category/torchwood-miracle-day/
2011 At Christmas a new BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations airs, starring Gillian Anderson and Douglas Booth: http://wp.me/p3KHHr-km.
2012 The second series of the BAFTA-award winning Sherlock concludes with Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) surviving his “Reichenbach fall”. For months, speculation is rife as to how he managed this!
2012 The case of Daniel Bartlam and Coronation Street.
2012 Downton Abbey continues to thrive, garnering more column inches and viewers by the shock-deaths of two lead characters this year.
2012 BBC Director-General Mark Thompson enthuses about a new era in which television programmes will be always accessible to anyone. This means the violence in the dramas will be, too.
2012 The fortieth anniversary of Emmerdale is celebrated with a live episode watched by 9.2 million viewers. The story featured a cross section of soap life: two babies being born, two marriages and a murder.
2013 A surprise hit – Broadchurch, originally a spec script, by Chris Chibnall, is massive on ITV. One of the most tweeted-about series ever, genuine hype was built up around who killed Danny Latimer. The series follows in the footsteps of Scandinavian dramas like The Killing, with slow pacing and lingering depiction of grief, running for eight episodes and not relying on ‘next time’ trailers. ITV announce it will return next year for a ‘very different’ Series 2.
2013 The Village, by Peter Moffatt, airs, to much publicity about the trend for period dramas. Moffatt intends for this series to run to many episodes – he hopes forty-two – so that he can fulfil the concept: taking one village and showing it down the years for most of the twentieth century. It proved popular and a second series follows in 2014.
2013 ITV try to reinvent their Monday nights as a comedy night, with The Job Lot mockumentary series and Sir Derek Jacobi and Sir Ian McKellan’s Vicious. Vicious Series 1 is reviewed here: https://grahameveleigh.wordpress.com/2013/07/23/he-might-rape-me/
2013 Thanks to imports such as Top Gear, Doctor Who and Call the Midwife, BBC America thrives with the US cable audience, and expands on that by producing original programming. This also reflects the increasing trend for cross-Atlantic co-productions. Copper runs for two seasons and is cancelled this year, but Orphan Black begins –far more critically-acclaimed, so much so it is shown on BBC Three over here too. A third season has been commissioned for 2015; review of Season 1 here: http://wp.me/p3KHHr-jC.
2013 EastEnders suffers one of its worst years, viewer- and critic-wise, while Emmerdale prospers in its place. At the end of the year, popular former executive Dominic Treadwell-Collins returns, and ushers in a new, popular era for the show.
2013 After seven years, Bryan Elsley, Jamie Brittain and Channel 4 call time on popular teen drama Skins, with three 2-part movies forming a final series. See https://grahameveleigh.wordpress.com/category/skins/
2013 The BBC throws a lot of advertising behind big-budget international co-production The White Queen, which runs for ten weeks across the Summer graveyard slot, and is adapted from a novel by Phillipa Gregory. See https://grahameveleigh.wordpress.com/category/the-white-queen/ for the reviews.
2013 BBC Four airs one of its last star-studded biopics, due to cuts: Burton & Taylor, starring Helena Bonham-Carter and Dominic West. See https://grahameveleigh.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/love-isnt-a-drug
2013 The fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who is celebrated with an eight-part series with Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman, a fan-pleasing finale, a biopic charting the early years of the show and a movie-length special on 23rd November. See https://grahameveleigh.wordpress.com/category/doctor-who/.
2013 As part of the new MediaCityUK TV hub in Salford, a new Coronation Street exterior set is unveiled. It is taller and wider than previous sets and has been painstakingly recreated in order to maintain continuity. It will appear in the show next year.
2014 Julie Hesmondhalgh, known for starring in Coronation Street as British soap’s first transgender character, exits the show in an emotional right to die storyline. The story is duly recognised at the 2014 National Television Awards: http://wp.me/p3KHHr-ho.
2014 In an unprecedented move, axed British drama Ripper Street will be revived by Amazon and the BBC for a third series. It marks an increasing involvement for online and pay-monthly TV streaming companies in the production of TV drama.
2014- EastEnders launches a huge new whodunnit: who killed Lucy? It will reportedly culminate during next year’s 30th anniversary celebrations for the show. For an article on this dramatic new story go to https://grahameveleigh.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/walford-just-changed/.
2014 As part of a series of multi-million pound cut backs at the BBC, Controller Tony Hall announces plans to move BBC Three to an online platform.
2014 The BBC Worldwide offices in Miami leak material, including rough edits of some episodes, from Doctor Who online – a month ahead of the new series’ airing. Fans ensure #keepmespoilerfree trends on Twitter and the leak is contained. In August, Peter Capaldi’s Doctor launches in cinemas and on TV. Reviews here: https://grahameveleigh.wordpress.com/category/doctor-who/
2014 Ofcom research finds Hollyoaks has superseded EastEnders as the UK’s most violent soap. Hollyoaks had an average of 11.5 violent scenes per hour in 2013, up from 2.1 in 2002, while EastEnders fell from 6.1 per hour in 2002 to 2.1 in 2013.

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