Comedy on BBC Three should be bristling with experimental ambition and creative confidence. We want it to take risks with bold new talent both on and off screen and we are looking for inventive and dazzlingly funny projects that have bags of attitude and potential for high impact.
Comedy continues to deliver youthful mainstream successes with sitcoms such as Cuckoo, Bad Education and Pramface as well as thought-provoking comedy-dramas like Bluestone 42. Each combine fresh and innovative ideas, talented new casts and high quality production values.
For online and red button content ideas for Comedy please visit the service strategy page for BBC iPlayer, red button and programme pages.
The BBC Three audience responds to shows with a bold premise, real energy and plenty of humour, that present the world from a distinctive, but relatable point of view. They can be high- or low- concept but must connect with the lives and aspirations of a young and young-at-heart audience.
Cuckoo: Written by Keiron Quirke & Robin French, starring British comedian Greg Davies and Hollywood star Andy Samberg, Cuckoo is the epitome of BBC Three’s remit to launch new comedy which is both original and unique, making it the channel’s most-watched comedy pulling in a whopping 1.14 million viewers (5.9%) for its launch and holding an average of 787 thousand (4.1%) across the series. Cuckoo has been recommissioned for a second series.
Bluestone 42: An eight-part comedy drama following the lives of a bomb disposal detachment serving in Afghanistan. Written by Richard Hurst and James Cary, the series has been carefully researched and informed by serving and former members of the armed forces and military experts, to take the audience through authentic, compelling, surprising and funny stories about how heroes pass their time in between saving lives.
Some Girls: A comedy about group of quirky 16-year-old girls who live on the same inner city estate, written by Bernadette Davies (Game On). We join them on their bumpy journey through adolescence, taking in boys, sex, cliques, teachers, heartbreak, fun and even some football along the way. Some Girls averaged 477 thousand (2.5%) across the series and has been commissioned for a second series.
Bad Education: Co-written by and starring comedian Jack Whitehall, Bad Education was inspired by a friend of Jack’s who having been a self-appointed party animal at school decided to become a teacher; the idea of this irresponsible near-adult being in charge of a class of teenagers – who he would be so close in age to – seemed like a good starting point for a comedy. The show went through an extensive development period over the course of three years, working in the rehearsal room with various actors as well as calling upon the help of esteemed script editors such as Jeremy Dyson, Annie Griffin and Jon Brown. Bad Education became the highest-rated debut episode of a comedy on BBC3 and has been commissioned for a second series.
Tariff range: £180k - £220k
BBC Three audiences want to be surprised and thrilled with studio comedy which must be innovative, laugh-out-loud and edgy without being patronising. That’s likely to mean post-watershed ideas which resonate with the audience’s lives and experience. We’d like to see the Nations and English Regions better represented in the offers we receive, with a modern, diverse element to the fore.
Tariff range: £100k-£210k
BBC Three is keen to continue to encourage scripts for well-crafted single-camera comedies that deliver a strong laugh-rate. Lower-cost ideas which present a robust and engaging comedy world but which don't stint on quality are always welcomed. Cuckoo showed what a BBC Three comedy hit could look like – we would love more ideas of equivalent ambition and appeal.
A range of opportunities are available with the focus on regional and Nations production in 13/14.
If you would like to know more about Zai Bennett's's BBC Three channel strategy, please visit the BBC Three page.
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