Boom In Internet-Only Drama Series
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A growing number of television writers are creating programmes solely for the internet, as audiences look for alternative sources of drama.
Girl Number 9 tells the story of a suspected serial killer. But it isn't your average prime time TV drama.

It's never even been shown on television. Six episodes were made, each lasting just five minutes, just for the internet.

Director Dan Turner said: "It gives you enormous freedom, you just make the show and put it up there and people can judge it.

"There's no gatekeepers out there to tell you what you can and can't do, and creatively that's amazing."

Whilst you can watch nearly anything on the internet, only a small proportion of television programmes are watched online.

But that figure is growing dramatically. Last year alone we viewed an estimated 65 billion videos on the internet.

However, media commentator Steve Hewlett says we're unlikely to be switching off our televisions any time soon.

"There's no evidence that I can see that quality TV content is less in demand than it was previously," he said.

"If anything, the indications are that TV viewing is rising and not falling. Most internet activity is complementary and additional."

Viral internet hit Svengali follows a hapless band manager trying to secure a record deal.

100,000 people have watched the six episodes that have been made. The next episode is being filmed in London today.

It's low-budget and part-improvised. None of the actors were paid.

Alan McGee, the man who signed Oasis, plays himself in the series. He thinks the short format has helped the programme's popularity.

He said: "These virals are five minutes long, anybody can watch them. And if they're good, people keep watching them."

Actor Jon Owen, who wrote Svengali, said: "I think we're at the big bang of the internet. In the early days of television and radio, people couldn't quite work out how to make money in both, and it's the same on the internet.

"People haven't quite worked out how to make money yet. It's like the Wild West, which is great."

The series has been so successful online that Owen is in talks to create a longer version for television.

 

   Source: http://www.sky.com    Author: Julie-Anna Needham  
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