Seminar on Global TV in London
August 30, 2016
It’s home to the world’s oldest national broadcasting organization and the largest American television bureau outside the U.S. This summer, ten graduate students from Drexel University’s Paul F. Harron Television Management Program got to spend a week getting a first-hand look at media giants, the BBC and NBC London. As if that’s not enough for a six-day educational trip to Europe, the students also met other network leaders as well as professionals in the entertainment television and film industries.
Television Management Professor, Karen Curry, led the study abroad course, “Global Television Industry London”. Curry, who is also Executive Director of the Kal and Lucille Rudman Institute for Entertainment Industry Studies at Drexel University, is the former NBC News London Bureau Chief. Curry orchestrated the six-day, in-depth tour of London’s rich television and film industry. The London portion of the class followed extensive coursework studying the symbiotic relationship between the U.S. and U.K. television industries.
In London, students started their week with a bus tour of the world cultural capital and attended a film tour of Somerset House, a predominant arts destination in the heart of the city.
They travelled to Bristol for a behind-the-scenes look at the Starz original drama series The White Princess. From the production designer walking them through his creative process from original sketches to the recreation of Westminster Palace, to the costume designer sharing her process for creating lush Tudor era costumes, the students had unprecedented access to this major television production. They went on location to Wells Cathedral with Starz SVP Karen Bailey and, between takes, chatted with the stars and director of the production.
The students visited NBC News London and met Senior editorial staff for a wide ranging conversation about the challenges of news coverage, the changes brought about by technological advances and what it’s like to cover international news for an American audience.They spent a day at BBC Broadcasting House, where news anchor, Nuala McGovern, welcomed Drexel TVMN Students live on the air during her program, BBC Outside Source. After a tour of the massive BBC newsroom, they spoke with BBC correspondent and anchor Jonny Dymond about Brexit, US and UK politics and more. That evening, Kevin Bishop, former BBC News Senior International Producer, met them at the original BBC Television Center and after a lively look at this historic site, students joined Kevin and the team of producers he led during coverage of the 2012 Olympics in London, for dinner at one of London’s pop-up restaurants.
A highlight of the trip was lunch with award-winning actress Lesley Sharp, fresh off a wildly successful five-season run of the BBC show Scott and Bailey, which also aired on PBS. Sharp, who was in the original Full Monty and has worked with leading directors in film, television and on stage, was warm, engaging and amazingly open with the students. And for a fitting end to the trip, they visited Buckingham Palace and had afternoon tea with Robert Jobson, Royal Editor of the Evening Standard. Jobson, who is also royal consultant for the hit E! series The Royals starring Elizabeth Hurley, was able to give the students wonderful insights into what it was like to cover Princess Diana and how the royal beat has changed since her death.
Professor Curry says the students learned a lifetime of knowledge during their jam-packed six-day trip, and she knows they’ll carry that newfound knowledge beyond the classroom. “The students really took advantage of the opportunities in London and were wonderfully engaged with the folks we met. Everyone we interacted with was struck by how focused and enthusiastic the students were,” said Curry. “These are contacts they will have for life.”
Click here to learn more about the program.