|Mark Williams as Father Brown, photo: Des Willie/BBC|
Father Brown was developed by Rachel Flowerday and Tahsin Guner from G.K. Chesterton's short stories about a Catholic priest who solves mysteries. The series was a daytime gem, attracting no end of critical praise and crackerjack ratings. A second series has been commissioned and a repeat nearer prime-time is likely, I'd suggest.
Roland Moore's Land Girls was another daytime series that proved a smaller budget was no barrier to compelling drama. Jimmy McGovern's anthology series Moving On attracts major talent with the quality of its writing, often by new scribes working with McGovern. Many emerging writers learn their craft in daytime, especially at the BBC.
But some snobbery still lingers in the industry, perhaps leftover from lacklustre shows of the past like Crossroads. Daytime doesn't have the prestige, an executive once told me. The budget dissuades others from developing series for mid-afternoon. But the success of Father Brown puts the lie to that. Long may it continue. Onwards!