BBC to Launch Multiplatform Interactive TV Soap Opera for Teens, "The Cut"

--Is Inviting Viewers to Help Shape the Show's Storyline

The BBC announced Thursday that BBC Switch, a BBC brand devoted to multiplatform content for teenagers (its offerings include programming blocks on BBC Two and Radio One, as well as an online portal), has started production of a new multiplatform interactive TV soap opera called "The Cut." The show, which is slated to launch later this year, will offer five-minute episodes on, as well as a weekly omnibus edition on BBC Two. According to the BBC, the show was developed by BBC Switch and "EastEnders" writer, Al Smith, in collaboration with "KateModern" producer, Pete Gibbons, and director, Sarah Walker. It will be shot on tapeless cameras and edited in-house, as part of what the BBC describes as "an efficient digital production process allowing capture and broadcast to be just a few weeks apart." "This series reflects the way many young people want to consume content," Geoffrey Goodwin, head of BBC Switch, said in a prepared statement. "We've united top British writing talent with the freshest and newest interactive ideas to make appointment-to-view content for soap-loving British teens. The story is fast-paced and relevant to young audiences, with secret crushes, family dramas and plenty of intrigue. The writing is quick, witty, and knowing, rich with pop-culture references and with storylines suggested by teens themselves."

According to the BBC, "The Cut's" Web site will seek ongoing "feedback and ideas" from its teen audience--including storyline suggestions--in order to keep the show topical and relevant. BBC Switch's online magazine, Slink, is already inviting viewers to help shape the show by submitting their storyline ideas through an online form: "The Slink team have been busy beavering away on new drama, 'The Cut,' for BBC Switch," an announcement on Slink's Web site reads. "We've been writing, helping out on set and generally immersing ourselves...It would be ace if you could get involved too. We want to know the kind of storylines you'd really like to see in a soap, are you interested in smoochy stuff, or do you prefer more family drama? What about issues like anorexia, bullying and relationships? What are the most important issues in your life that you'd like to see reflected in a drama? No idea is too silly or too small! Fill in the form on the right to send us your ideas for storylines for 'The Cut.'" The BBC also says that, once the show debuts, it plans to cast a new character and that audiences will have the opportunity to be involved in this process.