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Smallscreen: TV drama is back

Television drama may be costly to make, but great offerings from both sides of the pond are giving reality shows some competition

By Peter Bazalgette   April 2010

It’s all over for television drama. Reality shows like The X Factor (ITV) and The Secret Millionaire (Channel 4) deliver more compelling storylines, cost far less to make and can be produced quickly, while telly fiction needs a minimum of two years from conception to screen. Who can afford to continue investing in primetime television drama? Well, that’s how this column was going to kick off. But the past few weeks have revealed a distinct pulse still beating in the body of screen fiction. It can find a viable audience if it’s clever enough—and it has been.

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