Reposted from Broadcast
Every time Skillset’s biennial census emerges, the industry professes shock and disappointment at the figures. July’s report, showing a steep decline in ethnic diversity, was no exception.
However, these appalling stats have to do more than hit the headlines every two years and make people feel briefly uncomfortable; they must act as a catalyst for long-term change. There also has to be a commitment to address issues such as social mobility, the elephant in the room. This week, Channel 4 did just that with a roundtable examining how broadcasting can open its doors to those facing networking, information or financial barriers to entry. Chaired by diversity executive Baroness Oona King, it brought together 40 individuals who appeared to have a new willingness to tackle diversity. They included C4 chief executive David Abraham, BBC director of TV Danny Cohen, indie chief execs and the heads of Skillset, Creative England and the BFI, plus government tsar for social mobility Alan Milburn, whose 2012 report identified the media as having a greater degree of social exclusion than any other sector.
King urged everyone to think about ideas to level the playing field. We heard about those already doing that, from C4’s 4Talent scheme, which placed 140 people in paid work placements last year, to Shine’s The Hatch, a company run by young people from diverse backgrounds who benefit from training, mentoring and, ideally, the opportunity to get commissions or jobs in TV. There was also Ginger Productions’ scheme offering work to female prisoners and Creative Skillset’s Trainee Finder, which aims to scale up existing opportunities for new talent. All were inspiring, but they highlighted the central issues: diversity schemes are disparate and ad hoc; there are lessons to learn that aren’t being widely shared; and real change can only come about when people work towards a common goal – something Milburn urged the industry to address as a priority.
Broadcaster Sandi Toksvig has lamented the lack of female TV personalities on quiz shows, saying that programmes such as Mock the Week are dominated by men, who are more prepared to be aggressive.
Toksvig, a BBC Radio 4 regular who starred in children's shows including ITV's Number 73 during the 1980s, also asked why female broadcasters were not hosting chat shows.
"I do a show on Channel 4 called '1001 Things You Should Know', and the reason I like it is because it's not remotely aggressive," she told the Radio Times. "I would like to see more female quiz-show hosts on TV because they set a different tone. Women aren't as used to pushing themselves forward verbally or physically. So on a quiz show like Mock the Week you don't get very many female panellists because the environment doesn't lend itself to us."
Asked why there weren't more female quiz hosts on TV, Toksvig said: "There's no reason for it because you have the answers right in front of you. All you need to do is read and I have been doing that since I was four years old. It's the same as chat shows – where are the women? It is just a conversation: women are great at those. With the current crop of hosts it tends to become more about them, so you rarely find out anything about the guest."
Broadcasting executives have been accused for years of perpetuating a gender imbalance that marginalises women. Attempting to address this, the BBC recently appointed Mishal Husain as a second female presenter on Radio 4's Today programme. And the former Radio 4 newsreader Charlotte Green was named as BBC Radio 5 Live's new voice of Saturday afternoon football classified results.
Reposted from Broadcast Magazine
The number of women working in television, particularly the indie sector, has increased over the past three years – but black, Asian and ethnic minority numbers have fallen. These figures have been revealed as part of Creative Skillset’s Employment Census, which gathered detailed information on the creative industries’ workforce between 2009 and 2012.
The number of women working in the television industry has increased from 53,750 in 2009 to 69,590 in 2012, meaning they now represent 36% of the total workforce of 50,600. There were notable rises in the indie sector, where women make up 48% of the workforce, compared to 30% three years ago. There was a slight rise among the terrestrial broadcasters – increasing from 48% to 49%, but it has fallen from 36% to 33% among cable and satellite broadcasters. The number of women in production has rocketed from 39% to 50%, and in creative development, from 25% to 46%. Elsewhere, women now make up 56% of the legal jobs and 33% of the strategic management roles – up from 22% in 2009. However, representation among black, Asian and minority ethnic groups (BAME) has fallen from 12,250 in 2009 to 10,300 in 2012. This represents 5.4% of the industry, compared to 6.7% in 2009 and 7.4% in 2006. While numbers have risen slightly within the terrestrial broadcasters, from 9.3% to 9.5%, it has fallen from 12.3% to 9.1% in the pay-TV sector and from 7% to 5% among indies.
The total number of people working in the creative industries has risen from 188,150 to 192,200 in the past three years, despite the tough economic climate. There has been a 6% rise within terrestrial broadcasters, from 15,750 to 16,650, but a drop of 400 within the pay-TV world to 12,300 and a small drop from 21,700 to 21,650 within indies. Freelancers now make up 39% of the television business, a significant jump since 2009. There are now 20,000 TV freelancers – up from 13,900 in 2009. Dinah Caine, chief executive of Creative Skillset, said: “This Census forms just one part of a wider programme of research enabling us to understand the needs of the industries to address key skills gaps and shortages that exist. We will be sharing the results of the Census on 12 July and what it means for our sectors going forward.”
Check out the teaser for Hoorah, a short film starring and directed by Brit Aml Ameen.
A discharged military veteran arrives home to discover his wife and best friend murdered only to realize the crime may not have been random.
The short also stars Freya Berry and Jack Fox and is a collaboration between Ameen’s company AmeenDream Entertainment and Bold Turtle Productions.
Stay tuned to SceneTV for more info.
Congrats to all involved in Youngers – the hit E4 youth drama has be recomissioned for a second series and will return to our screens in 2014 for 8 more episodes.
Reposted from Digital Spy
Youngers - written by Levi David Addai - stars Calvin Demba, Ade Oyefeso and Shavani Seth as a group of friends negotiating their way through teenage life and London's music scene. Popular YouTube stars Mandem on the Wall will also return for the second series, which will shoot in South London from November.
"Youngers is such a fresh, vivid and original take on teen life," said Sophie Gardiner – Commissioning Editor for Channel 4 Drama. "I'm thrilled that it connected with the E4 audience in the way it did – with over half of viewers aged between 10 and 24 years old. I'm delighted that Jay, Yemi and Davina will be back for a second series."
Executive Producer Luke Alkin added: "The critical reaction to Youngers has been fantastic. Series 1 was loved by its young audience so we're absolutely delighted to be bringing it back again."
What did you think of the first series? Are you glad it's coming back? Let us know your thoughts at @Scene_TV
Reposted from The Guardian
Fewer than one in five presenters at major broadcasters over the age of 50 are women, a new study reveals.
Research compiled from figures taken from the main UK broadcasters found that just 18% of presenters over 50 are women. BBC television and radio, Sky, ITN and Channel 5 combined have just 26 women over 50 working as regular on-air presenters out of a total of 481 presenters.
Overall, women over 50 make up just 5% of on-screen presenters of all ages and both sexes and 7% of the workforce, both on and off screen.
Senior executives at the BBC, ITV, ITN, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky are to meet members of the Older Women's Commission on Thursday to discuss what can be done to end such discrimination.
Harriet Harman, Labour's deputy and the shadow culture secretary, accused the TV industry of ageism and sexism. "It really is a black hole … Broadcasters behave as though the viewing public have to be protected from the sight of an older woman and that's just rude. There is nothing wrong with being an older woman.
"We've got to fight back against this sense that older women are less valuable, whereas men accumulate wisdom, authority and experience as they age."
Harman launched the commission last year to consider the experience of older women with a focus on three main areas: women in the workplace, carers and women in public life.
This latter group is chaired by Miriam O'Reilly, former presenter of the BBC's Countryfile, who won a landmark ageism case against the BBC two years ago.
She told the Guardian: "There is still ageism in TV. We need to get to a position where women are not being shown the door simply because of their age and it is just as unacceptable to drop someone because of age as it is for their ethnicity."
To read the rest of the article, click here.
Over the last week, broadcasters have announced new online strategies that challenge the traditional way in which new series and content are launched and consumed by their viewers. Car Share, a new six part comedy starring Peter Kay will be shown in full on iPlayer before airing on BBC1. This is part of the Beebs 12 month trial to launch up to 40 hours of programming on iPlayer. In addition to this, new ITV2 sitcom Plebs is ITV's first original commission to premiere online ahead of its linear broadcast. People have the opportunity to buy and view the series online for 99p. Now, the advantage of these strategies is that they appeal to audiences who enjoy consuming content in their own time and in bulk instead of waiting for instalments. Another advantage from the broadcaster's point of view is that they are able generate buzz ahead of the linear TX; the content will be typically seen by the online and social media savvy, who are likely to spread the word about the content. It also allows the broadcasters to gauge the general response which might have an impact on their strategy for the programme going forward.
In the build-up to September’s annual showpiece, BUFF Enterprises has announced its’ biggest line-up of film programming in 8 years with the launch of its’ inaugural BUFF Spring Season in conjunction with Genesis, East London’s biggest independently-run cinema . The new season marks the 1st time that audiences will be able to attend box office screenings organised by the British Urban Film Festival which, since 2005, has made all of its’ screenings available – free without charge. The headline movie, on Thursday 2 May, sees the 1st UK showing of ‘It’s a Lot ’, a comedy written, directed by and starring Femi Oyeniran who first came to prominence in ‘Kidulthood’, ‘Adulthood’ and ‘Anuvahood’. All 5 box-office events (from 4 April – 30 May) will be presented by entertainment journalist Akosua Annobil.
The season officially starts on Good Friday with the launch of ‘Film Friday’, in conjunction with the online webcaster Grime Daily. Actor and director Aml Ameen will present 6 weekly film offerings (including the award-winning short ‘Physical Education’ by Rohan Green) which viewers can watch online.
BUFF Spring Season also marks the return of ‘BUFF Presents…’ on 6 April in conjunction with Community Channel. Viewers will be able to watch a weekend of new film programming from the BUFF archive on Sky Digital, Virgin Media and the BBC i-player (the latter, for up to 7 days after broadcast).
Reposted from Broadcast
Simon Cowell’s Syco TV has bypassed the likes of ITV and headed to YouTube to kick off his latest talent quest – which will be co-produced with Maverick Television.
The production company has teamed up with Google’s online video platform to launch channel The You Generation.
It will be co-produced with All3Media-owned indie Maverick, responsible for a series of multiplatform innovations around shows including Embarassing Bodies: Live From The Clinic. The project, which cements Cowell’s admiration for YouTube, will encourage users around the world to upload audition tapes, via video-calling service Skype, showcasing a variety of talents. Specifically, The You Generation is on the hunt for singers, presenters, chefs and make-up artists. It will run for 12 months, encompassing 26 countries and 15 languages.
"The You Generation is the first global audition process, giving people the chance to show off their unique skills and win amazing prizes – simply by uploading a video,” Syco said in a statement.
Maverick’s digtial creative director Dan Jones said: “Maverick are delighted to be the co-production partner for The You Generation, and are hugely excited to be working with Syco Entertainment on something that could be game-changing for YouTube.”
It is not clear whether YouTube is helping fund the channel, but it could signal a sea change in the way Cowell operates.