Watch W1A

  • TV-14
  • 2014
  • 3 Seasons
  • 7.8  (3,066)

W1A is a British sitcom that premiered on BBC Two in 2014. The show revolves around the fictional BBC Broadcasting House and its management team. The show is a mockumentary that satirizes the behind-the-scenes workings of the BBC and its bureaucracy. The show stars Hugh Bonneville as Ian Fletcher, the newly appointed Head of Values at the BBC. He is joined by Monica Dolan as Tracey Pritchard, the senior communications officer, and Sarah Parish as Anna Rampton, the director of Better. The show features an ensemble cast portraying a variety of eccentric characters, including Siobhan Sharpe, the clueless PR consultant, and David Wilkes, the head of commissioning who is always on the hunt for the next big thing.

The show is set in the year 2014, just after the successful coverage of the 2012 London Olympics by the BBC. W1A seeks to show the BBC both as a reflection of the public's perception of the organization as well as a critique of its internal management. The show's creators, John Morton and Paul Schlesinger, were inspired by their own experiences working for the BBC and having to navigate its unique management structure.

In the first season, viewers follow Ian Fletcher taking on the role of the Head of Values, responsible for ensuring that the BBC continues to deliver high-quality, informative, and educational content. However, he quickly realizes that the job is not as straightforward as it may seem. Fletcher has to deal with a myriad of complex and often nonsensical issues, including the implementation of a new digital platform, the creation of a new BBC logo, and the controversy surrounding the absence of a traditional Christmas tree.

The second season sees Fletcher as the BBC's "Head of Values" again, but this time he has a new task, to organize the corporation's coverage of the upcoming general election. The season takes a more absurdist approach to the satire, with plot lines involving a fictional company called Fun Media, the creation of a new railway line, and the struggle to make the BBC more diverse.

Throughout the seasons, we see the challenges of the highly complex bureaucratic structure of the BBC, which is often at odds with the wants and needs of the public. The show also highlights the importance of marketing and public relations in today's media landscape, often portraying the bureaucracy involved in such tasks in a humorous light.

The show uses a mockumentary style that has become familiar in British television, with interviews interspersed with fly-on-the-wall footage of the actors going about their daily business. The show also uses documentary-style captions for comedic effect, often highlighting the absurdity of the situations.

One of the most notable aspects of W1A is the highly talented cast who bring the characters to life with nuance and humor. Hugh Bonneville gives a brilliant performance as Fletcher, showcasing excellent comic timing and delivery. Monica Dolan and Sarah Parish also deliver standout performances as Tracey and Anna, respectively. The ensemble cast works very well together, with the chemistry between the actors being one of the standout features of the show.

Overall, W1A is a witty, well-written, and nuanced satire of the BBC and its bureaucracy. The show's intricate plot lines and excellent comedy make it one of the most entertaining shows on television. The use of a mockumentary style and documentary-style captions adds to the comedic effect and sets the show apart from other sitcoms. If you enjoy political satire, British humor, or just enjoy a good laugh, W1A is a must-watch.

W1A is a series that is currently running and has 3 seasons (15 episodes). The series first aired on March 19, 2014.

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Episode 6
6. Episode 6
October 23, 2017
Key broadcasting talent Claudia Winkleman is close to signing a deal which would keep her at the BBC. She is set to present On Your Bike but the deal is jeopardised with the revelation that an almost identical format has been developed and offered to Amanda Holden. How can the damage limitation group limit the damage? In the wake of a potentially very expensive lawsuit against the BBC, Izzy volunteers to take the flak and is summoned to the director general's office. Meanwhile, the official launch of BBC Me, the new online platform for user-generated content, is nearing the final furlong, but with the disappearance of several senior executive posts, including head of values and director of better, it is not clear who will be leading the charge to the finish line.
Episode 5
5. Episode 5
October 16, 2017
The renewal group led by head of values Ian Fletcher has to respond to rumours that Strictly Come Dancing presenter Claudia Winkleman is about to leave the BBC for a rival broadcaster. Is there a way of preventing this happening? When they offer a hosting job on On Your Bike, a new interview format, it looks like they might have found a solution. Meanwhile ex-intern Will's attempts to get a celebrity face to help launch BBC Me, the new online platform, have come back to bite him and the BBC. The celebrity in question thought they were being asked to pose for a selfie and didn't realise they were being used to endorse a viral campaign and consequently the BBC finds itself on the receiving end of a million-pound lawsuit. Will's job looks to be in serious danger. With the charter renewal process requiring the BBC to show they can do more for less, head of news Neil Reid is asked to see whether his main news presenters would consider doubling up and presenting the weather forecast as well. And in a landscape where leaving parties are becoming increasingly frequent, Ben and Jerry discover that their jobs have been 're-imagined as non-existing going forward'.
Episode 4
4. Episode 4
October 9, 2017
Following on from an item on BBC Breakfast about plans to close the BBC Big Swing Band, the damage limitation team under Ian Fletcher is under huge pressure to limit the damage. A twitter campaign led by Jools Holland, #JeSuisBigSwingb and #boycottBBC, is gathering support from music royalty such as Sir Bob Geldof, Sir Tom Jones and Bono. And as the much-loved Big Swing bandleader Ray Fredericks is both black and 75, there are a growing number of accusations of discrimination and ageism. BBC News outlets are keen to report the latest developments but exacerbate the problem when Syncopatico, the new News subtitling software, continues to systematically misspell the names of the key players involved - including Jools Holland. It is felt that an appearance from one of the BBC senior management team on the News at One would be a helpful way of clarifying the BBC's position - but when head of better Anna Rampton unexpectedly rules herself out, it falls to Ian Fletcher to face the music. Meanwhile, the campaign to launch new online platform BBC Me continues and ex-intern Will Humphries is still standing at his station in reception trying to persuade passing celebrities to record themselves saying 'me' into his phone.
Episode 3
3. Episode 3
October 2, 2017
Having dismissed the idea of losing gardening programmes as a way of saving money, the Renewal Team propose that getting rid of the BBC Big Swing Band might be an option - but it turns into a PR disaster. Meanwhile, Siobhan decides to create a launch trail for BBC ME that will go viral, with Will delegated to stand in the main reception of New Broadcasting House to try to persuade various celebrities to contribute selfies for it
Episode 2
2. Episode 2
September 25, 2017
Cross-dressing ex Premier League footballer Ryan Chelford's appearance on a late-night, midweek edition of Match of the Day did not go well. Host Gary Lineker and pundit Alan Shearer were literally lost for words. But the BBC in general and in his role as head of values Ian Fletcher in particular are under pressure to find an on screen role for Ryan as quickly as possible. A summit meeting is arranged to include heads of football, inclusivity and a late curved ball in the shape of head of diversity to try and find a solution to a problem that is getting increasing attention on social media. To complicate matters, Fiona Craig, the senior civil servant with responsibility for charter renewal negotiations, is visiting the BBC to see what a normal day in the life of the corporation looks like. Meanwhile, the campaign to launch user-generated content platform BBC Me gathers pace with David Wilkes still keen to take ownership of the idea he originally borrowed from ex intern Will Humphries.
Episode 1
1. Episode 1
September 18, 2017
It is the year of charter renewal and a critical time for the BBC. The renewal group under head of values Ian Fletcher is tasked with identifying what the BBC does best and finding more ways of doing less of it better. A new challenge comes in the shape of a Channel 4 documentary about a cross-dressing ex-Premier League footballer Ryan Chelford, which alleges that the BBC rejected Ryan as a potential pundit on Match of the Day because of his unconventional private life. The fact is he was auditioned and it turned out he was not very good. In the face of a huge groundswell of public support for Ryan Chelford and the need for the BBC to appear inclusive, Ian and his team have to find a presenting role for Ryan while not forcing the hand of the BBC's flagship sports show. Over in the Perfect Curve PR office, things have changed. They have been bought by media giant Fun Media, who are keen to come up with new ideas for their BBC account. Siobhan Sharpe is equally keen to take credit for the result of their latest brainstorming - the idea for a new online platform called BBC Me - a new home for user-generated content. After all, according to Siobhan, conventional television is dead. Meanwhile, newly promoted junior development producer Will Humphries' idea for a new interview format On Your Bike is in danger of being appropriated by commissioning editor daytime factuality David Wilkes and pitched to the head of TV output as The Great British Bike Off.
Where to Watch W1A
W1A is available for streaming on the BBC Two website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch W1A on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon, Vudu, FuboTV, Google Play and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    March 19, 2014
  • IMDB Rating
    7.8  (3,066)