Rising Costs Reshape UK Comedy Budgets, Says BBC Studios’ Executive

The British comedy scene is experiencing a significant transformation, reshaping the way comedy shows are produced and perceived, as budgets for these shows edge closer to those of dramas, according to insights shared by a BBC Exec. at the Edinburgh TV Festival.

BBC Studios Comedy head, Josh Cole, highlighted the rising costs of producing comedy content, noting that budgets are now more in line with those traditionally associated with dramas rather than lighter entertainment.

This shift has been influenced by inflation and has led to challenges for smaller, low-budget comedy productions.

Cole stated, “Comedy has become more expensive over the past few years… Comedy was always closer to an entertainment budget and now it’s closer to a drama budget.”

He emphasized that this change has blurred the traditional distinction between comedy and drama budgets. Which is compounded by inflation, limiting the financial flexibility for creating comedy content.

Rising Costs Reshape UK Comedy Budgets, Says BBC Studios' Executive

While the success of shows like Amazon Prime’s Fleabag has prompted a trend towards more dramatic elements in comedy, Cole stressed the importance of retaining the essence of comedy, making people laugh. He noted that some recent comedy offerings may have taken themselves too seriously, straying from the primary goal of humor.

According to Deadline, the comparison to Fleabag and its distinctive humor underscores the impact it has had on the comedy landscape. As the genre evolves, panelists at the festival, including Tanya Qureshi from BBC and Nana Hughes from ITV, discussed the evolving nature of comedy consumption and its impact on creative choices.

The changing financial dynamics, evolving comedic content, and shifting audience preferences collectively signal a new era for British comedy, urging industry players to strike a balance between humor and changing cultural sensitivities.

Joanne Wells

Joanne Wells is a media journalist for ScreenNearYou. She reports on the inside conversations in Hollywood. Also, she loves pizza!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. (required)