ViacomCBS UK Content Chief Ben Frow Blasts “Inherently Snobbish” British TV Industry

Frow recounted a conversation he had a couple of weeks ago with a production company, which said it only had someone junior who was from a BAME background and could not find anyone above that level. When the producer was told that it wouldn’t get the money, it found a more diverse assistant producer within a week. “I do believe if every broadcaster had a no diversity no commission policy what a difference would that make,” he added.

He reflected on a good of ratings year for Channel 5, thanks to a slew of what he called “warm, fuzzy” shows that have attracted viewers during lockdown, such as Our Yorkshire Farm, which were initially commissioned “as a rebellion against Brexit” but appealed to viewers as respite from coronavirus.

He also highlighted the forthcoming remake of All Creatures Great And Small as an example of how much Channel 5 has changed. The PBS co-production, which is likely to return for a second season[6], premieres on September 1 in the UK and is made by Colin Callender’s Playground.

In a fast-paced session, Frow also said he wants to do more property shows next year in response to people moving to the country due to coronavirus and an Anne Boleyn drama, as well as making Channel 5 “less safe.”

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  2. ^ Ben Frow (
  3. ^ Edinburgh TV Festival (
  4. ^ David Olusoga delivered a blistering MacTaggart Lecture (
  5. ^ recently-announced ViacomCBS initiatives (
  6. ^ likely to return for a second season (
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