Sky seeks next ‘Happy Valley’ as content boss Jay Bennett teases less-is-more approach

Seeking inspiration from the sky good luckProgramming boss Jay Bennett says the pay-TV giant is taking a ‘less is more’ approach to original content.

Speaking at a Broadcasting Press Guild event this morning, Original Drama director Megan Livers said conversations are underway with producers about the show, which has “complex, dysfunctional, flawed, human and relatable characters with an investigative spine at the center.” happy valley Star Sarah Lancashire’s Katherine Cowde.

He replied “probably yes” when asked if the next Big Sky drama could be helmed by a Coud-esque figure, and the BBC One/AMC+ sensation spoke the same way. Places an elderly woman front and center in the story. A similar show, Kate Winslet-starring of Easttown, Launched by Sky and HBO in 2021 to critical acclaim.

“There’s always a trend to try new shows and reach new audiences, but older women watch a lot of TV,” she added. “We are talking to the producers about this.”

Happy Valley ended last night with 7.5 million overnight viewers, the highest-rated show of the year so far, which also drew critical acclaim for Lancashire’s and especially co-star James Norton’s performance. Writer Sally Wainwright says the show, which debuted in 2015, will definitely end with a third season.

Sky was presenting a wealth of its new drama, comedy and factual shows at the event in central London, including Lily Allen-starring favourites. dream land From Sharon Horgan, Nick Love A city called Malis and Johnny Flynn-starring Lovers.

Having greenlit 200 originals and increased content investment to £500M ($601M) in 2022, Sky UK and Ireland managing director of content Bennett said the organization was taking a “less, better” approach to the shows it now commissions and produces. Of these 200 originals, only 20 were near high-end scripts, he asserted.

“We want to make sure that when we have something we put it in front of customers in a loud, meaningful way,” he adds. “The number 200 was a glittering status but when you take into account the individual art documentaries it can be built on and you get there very quickly.”

A “less, bigger is better” approach has fueled BBC director-general Tim Davey’s strategy since taking the reins of the UK’s biggest public broadcaster.

As the world enters recession and the TV industry feels the pinch, Livers insists that budgets for Sky’s scripted series are not being cut and “the ambition and scale remain.”

He agreed with Bennett about “less, bigger, better” and added: “We’re in a moment where [buyers] Being a bit more aware when they pick what to produce. We want our audience to say ‘oh there are great options’ rather than ‘there’s a lot of filler’. Competition eighteen months ago [in drama production] It was really violent but it seems to be normalizing a bit.”

As shown House of the Dragon And our end, Those that are co-produced with HBO remain “very expensive,” Livers added, with the latter coming in at around the $25M per episode mark.

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