Danny Cohen justifies Zen axe

Danny CohenNew BBC One controller Danny Cohen has justified his decision to axe the Italian crime drama Zen.

The Sunday evening drama was axed two months ago by Cohen in something of a surprising move given Zen had performed relatively well and had well received by critics. The producers of Zen are now looking for another broadcaster to take on the drama. Cohen came in for some criticisms over his discussion to axe the drama but in a speech to the Broadcasting Press Guild he justified his decision, explaining he felt there were too many detective programmes on television.

“You can’t keep on doing everything if you want to bring in new things. I felt that we risked having too many male detectives and arguably we have had maybe too much crime….Detectives and crime is the real staple of quite a lot on the BBC but also a huge amount of ITV drama … I want to broaden the palette a bit….I want to broaden the range and make sure we have got enough that is not detectives and crime.” – Danny Cohen

The BBC’s crime/detective dramas include Sherlock, Wallander, Luther, Inspector George Gently, Silent Witness and while Waking the Dead recently came to an end it’s giving a spin-off in the form of The Body Farm. So the BBC does have quite a few detective/crime related dramas across its range of channels. But does that mean new crime/detective dramas that are popular with audiences should be sacrificed on the basis the BBC has too many already?