BBC to Premiere Pussy Riot Doc, Two Others on VOD in Latest Digital Test

4:05 AM PST 09/27/2013 by Georg Szalai
"Pussy Riot - A Punk Prayer"

"This is a bold experiment," says the editor of BBC Four's "Storyville" series.

LONDON -- BBC Four television network announced Friday that its Storyville documentary series will premiere three docs on the BBC iPlayer, the U.K. public broadcaster's VOD service, before airing them on its linear channel.

The BBC's latest digital experiment will be a first for it in the documentary field. BBC Three earlier this year announced that it would make a number of comedies available on the iPlayer before their TV air dates. 

Collectively known as the Modern Outlaws Season, the Storyville documentaries are Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer; Smash And Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers; and The Great Hip-Hop Hoax.

They will all premiere on BBC iPlayer on Saturday, Oct. 12. On the linear channel, they will air starting Monday, Oct. 21.

"This is a bold experiment," said Nick Fraser, series editor of Storyville. "Storyville has been doing very well on BBC iPlayer, and we want to see how our films do when they are premiered there. It's another step on the way to making documentaries freely available in any medium through the BBC."

Said Victoria Jaye, head of TV content, BBC iPlayer: "We want to increase their exposure and attract audiences who might miss them in the schedule. This forms part of our BBC iPlayer trial to premiere up to 40 hours of programs across the service. And we’re excited to see how the audience [responds] to us more creatively harnessing BBC iPlayer to complement how they discover our programs."

The Pussy Riot film was an official selection of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, where it received the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Punk Spirit.

The latest season of Storyville will include four other documentaries: Hotel Folly -- Folie a Deux; The Spy Who Went Into the Cold -- Kim Philby, Soviet Super Spy; Black Fish; and Fame in China.

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai

comments powered by Disqus