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BBC Studios leads the industry in bringing 'gamechanging' content around the world

Apr 28, 2022

88% of shows featuring in the BFI 100 BBC Television Gamechangers list are produced or distributed by BBC Studios

As the UK’s British Film Institute (BFI) announces the ‘BFI 100 BBC Television Gamechangers’ ( mark the BBC’s centenary, it confirms BBC Studios as the leading UK media company to produce and distribute distinctive, innovative content to the rest of the world.

Around nine of the ten ‘gamechanging programmes’ identified in the list were either produced by the BBC’s inhouse production teams over the years (which subsequently merged with BBC Worldwide to become BBC Studios in 2018), or have been exported internationally by BBC Studios as tape sales or formats.

From pioneering Natural History shows The Blue Planet and Life on Earth, to impactful dramas Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit and I May Destroy You, from ground-breaking comedy The Young Ones and The Office to masterful entertainment shows The Morecombe And Wise Show and Strictly Come Dancing, from influential drama strand Play for Today and the landmark arts and culture series Civilisation, to long-running successful strands including Panorama, Horizon, Doctor Who and EastEnders – BBC Studios distributes the most genre-defining content of the last seven decades.

The BBC began distributing its content globally in the late 1950s, with a single business manager fulfilling the role.  Today BBC Studios is a multi-award-winning global distributor-producer with offices in 20 markets, producing around 2,000 hours of content a year and offering an extensive catalogue of over 42,000 hours. It is the UK’s most awarded producer and most commissioned creator of new content and has been recognised as the biggest distributor of TV content outside of Hollywood and Bollywood.

Tom Fussell, CEO of BBC Studios, says: “The BFI has compiled an extraordinary list of gamechanging programmes, the vast majority of which BBC Studios has been able to bring to the world, and re-create in some markets.  As the BBC celebrates 100 years, BBC Studios is proud of our BBC heritage in supporting the Corporation and showcasing the best of British creativity to audiences around the globe.  They have enabled us to be at the forefront of content innovation and will continue to distinguish us in a market where content ownership and creation is everything.”

The longevity of some of these titles – including Sir David Attenborough’s genre-defining natural history series Life On Earth (1979) which is estimated to have been watched by half a billion people globally and the iconic Absolutely Fabulous (1992) which continues to be a hit around the world – demonstrates the power of impactful content to continue thrilling audiences internationally for decades.

Other key BBC Studios titles that featured in the BFI BBC Television Gamechangers list include:

  • Dancing With The Stars (format of British show Strictly Come Dancing) – has been licensed to 60 countries with 420 seasons and over 4,000 episodes worldwide. In the U.S., it celebrated 30 seasons in 2021 and has been honoured with 18 Emmy Awards.
  • Doctor Who – the world’s longest running Science Fiction series, which set a Guinness World Record in 2013 when the 50th anniversary episode simulcast across 94 countries in 15 languages.
  • Love Productions’ The Great British Bake Off – over 130 seasons, 1,500 episodes worldwide (excluding spin offs) and licensed to 35 countries.
  • The Blue Planet – award-winning series from 2001, the first-ever series on the natural history of the world’s oceans. A follow up series in 2017 has received 300m album plays on Ten Cent Video in China alone. 
  • The Office – first on air 20 years ago, but in 2020 it was the most-streamed show in the US (Netflix) with 57.13bn minutes watched.


For more information, please contact: Laura Dumbrell, Head of Communications APAC, BBC Studios