Sean Penn Drama ‘The First’ Was ‘Unrelatable’ to British Audiences, Channel 4 Exec Says

Variety | 8/22/2019 | Robert Mitchell
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Channel 4’s director of programs Ian Katz says the British broadcaster has learned a good lesson from the failure last year of its big-budget Hulu co-production “The First” to resonate with U.K. audiences.

Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Katz described the Sean Penn-starring drama about a mission to Mars as a “really classy piece of work with a big star and Hollywood production values.” But he said the drama was “unrelatable” to a British audience.

Moment - Lots - Broadcasters - Way - Drama

“It was possibly born of a moment where lots of British broadcasters were thinking that the way we can compete in this very challenging drama market is to co-produce with big American broadcasters and streamers,” Katz said. That “was probably an example of a show where that desire to produce something really glossy got in the way of thinking about what really connected with a British audience.”

In contrast, he said that Channel 4 is now looking across the U.K. “for stories that are profoundly locally resonant but that have a universality...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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