Brief for Contestable Pot 2022

Do you want to create the next innovative, channel-defining format for Channel 4? We are looking for great, crazy, brave, funny, entertaining, risky, and entirely new ideas to be funded from a contestable pot.

After a successful first process in 2020 that led to the commission of Murder Island from STV, we are now looking for the next wave of brave, funny, entertaining, risky, and entirely new ideas, which could become a channel-defining format for C4 in 2022. The intention is for these ideas to be genuinely audacious; for an audience to read about them and think ‘have Channel 4 ACTUALLY done that?’, and like with the new reality ideas, to pass the ‘poster test’ – ie for us all to be certain that a poster campaign is in order to promote this new show.

Like in 2020, it is likely that these ideas will be cross-genre, as that’s often the space where genuinely fresh approaches are realised (Murder Island is factual, mixed with drama, mixed with competitive format). Certainly, the ideas need to be creatively brilliant, broad and returnable, hugely ambitious in terms of scale, and to have the potential to grow to a large order. We’d like them to have some purpose – but to wear that with a lightness of touch. They could be feel-good or challenging. They could have talent at their heart, or no talent at all. They could be live, or pre-recorded. What matters is that they have the potential to be talked about, enjoyed and to become a regular in our schedules. Crucially – they need to be innovative, and feel like an idea you would only see on Channel 4.

Where to send your ideas

Ideas should be taken to any commissioning editor/ Head of Department in the first instance. If your idea is cross-genre, feel free to involve two genres from the outset. The slot is (probably) mid-week 9pm, and the number of episodes is flexible – but ideally 4-6 episodes for a first series. Again, as well as working well at 9pm, we want Contestable Pot ideas to be hugely successful on All 4 just like the reality ideas. All ideas for the Contestable Pot will be funded by the Motion Content Group. These ideas can be pitched through any of the genre HoDs and they will be taken to a commissioning round with Ian Katz and Kiran Nataraja in November 2021.

Please submit your ideas by Wednesday 1 September 2021.