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June 20, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Jane Tranter

BBC Worldwide, the commercial (for profit) arm of the British public broadcaster, is increasing its incursion into U.S. television through its BBC Worldwide Productions, the London Financial Times reported today (Monday). Jane Tranter, who was appointed to run the production company, told the FT that it will be focusing on U.S. cable networks rather than broadcast outlets despite its success with such shows as ABC’s Dancing with the Stars a transmutation of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. “There’s more editorial simpatico between the BBC and cable scripted [programming] than there is with broadcast network [programming].” She said she has 20 scripted shows in development and 17 unscripted ones. Pointing out that she has changed the direction of BBC Worldwide Productions since the departure of her predecessor, Paul Telegdy, Tranter said, “Paul didn’t run a production company … he ran a sales and reformatting agency. … I started a production company around what Paul had already built.” She also pointed out that no money received from British license-fee payers will go to cover the costs of her company’s operations. “Every cup that we drink from is cleared and paid for by what we do here,” she said. As for persistent rumors that the BBC intends to sell off BBC Worldwide, she observed, “I don’t think that will happen. There’s been talk of it and it would be a very good instant cash raiser for the BBC if it needed it. But BBC Worldwide is also a consistent cash raiser year on year.”