Our next development round is focusing on two key areas.
- 1. New half hours for 5/5.30pm
- 2. A live daily show
1. New shows for 5-6pm
Slots will generally be 30 mins (60 mins will be the exception)
Current output includes: Come Dine With Me, Four in a Bed, Extreme Cakemakers plus occasional presenter-led features (Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas).
The key areas we’d like to commission into are:
- One or more shows featuring Brits abroad on holiday. This could be a fact ent format with the tone and flavour of Come Dine, Four In A Bed or Coach Trip (while feeling distinct from any of these). Alternatively, it could be more observational based in a place that has lots of stories happening in a short space of time, delivering plenty of narrative. Think across all types of holidays – cruises, for instance, appeal to a daytime demographic. (We’re not looking for new shows that feature expats)
- Bake Off and Masterchef among others, demonstrate that viewers have an appetite for competitive formats that have a warm-hearted feel to them. The same would apply to daytime. Apart from food, what are the territories where we can see skilled amateurs competing against one another? How would we make these work in a weekly stripped format?
- Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas worked well at 5pm; we’ve also found a lot of people are watching Escape to the Chateau: DIY on catch-up at that time. What other shows, with those sensibilities – warm but still with a bit of drama and narrative - might work in this slot?
- Extreme Cakemakers and the Posh Frock Shop are both documentary series featuring subject areas that already feature in long running series abroad. Can you identify other subject areas that are working internationally, and lightly format them in a way UK viewers might enjoy watching daily?
- What else could we experiment with at 5pm? Buy It Now was a departure into a territory we hadn’t tried before. We’re open to trying one or two other things that feel different from our current output.
- When thinking of shows, bear in mind the demographic: it’s broad in background (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.
Ideas should be entertaining but with playalong, take-out or good stories that viewers can engage with. Avoid anything too serious or too heavy in nature (no personal relationship counselling for instance). We’re open on subject matter – the test is whether its attractive enough to a broad audience, rather than appealing only to a sub-set of viewers.
All shows at 5pm and across our schedule should have the aspiration to ultimately run in large volume – we aren’t interested in short runs or one-off weeks.
2. Live Daily Show
We are looking at potentially launching a new daytime live show. The current brief (which we first released in May) is below. Further details will follow soon.
In the past, Channel 4 daytime has been home to live programming including the likes of The New Paul O’Grady Show and Richard and Judy. These shows have given the channel a sense of immediacy in the afternoon and felt intrinsically Channel 4.
They also very much played to the strengths of the presenters: Paul’s quick-fire wit and ease with celebrities; Richard and Judy’s journalism mixed with that feeling that anything could happen.
So, for any new show, we think talent is going to be key. They’ll need to be warm, funny and inclusive for a daytime broad day-time audience: anyone who has a touch of Marmite about them won’t deliver the right volume of viewers in daytime. Bear in mind that our audiences are typically two to one female to male, and spread broadly across the age ranges, becoming slightly younger as the afternoon goes on, so we can’t go too niche.
They’ll have to be able to do the full spectrum of live presenting: switching between entertainment, more topical content and sure-footed interviewing.
The main presenter won’t be new talent; but we are open to a supporting presenting team that allows us to give a platform to fresh faces.
The show should be distinctly Channel 4 in feel: entertaining, but not frivolous; content-rich, but not po-faced in any way; packed with humour, but not at the expense of viewers feeling a little wiser about the world once the credits role.
We’re open on the slot: this will be driven by the idea and talent, so we’ll match the right show to the right daytime slot. The tariff will be within the normal range of daytime shows. We would expect this to be a three month minimum commission.
The show will be produced regionally and will eventually be based in the channel’s new National HQ. While the tender for the HQ won’t be completed until the autumn, we would like to start investigating what sort of live show we might be able to do now.
Pitching: in the first instance, we are looking for ideas about who might work as a presenter, along with a short pitch on what you think the show would be.
Please don’t send us long list of potential people (we can do that). Instead, send us your favourite person and what they are perfect for; along with why you think you might be able to book them.