David E. Rose (22 November 1924 – 26 January 2017) was a British television producer and commissioning editor.
Following war service flying on 34 missions in Lancaster bombers, he trained as an actor at the Guildhall School of Drama, but following graduation pursued a career in stage management. He became an Assistant Floor Manager for BBC television in London in 1954, working on the television adaptation of Nineteen Eighty-Four in his first week, but by the end of the 1950s he was a director of dramatised documentaries for the BBC, including Black Furrow (1958) about open cast mining in South Wales. It is as a producer and production executive though, that he has had the greatest prominence. Rose was the original producer of Z-Cars (1962–65). Broadcast live at Rose's insistence thinking the excitement generated by avoiding pre-recording was integral to the production. Rose was responsible for ending its original run thinking the format had become exhausted. Softly, Softly (1966–69) was a spin-off series also produced by Rose.
Appointed by David Attenborough in 1971 to be head of the newly established autonomous English Regional Drama department at BBC Pebble Mill in Birmingham in 1971, Rose produced work by established writers like Alan Plater and encouraged new creative talent such as playwrights Alan Bleasdale, Willy Russell, David Hare and Mike Leigh. Some of this work appeared in the Play for Today (Peter Terson's The Fishing Party, 1972) or Second City Firsts anthology series. In 1981, Rose left the BBC for Channel 4 where he was appointed the Commissioning Editor for Fiction by Jeremy Isaacs, the channel's founding Chief Executive. In particular, he is identified with the Film on Four strand. With an initial overall budget of £6million a year, Rose invested £300,000 in twenty films annually. Originally, the project's films were intended for television screenings alone; the "holdback" system prevented investment in theatrical films by television companies because of the length of time (then three years) before broadcasters could screen them.
An agreement soon concluded with the Cinema Exhibitors Association though, allowed a brief period of cinema exhibition if the budget of the films was below £1.25 million. During his time at Channel 4, Rose approved the making of 136 films, half of which received cinema screenings, investing in a third of the feature films made in the UK during 1984. By 1987, Channel 4 had an interest in half the films being made in the United Kingdom. Rose remained in his post as Commissioning Editor until March 1990. Rose is credited by many as being a significant figure in the regeneration of British cinema and particularly remembered for films such as My Beautiful Laundrette, Wish You Were Here, Dance With a Stranger, Mona Lisa, and Letter to Brezhnev. David Rose was awarded a special prize for services to the cinema at Cannes in 1987 and in April 2010 the BFI Fellowship, whose other recipients include Martin Scorsese and Orson Welles.