Decade Disruptors: The 10 Most Influential British TV Shows Of The 2010s

They are saying that we dwell in a golden age of tv — and it’s a well-worn phrase that’s definitely borne out within the high quality of British reveals which have landed on our screens over the previous 10 years. There are standout hits to select from throughout genres, and the last decade culminated with UK tv exports exploding to a report excessive of £1.Four billion ($1.eight billion).

It made Deadline’s job of choosing 10 of essentially the most influential reveals a troublesome enterprise, however we have now pulled collectively a listing that displays a cross-section of hits and hopefully options one thing for everybody.

We’ve got taken influential to imply a variety of issues: It represents the cultural influence of a program, its star-making energy, awards and worldwide success, in addition to the position the present performed in shaping the business or altering viewer conduct.

Scroll down for Deadline’s record of 10 most influential British reveals of the last decade, ranked in alphabetical order.

Black Mirror

Black Mirror started life on UK broadcaster Channel Four in 2011, and it was clear proper from the primary episode, during which Rory Kinnear’s British prime minister is tricked into having intercourse with a pig, that the present would supply a sharply noticed, zeitgeisty have a look at a dystopian trendy world.

Charlie Brooker’s anthology drama ran for 2 seasons on Channel Four earlier than it was poached by Netflix in a transfer that got here to represent the rising energy of the streamers and the artistic excellence of British writers. His fifth season this 12 months continued to be provocative, whereas 2018’s choose-your-own-adventure episode Bandersnatch was not like something executed on TV earlier than.

Then there’s the small matter of Brooker’s artwork predicting life. He has described Black Mirror as him cascading his anxieties on to the display — and his worries have creepily foreshadowed actuality on a variety of events. Hayley Atwell’s reanimated useless boyfriend in Be Proper Again may be seen in a variety of afterlife chatbots now available on the market, whereas Nosedive is eerily harking back to China’s social credit system.

Produced by Brooker’s Home of Tomorrow, Black Mirror is an important companion for our tech-addled minds, and its high quality, vary and authorial voice means its fairly not like some other drama on tv.

Blue Planet II

It has been a exceptional decade for BBC pure historical past programming, which means there was a humiliation of riches to select from when it got here to choosing a candidate for our record of essentially the most influential reveals of the last decade.

Planet Earth II in 2016 was a towering achievement, giving us staggering sequences like lions looking giraffes and racer snakes warring with child iguanas. This 12 months’s Seven Worlds, One Planet innovated with drones to seize unbelievable footage from the animal kingdom.

Nevertheless it was Blue Planet II that will have has essentially the most lasting influence on viewers. Its depiction of how plastic waste is polluting the world’s oceans and damaging wildlife surprised audiences, who watched in horror as David Attenborough linked the demise of a whale calf to poisonous chemical substances within the ocean. The present has been a catalyst for households lowering their plastic footprint, companies pledging to chop their dependency on the fabric, and for governments to take extra strident motion on single-use plastics.

“I’ve been completely astonished on the outcome that that program has had,” Attenborough mentioned of the BBC Studios collection. “I by no means imagined there could be fairly so lots of you who could be impressed to need change.”

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey modified all the pieces for British drama producers, catapulting writers and manufacturing expertise onto a world stage the place their work grew to become as profitable and revered as U.S. counterparts.

Julian Fellowes’ story of the aristocratic Crawley household was an on the spot hit when it launched on Britain’s ITV in 2010, turning into an appointment to view for 10 million individuals. Producer Carnival Movies’ father or mother firm NBCUniversal deficit-financed the present and struck a co-production take care of PBS. It then demanded worldwide consumers pay the identical for Downton as they did for Fox present Home.

Carnival CEO Gareth Neame informed Deadline in September that this was a “revolution” that paved the way in which for different reveals. “I don’t assume there’s any query that The Crown occurred on account of the doorways that Downton Abbey opened and demonstrated that these tales may be immensely standard to American and international audiences,” he mentioned.

In addition to the enterprise story, Downton had an enormous cultural influence over the course of its six seasons, spawning a profitable movie, creating Hollywood stars out of the likes of Lily James, and even making a cameo in Iron Man 3.


Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Season 2 of Fleabag

As Phoebe Waller-Bridge has grow to be the darling of Hollywood, carrying armfuls of awards, hanging iconic poses at Emmys events, and touchdown an enormous unique take care of Amazon, it’s vital to recollect the standard beginnings of Fleabag.

The comedy began as an Edinburgh play and was first commissioned for TV by the BBC’s online-only channel BBC Three in 2016. “’I can’t imagine they’ve let me do that,” Waller-Bridge mentioned on the time. A 12 months later, the Two Brothers Photos present exploded on to British screens, with its story of a gobby, grief-riddled lady electrifying audiences.

Nevertheless it wasn’t till Fleabag’s second season this 12 months that the present went stratospheric. Waller-Bridge was using Killing Eve’s wave of success, and Fleabag’s forged had grown in stature, notably boasting the now-Oscar-winning actress Olivia Colman. All of the whereas, the identical spirit of authorship and authenticity ran by the present.

Three years in the past, the BBC’s comedy controller Shane Allen mentioned Waller-Bridge was “destined for nice issues.” Even he couldn’t have predicted simply how nice.



A TV present about individuals watching TV. The concept appeared utterly laughable and, after an unconvincing first collection of Gogglebox in 2013 on Channel 4, knives have been being sharpened by critics. Channel 4, nonetheless, caught with the Studio Lambert format and audiences instantly climbed for the second season.

Seven years on, Gogglebox stays an important fixture on Channel 4, with the common present and superstar spinoff enjoying a giant position within the community rising its viewers in 2019. Seems watching individuals watch TV can present actual moments of hilarity and pathos, whereas the present’s forged have grown with their viewers, turning into couch companions for hundreds of thousands.

The present gained a BAFTA in 2014 and the format has been bought to 17 nations all over the world together with China and the U.S., the place it grew to become The Individuals’s Sofa on Bravo.

Love Island

Sure, Love Island is a reboot of a present not of this decade, however it was a shot within the arm for British actuality tv that can not be ignored. Repurposed in 2015 with regular individuals as a substitute of celebrities, and shorn of the drained contrived methods of Massive Brother, Love Island has grow to be nothing wanting a juggernaut for ITV2.

Its combination of scantily-clad wannabes on the lookout for love, nightly romantic drama, and Iain Stirling’s acerbic voice-over has gained the ITV Studios-produced format audiences within the hundreds of thousands and a virality that the majority would dream of. It additionally took dwelling a BAFTA in 2018.

Love Island has many detractors and its obligation of care requirements for contestants has prompted questions after two former contributors died by suicide. However that has not quelled viewers curiosity, and ITV is doubling down on the present subsequent 12 months with winter and summer time editions.

Love Island has additionally traveled nicely for ITV Studios, with CBS remaking the present within the U.S. this 12 months. A second season is deliberate for 2020.


Sherlock had an uncommon begin to life when the BBC piloted after which scrapped an hourlong episode of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’ up to date reimagining of Arthur Conan Doyle’s well-known detective. Hartswood Movies’ drama was remodeled into an extended extra bold collection, and it turned out to be solely the fitting name because the retelling of an previous basic captured the creativeness of viewers as quickly because it landed in July 2010.

Sherlock ran for 4 seasons and turned its lead Benedict Cumberbatch into a world megastar, whereas Martin Freeman, who performed Sherlock Holmes’ trusty sidekick Watson, was additionally catapulted to Hollywood fame, occurring to play Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit franchise. It additionally introduced contemporary life to that the majority well-trodden of TV tropes: the detective collection, with lovingly-crafted plot-lines stuffed with easter eggs for Conan Doyle fanatics and a up to date twist that allowed audiences to revel within the uniqueness of Sherlock’s thoughts.

The Crown

The Crown

If Downton Abbey opened the door for a brand new period of world British drama, then The Crown blew the door off its hinges. Producer Left Financial institution Photos took the weird step of pitching the present to the BBC, ITV and Netflix nearly concurrently, and it was, after all, the latter that swooped.

Peter Morgan’s story of the lifetime of Queen Elizabeth II has grow to be one of many streamer’s defining hits and sparked a goldrush for British content material that has seen Netflix spend $500 million within the UK this 12 months. Claire Foy’s depiction of the Queen has launched her into the embrace of Hollywood, whereas her successor Olivia Colman helped guarantee Season Three secured a report variety of Golden Globe nominations.

The present has reinvigorated individuals’s fascination with the British royal household all over the world and Netflix loves the drama a lot it has tied down Morgan on an unique deal, which ought to take The Crown into its sixth season.

The Nice British Bake Off

The Great British Bake Off

The Nice British Bake Off started life in 2010 as a comfy little baking program tucked away on BBC Two. Like an imposing souffle although, it rose to grow to be the most important present on British tv and a recipe for diversifications internationally.

Bake Off labored as a result of so lots of its key components simply sung from the display, from the bubbling internet hosting of Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins; to the ingenious casting of insanely proficient however humble bakers; the hypnotic pictures of blending, icing, molding magnificent baked creations; the present’s signature double entendres like “soggy backside”; and the good-cop/bad-cop judging of Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.

The present dazzled on the BBC, shifting up the BBC Two nursery slope to BBC One, the place it grew to become the most-watched TV program of 2016 when 16 million viewers tuned in for that 12 months’s finale. However then the unthinkable occurred for the BBC: its relationship with producer Love Productions broke down and Channel Four poached the present in September 2016.

Giedroyc, Perkins and Berry all left, changed by new choose Prue Leith and hosts Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig. Though audiences declined as a result of Bake Off was not on BBC One, it’s Channel 4’s largest present and stays much-loved by loyal viewers.

The Solely Means Is Essex


The Solely Means Is Essex, or TOWIE as it’s affectionately recognized, would possibly look like a left-field selection for some of the influential reveals of the last decade, however it makes our record for kickstarting a brand new style of tv within the UK.

TOWIE was Britain’s reply to America’s The Hills and Jersey Shore, a constructed actuality present that was equal elements documentary and scripted cleaning soap opera. Produced by All3Media’s Lime Photos, the present premiered in 2010 on ITV2, spotlighting the lives of an prosperous group of younger individuals from Essex. Almost 10 years on, the present continues to be occurring ITV channel ITV Be.

TOWIE gave Britain celebrities together with Mark Wright and Gemma Collins, and would encourage an extended record of copycat reveals, most notably E4’s Made In Chelsea and Geordie Shore over on MTV. It even impressed BAFTA to create a constructed actuality class for its TV awards.

The tropes of this model of TV manufacturing, during which contributors are thrown into conditions devised by producers, are actually so acquainted that they’re woven into the material of most actuality reveals.

About the author

James Ashley

James Ashley is a 2006 graduate of De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines. After working over a decade as an additional writer at USA News, he decided to start his own news publication. He mainly focuses on technology, sports articles and editorials. He likes to listen to music and play chess in his free time.

Email: [email protected]

Contact Us

If you’d like to send us some feedback, would like to advertise with us at TheBulletinTime
or Press Release, just send an email to thebulletintime @
. And, we will get back to you shortly.