Speaker Piers Wenger - Scripted 2017

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November 7-8, 2017

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Speaker Piers Wenger

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Piers Wenger

Controller, Drama Commissioning


Piers Wenger was appointed Controller of BBC Drama in late 2016. Prior to this he was Head of Drama at Channel 4, and Head of Drama at BBC Wales. During his time as Head of Drama at BBC Wales, Piers was an executive producer on the hugely successful reboot of Doctor Who, where he cast Matt Smith into the lead role.

As a producer, Piers closely collaborated with actress and comedian Victoria Wood for over a decade on her dramatic projects. He produced her BAFTA and RTS award-winning dramatization of Nella Last's diary Housewife, 49; collaborated with her on Loving Miss Hatto, Wood's dramatization of the life of classical pianist Joyce Hatto; and co-executive produced Eric and Ernie, Peter Bowker's biopic of the young Morecambe and Wise, in which Wood also starred.

At Channel 4, Piers spear-headed the launch of a number of popular and award-winning drama series. In February 2015, Indian Summers, a period drama chronicling the last years of British imperial rule in India launched and recorded the highest overnight drama audience for a C4 drama in 20 years. No Offence, Paul Abbott's anarchic police procedural launched strongly later in the same year and won the Royal Television Society Award for best drama series. While Humans, Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley's sci-fi series co-produced with AMC, became a significant ratings hit, breaking the record set by Indian Summers earlier in the year. Many topical mini-series also featured strongly in C4's drama slate with Piers at the helm: from Tony Grisoni's BAFTA winning Southcliffe to Jack Thorne's National Treasure, starring Robbie Coltrane, Andrea Riseborough and Julie Walters, as well as Peter Kosminsky's The State, which tells the story of four radicalized Brits who travel to Syria to live as a part of Islamic state.

In his current role at the BBC, Piers is responsible for overseeing more than 450 hours of drama across the year. He has outlined his strategy for BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Three; he has appointed a new team of Commissioning Editors and a Head of Development; and he has overseen the delivery of numerous titles that will premiere in 2018, including McMafia - a co-production with AMC, A Very English Scandal by Russel T Davies, David Hare's Collateral starring Carey Mulligan and Black Earth Rising from the BAFTA-winning Hugo Blick. In 2017, Piers has commissioned Gunpowder written by Ronan Bennet and starring Kit Harington, A Suitable Boy adapted by Andrew Davies and The Three by Golden Globe winner Peter Straughan for BBC One. For BBC Two Piers has commissioned Trigonometry by Duncan Macmillan and Effie Woods, Andrew Haig’s The North Water, and Summer of Rockets by Stephen Poliakoff. The eight-part innovatively-shot Overshadowed has been commissioned by Piers for BBC Three.


Speaking at: Commissioners Roundtable

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