CHANNEL 4’S LIVE DAILY SHOW BRIEF, JANUARY 2019
Channel 4 has announced its national HQ will be based in Leeds. As part of this exciting new development, the channel is looking to launch a live daily show from the city.
We are now inviting producers to pitch specific ideas for the show.
In the past, Channel 4 Daytime has been home to live programming including the likes of The Big Breakfast, Light Lunch and The New Paul O’Grady Show. These shows have felt intrinsically Channel 4 and have given the network a real sense of immediacy.
We’re really keen to return that flavour to C4’s daytime output with a new show to go out Monday to Friday. We expect this to be a lunch-time slot, but if a strong case is made by a submission for an alternative slot, we may consider this. The programme will run for at least an hour, although it may be longer depending on the scope of the idea and scheduling flexibility.
The key to a successful pitch is talent. We’d prefer you didn’t think about presenters, but rather about defining faces. If you think of Ellen or Oprah in the US, or how Piers Morgan has transformed Good Morning Britain - who are the names that could define this new show? They may well not be from TV, but instead from politics or film, journalism or music. But they must have a point of view and be compelling and charismatic enough to add a tone and flavour to the show that feels C4 and makes you want to watch every day.
If the budget can be made to work, we are keen to use the show to break new talent alongside the main name, so pitches should include ideas in this area.
Talent names must be attached to submissions - with interest secured - and that needs to include a commitment to delivering the series from Leeds.
Submissions should outline how the show can be topical without being a slave to the news; entertaining but not trivial. It should be delivered with a real sense of wit and cheek that makes it feel different from live output on other channels. How can the show stimulate debate and discussion amongst viewers; but without the usual suspects jammed behind a desk delivering predictable opinions. The format should also be flexible enough to allow viewers to be informed by experts on subjects that affect their day to day lives.
Inter-activity is important – but it should flow naturally from the way the show is designed.
We want to explore what could be done with the look and layout in a relatively small space to deliver a show that’s energetic and visually stimulating. We’re also keen to know whether you can deliver eye-catching VTs - within a daytime budget - that can sit across all platforms, not just within the live linear show.
Locating the studio at the heart of C4’s new home will allow it to break out of the London-centric bubble of live chat. The show should celebrate its regional base, but – with the help of new, lower-cost live broadcasting technology – it should feel it is from and reflects the whole of the UK. Pitches should also specify what sort of guests might be booked and how they’d feature.
Process for Submissions:
This is an open pitching process that starts from 4 January 2019. We are currently setting a deadline of 15 February 2019, but this may be amended slightly depending on circumstances.
Proposal documents should cover all the areas outlined above, as well as including an outline of your expertise in live television and some brief thoughts on how you would set up the infrastructure for the show
We would also like you to confirm in writing the basis upon which you are able to produce the programme(s) in such a way as to qualify as a regional or national production by complying with the OFCOM regional production qualification criteria and to research and confirm in writing your approach and likely outcome regarding meeting Channel 4’s diversity requirements.
We will keep you informed regarding any further requirements we may have prior to making a final decision. It is possible that none, some or all companies will be selected to move forward to the next stage of the process but if they are, we will aim to notify all interested parties, by mid-February 2019.
Any change to the brief and/or requirements and/or deadline date and/or the anticipated response date will be notified to you in advance.
If we decide that your proposal has potential and that you have the requisite experience, we will invite you to discuss your ideas and potential budget in greater detail with us and may request you to undertake some development work to further develop your format idea and talent proposals for which some development monies may be available, in which case you will be asked to enter into a development agreement.
One or more of these ideas would then be tested – with the appropriate talent - as paid-for run-throughs/pilots in a studio environment.
We would expect these pilots to be shot sometime in late spring/summer 2019, with a view to commissioning a series towards the end of the summer.
Our aspiration is for the show to be on air by November 2019; but this will be subject to the process of launching the national HQ and accompanying studio.
We anticipate commissioning a run of at least four months, with scope to extend as the series progresses, but will keep this under review through the process. With this volume should come economies of scale, so the budget for the show will be below a typical daytime hourly tariff.
By the very nature of this process, Channel 4 may receive different pieces of work from different producers which resemble each other and in some cases similar or identical ideas may be generated independently.
By taking part in this process, you are confirming that the idea submitted will be original, owned by you and free of third party rights. You will also be waiving any right to bring any form of action or claim against Channel 4 in relation to any of the content contained in the work you have submitted and any use thereof. You will be asked to give consent to the terms of this process (as set out here) and we will not be able to consider your idea until you have done so.
Please email pitches with “Live Daily Show Pitch” in the subject heading to:
David Sayer, Head of Daytime: firstname.lastname@example.org
OTHER DAYTIME NEEDS
Alongside the separate brief for a live daily show, our next development round is focusing on two other areas.
- New shows for 5pm
- New shows for 3-4pm for 2020
1. New shows for 5-6pm
Current output includes: Come Dine With Me, Four in a Bed, Extreme Cakemakers plus presenter-led formats like Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas.
We are looking to commission a small number of new series for 2019. We are considering a number of possible areas:
- Classic day-time subjects, presented with an entertainment twist, preferably fronted by a well-known presenter who will be a draw for viewers. This will probably involve amateurs competing against one another in a location/studio presided over by presenter/talent, but we’re open to other approaches. Formats should be simple and build up to a climax each day. Our preference is for self-contained shows, but we are open to a stripped event. We’re well-served for food in this area, but we might contemplate something if the idea felt fresh and innovative. These could be hours or half hours
- Factual entertainment: Four in a Bed’s ratings are up year on year; we’d like something to pair with this that will keep viewers on the channel. Ideas shouldn’t just take the FIAB format and apply it to other subject matters; but they should share a similar tone and feel. So plenty of accessibility for viewers, a simple format that can deliver both humour and drama (with viewers not quite knowing which will be served up from one day to the next) and a clear climax to each show. We’re looking for half hours but they can stripped or self-contained.
- Docu-soaps: what escapist, warm-hearted subjects can we tap into that will deliver lots of stories, with plenty of climaxes across episodes. Preference here is for half hours.
However, don’t restrict yourself to these areas – we’re open to trying new ideas that you wouldn’t see on other channels.
Our demographic at this time of day is broad (empty nesters, home workers or homemakers, people coming home from work, as well as students and kids). It’s split two thirds female to one third male. Similarly the age range is very broad and doesn’t skew young; but it’s important for us to attract younger viewers at this time of day.
We don’t want anything that is too heavy or serious: so for example, no personal relationship counselling for instance. We don’t want to be too prescriptive on subject matters, but equally, we don’t want niche shows that skew towards one age group or gender for instance.
Please avoid short-runs, or one-off weeks: the aim is to launch a successful series that can be re-commissioned in volume.
2. New shows for 3/4pm
All shows for these slots should be hours. We have a number of series successfully returning at this time of day: the likes of A Place in the Sun to Find It, Fix It, Flog It that are presenter-led, and Escape to the Chateau and A New Life in the Sun, which follow people in their real lives.
These shows tend to take a while to film and are often best made over the spring and summer months. So we’re looking for a small number of ideas to commission this year which will deliver for transmission in 2020. Areas under consideration include:
- Presenter-led formats that allow us to cast fresh, diverse faces. These could be location based (but not in a conventional looking studio) or move around. We’re open on subject matter, but property is a long-shot as it’s a crowded area across all channels and ideas have to work harder to stand out to viewers. We’re also avoiding collectibles/antiques ideas for now. Self-contained hours are our preference here – we’d only do a strip if there was a really overwhelming reason for it. We’re interested in ideas for talent, but the first priority should be getting the format right.
- We’re well-stocked for documentary-style shows following Brits moving abroad. However, we are looking at other ideas that follow ordinary people taking on unusual challenges. These will probably be weekly strips.
- Can we combine classic daytime subject matters/formats with a bit of docusoap: as Sun, Sea and Selling Houses does with property-hunting abroad?
The tone of all these shows should be warm, aspirational, possibly escapist, but with plenty of take-out. Presenters should have broad appeal and be able to demonstrate real credibility.
Pitching contact details
David Sayer, Head of Daytime. DSayer@channel4.co.uk
Ramy El-Bergamy, Commissioning Executive, Daytime. RElBergamy@Channel4.co.uk