Why The Fades and Doctor Who Confidential were cancelled

News Andrew Blair
24 Aug 2012 - 09:31

BBC Three Controller Zai Bennett has been chatting about the reasons The Fades and Doctor Who Confidential are no more…

We know we weren’t alone in wishing that The Fades’  recent BAFTA win would reopen a window for the show’s possible renewal, but according to BBC Three controller Zai Bennett, it’s not to be.

The reason? In addition to the 15% pro rata cuts to the channel’s budget, it’s a question of viewer age.

Speaking at the Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, Bennett explained that his vision for BBC Three is as a home for new talent appealing to 16-34 year olds. The Fades, though popular with an older audience, failed to impress the coveted Young Adult demographic, and so it had to go.

Unless another channel picks it up then, The Fades is not due to return. Being Human, on the other hand, continues to make an impression with the target audience, and will be back on BBC Three for its fifth season early next year.

Pre-watershed content, drama, and sensationalistic factual programming have been phased out on BBC Three, and the search for an identity as a home of novel programming was part of the decision to axe Doctor Who Confidential. After six series, it was also felt that there were few new avenues for the making-of show to explore.

Bennett expressed hope that BBC Three’s breadth of comedy and focus on more serious factual content (such as recent documentary series Our War) will provide critical acclaim and an adjustment of public perception for the channel. 

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