If the BBC has been responsible for getting people interested in foreign language drama again, it has been crime dramas like The Killing and The Bridge (above) that have been the shows that have really kickstarted the trend. Those two dramas in particular have given BBC4 the confidence to transmit political drama Borgen and recent period war drama 1864, while other broadcasters like ITV, Channel 4 and Sky have jumped onto the foreign language bandwagon by purchasing series for their own channels. And now Channel 4 has announced that it will be rolling out an entire new channel dedicated to foreign-language drama later in the year. So what does this mean for crime drama fans?
Before I answer that question, let’s look at the proposition:
The new on-demand service, which has the working title 4World Drama, will be exclusively available in the UK via Channel 4’s new digital hub, All 4, which recently replaced 4oD.
The launch will capitalise on the growing demand for premium foreign-language drama from British viewers and the wide range of high quality international drama that has not yet been broadcast in the UK. More than 500 hours of drama will be exclusively available for box-set viewing on All 4, supported by advertising and sponsorship to be sold by Channel 4.
A selection of the best series from 4World Drama’s line-up will also be premiered on Channel 4’s free-to-air channel, More 4, within a dedicated slot.
So an online channel, with select series airing on Channel 4’s freeview spin-off, More4. So far so interesting.
In terms of crime drama, the potential is huge. In among the schedule for this new channel I’m expecting to see some crime drama from countries that haven’t yet made it to these shores. And because crime drama is such a banker in terms of ratings, I’m guessing this will play a large part in the channel’s new schedule.
Channel 4 also says the channel will include:
From Czech political thrillers to Belgian murder capers, Argentine family sagas to German cold war pieces… the most exciting storytelling in the world is finally coming together in one place.
As if we haven’t got enough to watch!