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Head of Drama Commissioning

  • UKTV Media Ltd
  • London, UK
  • 24/08/2023

Job Description


We have an exciting opportunity for a Head of Drama to join the Commissioning team. 

The head of drama is a key member of the commissioning team, responsible for shaping the commissioning strategy. This role requires a high-profile industry figure who can clearly message our strategic needs and who will be the lead point of contact for producers, agents and writers. 

They will excel at leadership, with a proven track record of delivering successful shows and managing and developing a high-performance team and they will be an ambassador for the commissioning team both internally and externally. Excellent relationships with talent, agents and producers will allow us to continue to develop popular and award-winning shows that enhance the reputation of UKTV. 

In this role you will get to: 
  • Set the strategy for UKTV’s scripted content for linear and non-linear output, alongside the director of commissioning
  • Lead the creative process for scripted content, collaborating with world-class producers and writers on fresh and eye-catching ideas that are returnable 
  • Work alongside the BLA scripted lead helping to shape deals for scripted content
  • Oversee the successful delivery of a wide range of shows including TV series, specials, and potentially shortform, podcast and YT content
  • Manage the scripted team and support and mentor junior members of the commissioning team
  • Lead on existing initiatives that drive forward our D&I and ‘green’ ambitions, and develop fresh initiatives 
  • Play a leading role in UKTV’s commissioning team and manage relationships with, and collaborate with internal stakeholders 
  • Represent UKTV in public forums, both at home and on the international stage 

We are looking for someone who has:
  • An infectious passion for scripted content
  • Excellent leadership skills and experience of running a successful team 
  • A proven track record in developing hit, returning drama series 
  • A thorough understanding of funding models and the budgeting of scripted series 
  • Extensive relationships with talent, agents, writers and producers
  • A clear and strategic understanding of the marketplace and current trends in scripted content 
  • Evidence of relationships with international broadcasters and distributors 
  • Exceptional communication skills 
  • The ability to flex across scripted comedy and provide leadership and support to the scripted comedy commissioning editor 
  • A proven track record in building excellent partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders 

Who you are:

A leading industry figure with: 
  • A track record in delivering quality drama
  • Experience of and ability to develop and attract new and established, on-screen talent 
  • A deep knowledge of content and market competition 
  • A demonstrable knowledge of the commissioning strategy of key competitors 
  • An understanding of the rights picture and of the necessity of leveraging maximum value from rights ownership 
  • Excellent organisation skills and experience in juggling multiple projects
  • A thorough understanding of both BBC editorial policy and OFCOM Guidelines and the overall regulatory framework in which content creation operates
  • Knowledge of legal factors, contractual agreements, and corporate agreements as they affect production
  • An understanding of agreements with talent unions
  • Knowledge of PACT arrangements
  • A genuine passion for TV

Personal Attributes/Competencies:
  • You are a creative 
  • You are a passionate advocate of scripted content 
  • You have outstanding editorial judgement
  • You inspire a high level of trust from everyone you work with 
  • You are highly self-motivated and can work with minimum supervision but understand the vital importance of sharing relevant information with key people in a timely way
  • You are a committed team player 
  • You have outstanding communication skills - able to relay contentious decisions with tact and diplomacy 
  • You are analytical and able to anticipate problems and deliver smart solutions

At UKTV, we are working in a hybrid environment with a mixture of home and office working. Getting together in the office as a team and a company gives colleagues an opportunity to build and maintain great relationships, encourages our culture of collaboration and creativity while recognising that colleagues need to have a healthy and happy work-life balance. You’ll agree with your manager the split of time you spend in the office or at home based on the role that you do, how often you come together as a team and your personal preference. 

Diversity & Inclusion Commitment
At UKTV, our inclusion vision is to truly represent society in our workforce and on-screen, and create a culture of fairness and respect where we champion difference so that every person feels included and empowered to do their best work. We are committed to ensuring a level playing field at UKTV where all employees and job applicants are given equal opportunity, and that we have diverse voices at the table in everything we do. We welcome applications from everyone and we want UKTV to be a place where you can be your authentic self, give your best and develop your career free from discrimination of any kind.

Key Responsibilities

  • Develop and oversee a broad slate of original scripted content as directed by the director of commissioning
  • Work with a wide variety of suppliers to ensure an excellent and diverse pipeline of ideas
  • Ensure that ideas are managed with the appropriate care and organisation by using the correct commissioning systems and processes 
  • Oversee the delivery of fully compliant content in accordance with the agreed editorial specification, regulatory frameworks  and approved budgets
  • Work collaboratively and closely with the UKTV’s LBA and production management teams
  • Lead a high performing team providing clear direction and developing their careers
  • Communicate with clarity and speed both internally and externally 
  • Spot emerging trends, fresh talent and new  ways in which audiences are engaging with scripted content 
  • Develop a keen understanding of opportunities on all platforms to deliver original content on linear, Play, Social, You Tube, Podcast etc
  • Represent UKTV at TV festivals and events and on panels and juries

About UKTV

UKTV has been at the forefront of branded television for over 30 years, entertaining the nation with programmes they love. Its leading brands - Dave, Gold, W, Drama, Alibi, Eden and Yesterday - span comedy, entertainment, natural history, factual and drama, and are delivered to audiences through UKTV Play, Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, Freesat and Amazon Fire. The broadcaster is a significant investor in British creativity and is committed to working with new and established writers, directors and programme-makers.

UKTV is part of BBC Studios, the UK's most-awarded production company, a world-class distributor with international branded services, and a commercial subsidiary of the world's leading public service broadcaster, the BBC.