Some New Looks at BBCA


Garth Ancier’s immediate impact on BBC America already can be seen in small things.

Like the channel logo “bug” that stays on screen during shows. It’s now smaller than it was and is in the lower right corner. “It was irritating the heck out of me that it was scrolled on top of people’s faces on the top of the screen for so long,” Ancier said Monday, after about a month as president of BBC Worldwide America and a few days ahead of the 54 million-home channel’s upfront presentation.

BBCA’s upfront will emphasize themed 8 p.m.-10 p.m. primetime blocks, such as “Murder Monday” and “Wicked Wednesday,” featuring scripted thrillers and sexy soaps, respectively. (Examples of Wednesday fare: current staple Footballers Wive$ and newcomer Hotel Babylon).

It’s added to the BBC World News coverage it shows mornings and evenings and will strip a British primetime soap, Hollyoaks, weeknights at 10 p.m. While not well known in this country, it’s targeted at younger audiences with an attractive cast portraying suburban college kids. “This is a bet on the success of a show that’s done very well in Britain and was relaunched last year with a fresh cast and new story lines. It’s done very well on [U.K.] Channel 4 and why not take advantage of that?” Ancier said.

Other recent changes including pushing back the half-hour evening news program to 7 p.m. from 6 p.m. and pushing ahead the primetime programming to 8 p.m. from 9 p.m., Ancier said.