How the BBC supports TV talent


Two data visualisations show the support network on-screen and off

29th September 2015
By Cath Sleeman

What role does the BBC play in the creative sector? This is one of many questions asked in the Government's public consultation document on the BBC, set to shape the future of the institution.

In an effort to contribute towards this question, we recently created two interactive data visualisations. The first, below, shows how the BBC supports top on-screen talent, by tracking appearances on the BBC by BAFTA nominees (from the on-screen award categories; more detail on the method here). It shows that, in 2014, 26 per cent of all primetime drama (in minutes) included at least one BAFTA nominee; and that in that year, 61 per cent of all nominees (from the last 25 years) made at least one appearance on the BBC. Click the arrows to explore more of the data (requires a modern browser, such as Chrome).

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A second data visualisation describes the network of top off-screen talent supported by the BBC, such as writers and directors (more detail here). It shows that, among all programmes shown on the BBC in 2013 and 2014, just under a third of these individuals worked on more than one programme. This tendency creates connections between programmes, and around three-quarters of programmes are connected to a single central cluster within the network. The network can encourage the flow of ideas and skills, and may help to foster more collaboration between contributors. This 'unseen network' is a form of infrastructure that should be recognised when considering the BBC's role within the creative sector.

A longer version of this article was originally published by Nesta


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