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Jane Tranter
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Jane Tranter

Jane Tranter (born March 17, 1963 in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, UK) is a British television drama executive, who as of August 2005 is currently the Head of Drama at BBC Television. This makes her one of the most powerful figures in UK television drama, responsible for commissioning a range of productions both from the in-house BBC production department and from independent production companies.

After studying English Literature at King's College London and taking a secretarial course back in Oxford, she joined the staff of the BBC in 1985, initially working as a secretary in the radio drama department. Two years later, she made the switch into television, working as a floor manager on popular dramas such as EastEnders and Bergerac.

Later that same year she was promoted to assistant script editor, working on the BBC's popular medical drama Casualty. She quickly caught the eye of producer David Thompson, who promoted her to act as script editor on the anthology drama series Screen One and Screen Two, essentially the same programme whose title changed depending on whether it was being screened on BBC One or BBC Two, the transmission channel varying depending on content and tone of the dramas produced.

In 1992 she left the staff of the BBC to take up a position as a drama commissioner at Carlton Television, who had won the ITV network franchise for broadcasting in London on weekdays, and who also planned to produce dramas for national consumption across the entire network. At Carlton she was responsible for overseeing the Timothy Spall-starring comedy-drama Frank Stubbs Promotes and the Victorian-era medical drama Bramwell, both of which became highly successful popular hits for ITV.

Her success as an executive producer at Carlton led to the BBC making a bid to bring her back to their staff, and she returned to the Corporation in 1997, succeeding Michael Wearing as the in-house Head of Drama Serials. In this role she commissioned and oversaw a range of dramas made or co-produced by the BBC's own drama department, from playwright Arthur Smith's football-based comedy-drama My Summer With Des (1998) to gritty contemporary dramas such as Warriors (1999, starring Matthew Macfadyen) and traditional BBC literary adaptations in the vein of David Copperfield (also 1999).

In 2000, she was promoted to the BBC's overall Head of Drama, ultimately responsible for overseeing the Corporation's entire drama output across all channels, from the in-house departments and independent companies, in series, serials and one-offs. During her tenure in charge of the drama department, the BBC has screened ratings-grabbing popular dramas such as Spooks (BBC One, 2002-present) and Waking the Dead (BBC One, 2000-present), as well as award-winning productions such as Paul Abbott's State of Play (2003). She has also overseen the transformation of popular dramas Casualty and its spin-off Holby City into year-round dramas, the addition of a fourth weekly episode to soap opera EastEnders and the highly successful resurrection of classic science-fiction series Doctor Who in 2005.

According to the MediaGuardian.co.uk website, in 2003 she was responsible for a programming budget in the region of £324 million, and in 2002 alone was ultimately responsible for 473 hours of television.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2006.

Jane Tranter Facts

BirthdayMarch 17, 1963 (58)
BirthplaceOxford, England, United Kingdom

Selected Filmography

Not available.