Sunday, 15 March 2009

BBC Cutbacks due to The Recession

A week ago I asked Will TV Cost Cuts Effect The Future of Doctor Who?

Today an article in The People claims Doctor Whos makers are told to cut back on expensive computer generated sci-fi scenes.

I was led to believe that computer graphics are cheap to produce, its sending the cast to Dubai that is expensive!

BBC cost cutting will effect most programs, but IMHO it won't be Doctor Who CGI that suffers, it will be expensive locations that get axed, but is this a bad thing?

Top BBC shows face cutbacks over credit crunch

EXCLUSIVE Shows thrill viewers.. but tough times are looming Soap studio sale Fewer stunts Cheaper effects on Dr Who Top Gear 's road trips curbed
By Marc Baker Marc.Baker@People.Co.Uk
Top shows in cluding EastEnders and Top Gear face savage cutbacks as the BBC struggles to cope with the credit crunch.

Corporation chiefs desperate to save millions of pounds have also ordered producers on Strictly Come Dancing and Doctor Who to slash spending.

Bosses at EastEnders have to make drastic cuts in the BBC1 soap's annual budget of about £20million. It means they must be prepared to: -STOP staging spectacular - and expensive - stunts such as explosions, blazes and chases in Albert Square.

Avoid shooting scenes on location - to save on hotel and catering bills for cast and crew.

Keep expense to a minimum when the BBC sells the EastEnders' set at Elstree. The People can reveal there are plans to move to Pinewood where a new set will have to be built for High Definition TV.

Even consider cutting back the number of weekly episodes from four to three.

Producers, actors and behind-the-scenes staff are stunned at the level of cutbacks hitting other shows as:

Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May face curbs on chasing all over the world in exotic motors with film crews in tow.

Doctor Who's makers are told to cut back on expensive computer generated sci-fi scenes.

Strictly Come Dancing producers are urged to review judges' fees before the start of a new series expected on BBC1 later this year.

EastEnders executive producer Diederick Santer told The People: "All these shows have been hit by production cuts.

"We have been told to save five per cent over five years. We are trying to save where we can."

Mr Santer, 38, added: "We hope talent won't suffer."

A bbc source said: "We will not have the budget for spectacular scenes in EastEnders. We will also be looking to cut back on many location shoots.

Taking cast members out of Albert Square costs money."

Insiders also fear the soap will lose one of its episodes.

EastEnders now goes out on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays - to challenge ITV's Corrie, which screens two episodes each Monday, one on Wednesday and two on Friday.

EastEnders star Patsy Palmer, 36 - who plays loudmouth Bianca - told The People: "These are scary times for TV. Many people think TV is indestructible but who knows what will happen next. Soon there will be none of us left."

The BBC will make money by selling up at Elstree, in Hertfordshire, where its flagship soap has been made since 1985 andwhere hospital drama Holby City is also filmed.

But it will have to pay for space at Pinewood and fork out for replacement EastEnders sets there.

The well-worn existing sets would not stand up to scrutiny in High Definition transmissions. A source said: "You would see every crack, chipboard flake and Blu-Tack solution. HD also shows that the set isn't built of real brick."

Further belt-tightening is expected at Strictly after judges Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and Arlene Phillips negotiated big pay rises last year alongside hosts Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly. TV and media expert Mark Borkowski said: "It is down to programme makers to be creative and rise to the challenge."

BBC1 communications manager spokesman Hayley Trent said: "Every programme has to make savings but viewers can be assured that every effort goes into making sure they are still exciting and high quality."

She said a decision has not yet been reached over a move of studio for East-Enders.

Today On BBC1/2* *Well that's one way of saving money


Small Change in the Attic

Home-owners sell off their loft insulation for pennies.


Song of Praise

Buskers, outside a shopping centre in Slough.


Lower Gear

Jeremy Clarkson races himself round the block on an electric moped. No wheelies!


Least Enders

A milk float ploughs into the Queen Vic leaving 52 dead and slashing the wage bill. But how long can Ricky survive alone in Walford?


Holby Village

Topical medical drama - tears and P45s all round as Holby City is downsized into a cottage hospital.


The Work Experience Kid

Sir Alan Sugar offers a school pupil the chance of a lifetime - making tea at his office for a whole day.


Half-Time of the Day

Gary Lineker presents highlights of all the Premiership's Golden Goal Instant Cash ceremonies.

10.27pm Closedown

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