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Drama Wars 2013: BBC vs ITV

By all accounts, 2012 was a pretty stellar year for drama output from the BBC and ITV. Downton Abbey, Sherlock, Endeavour, DCI Banks, Scott and Bailey, Call the Midwife and Upstairs Downstairs to name a few. In 2013, it only gets better as both the BBC and ITV are getting ready to rumble for drama supremacy on the telly.

Just last week, BBC Controller of Drama, Ben Stephenson, announced several new drama series set to come our way in 2013 headed by What Remains, a state-of-the-nation whodunit in which the neighboring residents are the chief suspects in the apparent murder of a 30-year-old single woman found decomposed in the loft above her flat two years after her death and The Escape Artist, which follows a talented junior barrister who manages to get a notorious prime suspect acquitted in an horrific murder trial.

The BBC followed that announcement with the news that they have just commissioned three additional dramas, one of which will be written by best-selling author David Nicholls for Carnival Films, producer of that little hit, we call, Downton Abbey.

The 7.39, written by Nicholls, is a romantic drama that follows two lovers who meet on their daily commute to work.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, is based on the novel of the same name by Susanna Clarke. The 6-part series is set in England during the Napoleonic Wars and will be adapted for television by Peter Harness (Wallander).

Finally, Being Human creator/writer Toby Whithouse has written The Game, a Cold War thriller set in the world of 1970s espionage from BBC Wales.

Come back tomorrow for some news of new commissions on the ITV side of the ball. Everyone is already breathing again after the news of a fourth season of Downton Abbey being commissioned, but there is a lot more great drama coming your way from ITV in 2013. We’ll profile what they have in store on Wednesday.

Cheers.

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