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Entertainment on BBC One

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Mark Linsey discusses Entertainment on BBC One

Controller: Mark Linsey


Entertainment is hugely important for BBC One. It provides everything from energy-filled family viewing on Saturday nights, to high quality midweek factual entertainment, to fast-paced comedy entertainment later in the schedule. Across all the slots we want to see the best ideas for original and ‘must see’ entertainment featuring well-loved talent.

We want Entertainment on BBC One to be uplifting and draw people together, whether as households gathering in their living rooms or creating a sense of national event. Saturday night in particular is the emotional heart of the weekend and is particularly important for  shared viewing. It is the night of the week when entertainment expectations are at their highest, and we need to exceed them.

Tonally, Entertainment contributes to the channel’s warmth and ‘lights on’ feel.


For online and Red Button content ideas for Entertainment please visit the service strategy page for BBC iPlayer, Red Button and programme pages.

Find out more about the overall BBC One channel strategy.

The Audience

Entertainment brings mass audiences to BBC One and offers shared viewing experiences that appeal across genders and generations. It can also be really effective at attracting younger audiences to the channel, for example through post-peak shows like The Graham Norton Show.

During the week pre-watershed shows which are informative but light-hearted, laid-back and family-friendly work well. Meanwhile later in the evening, when physical activity has ceased and it's all about the mind, the less traditional audience is ready to experiment and has fewer set expectations.

As we said, on Saturday nights the audience want to see high quality, big scale Entertainment which gives them a sense of escape and release and which they can share with others, both at the time and afterwards. In families, Saturday teatime viewing is often driven by children, with parents’ priority being just enjoying time together. But for the children, it should feel different and grown-up compared with content on specialist channels, and ultimately multi-layered shows like Total Wipeout which can meet the needs of both adults and kids at the same time work best.  That said, only a small proportion of the audience are families watching together, we don’t want to make our Saturday entertainment feel too young and child-focussed. As always, it should appeal to as broad an audience as possible and not feel too targeted to any particular group. 

Commissioning Slots

Saturday evening peak series, 6 - 10 episodes x 60 minutes. 
Tariff range: price targeted up to £285k per hour.

Where are the opportunities available?

The Saturday evening opportunity exists in the WoCC in 2015/16.

How should I submit my ideas and who should I pitch to?

All proposals should be submitted via BBC Pitch to the relevant Genre Controller or Commissioner.

Find contacts in Entertainment  Commissioning

Information reviewed on 29 July 2014

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