Producer Profile: Wall To Wall (UK)

Wall To Wall
April 1, 2007

Wall To Wall


As Wall to Wall CEO Alex Graham notes in his editorial in the accompanying MIPDOC issue of realscreen, producers need to listen to their muses. But, having said that, there’s still work to be done. ‘First of all,’ he advises, ‘make sure you’ve got something interesting to say, and think hard about how you are going to say it. In today’s popular television, form is as important as content. Secondly, play to television’s strengths, which are narrative and emotion. Without these, you won’t have an audience. Thirdly, viewers are more demanding and more critical than they have ever been. Never underestimate their intelligence. And, finally, your shows are only ever as good as the people you hire to make them. Get the best talent you can afford and let them get on with the job.’

That advice should be heeded – given it comes from the company which turned a genealogy series into a hit. Who Do You Think You Are? moved to BBC1 in the autumn of last year, and is attracting an average of six million viewers a show, or a phenomenal 28% share.

Some readers’ observations on the series: ‘The second series improbably out-did the first… Stephen Fry’s journey into his family’s holocaust tragedy was the most moving bit of television I saw last year.’ Or, ‘They dug out the subject of genealogy, gave it a populist twist and gave us an emotional insight into the ancestry of celebrities. Gripping stuff!’

Recent titles: Who Do you Think you Are?, Your Money Or Your Wife

Employees: 82

Hours this year: 107

Upcoming includes: Who Do You Think You Are?, series 4 (BBC1), Underworld History (Nat Geo US), Land Lords (BBC4), Empire’s Children (C4), The Genius of Photography (BBC2/4)

About The Author
Andrew Tracy joined Realscreen as associate editor in 2021, following 17 years as managing editor of the award-winning international film magazine Cinema Scope. From 2010 to 2020 he also held the position of senior editor at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he oversaw the flagship publication for the organization’s year-round Cinematheque programming and edited its first original monograph in a decade, Steve Gravestock’s A History of Icelandic Film. He was a scriptwriter and consultant on the first season of the Vice TV series The Vice Guide to Film, and his writing and reporting have been featured in such outlets as Cinema Scope, Reverse Shot, Sight & Sound, Cineaste, Film Comment, MUBI Notebook, POV, and Montage.