Ratings wars are a common phenomenon for BBC1 and ITV, whether it’s Let It Shine v The Voice UK or Poldark v Victoria, but it’s not often that the two shows competing against each other are written by the same people.
Such is the conundrum for brothers Harry and Jack Williams. TV’s most in-demand writers, whose previous credits include The Missing and One of Us, have two new dramas on rival channels BBC1 and ITV launching at exactly the same time next week.
Rellik, which follows the crimes of a serial killer in reverse, will take the primetime spot on BBC1 at 9pm. The Liar, meanwhile, about a possible date rape case, airs on ITV, also at 9pm.
Speaking about the scheduling clash at a Q&A for The Liar, Jack said: “It’s really weird. I don’t know what’s happened, really. Because we wrote them at quite different times. It’s strange.
“But fortunately the technology exists to watch both. I wish I understood how it’s happened, but it’s okay. They’re very different shows.”
Harry added that it was “very odd”.
On whether the pair will watch one each while they’re both on air, Harry joked: “I think we’re going to go to the pub and pretend it’s not happening. Follow one each via Twitter. I don’t know, that’s a terrible idea.”
Jack added: “Just stick our heads in the sand and pretending it’s not happening.”
Which will win the battle of the overnight ratings in this real-life drama?