Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio was told to dumb down plots to earlier shows he worked on…

Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio was told to dumb down plots to earlier shows he worked on… because audiences would be too distracted to follow the twists

Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio is known for writing explosive twists and turns into his dramas.

But early in his career he was apparently told by TV executives to dumb down his story lines because audiences were too busy multitasking to concentrate.

The 55-year-old said that TV bosses would tell him: ‘Don’t make it too complicated, don’t expect the audience to remember something that happened earlier because they won’t. 

‘You have got to remember that most people are watching TV while they are doing the ironing or chatting.’

Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio is known for writing explosive twists and turns into his dramas. But early in his career he was apparently told by TV executives to dumb down his story lines because audiences were too busy multitasking to concentrate 

Speaking at Cheltenham Literature Festival, Mr Mercurio added: ‘It was actually quite a dispiriting message which is, ‘Nobody is paying attention’. I kind of always ignored that.’ 

He went on: ‘I think the executives believed the audience is less intelligent than them- if such a thing was possible.’ 

The season 6 finale of Line Of Duty attracted 15.24 million viewers and became the highest-rated drama in Britain since March 1999.

Mercurio, also the creator of Bodyguard, has faced criticism in the past for his ‘overcomplicated’ story lines which contain constant twists, making them hard to follow.

The season 6 finale of Mercurio's Line Of Duty (pictured) attracted 15.24 million viewers and became the highest-rated drama in Britain since March 1999

The season 6 finale of Mercurio’s Line Of Duty (pictured) attracted 15.24 million viewers and became the highest-rated drama in Britain since March 1999

But, he said, he believes that catch-up television has made it easier to be a writer as it allows audiences to pay closer attention to their work.

‘The catch-up era has meant finally the commissioners and the executives have come around to the idea that there are people who are significant in number who don’t watch TV casually,’ he said.

‘They actually do pay attention; they go back and rewatch and they actually are sustainably involved in driving the success of returning series.

‘So that I think has been incredibly helpful the technology that exists now is a real dream for content creators because it means you can return to things that were two or three seasons ago and you can bring back characters and you know the audience will go back.’

When asked when season of 7 of Line Of Duty would be announced, Mr Mercurio said: ‘Currently there are no plans to answer that question.

‘We would love to do more but at the moment the pieces of the puzzle haven’t come together.’

Mercurio, also the creator of Bodyguard, (pictured) has faced criticism in the past for his ‘overcomplicated’ story lines which contain constant twists, making them hard to follow

Mercurio, also the creator of Bodyguard, (pictured) has faced criticism in the past for his ‘overcomplicated’ story lines which contain constant twists, making them hard to follow

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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