Our next development round is focusing on two key areas.
1. New shows for 5pm
2. 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 and 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.
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