To complement its original commissioned content, the BBC aims to bring the best international movies and programmes to its audiences and acquired programming is a significant and highly valued part of our output. Find out about factual and fiction acquisitions.

Read more about Children's acquisitions and Storyville.

Find out more

Storyville commissioning priorities

Storyville has developed an enviable reputation since its inception more than a decade ago.

Our aim is to try to bring the most interesting character-based stories from around the world to the screen. That gives us amazing scope to commission across a huge range of genres and subjects, both retrospective and unfolding.



Arts commissioning opportunities

BBC One: Singles and events and broad talent-led pieces

BBC Two: Saturday nights at 9pm main focus, one off high impact singles

BBC Four: Singles that can form part of a larger series or season, mostly 60 minutes or longer

Find out more

What we want on BBC One

  • Singles and events

  • Broad talent-led pieces

  • Slots are available in 2016 and beyond for imagine… and can be pitched to Tanya Hudson or Mark Bell


Click on the buttons to the right for further information

What we want on BBC Two

  • Saturday nights at 9pm – one off high impact singles around events that stand out in the schedule with a newsworthy and revelatory spirit. Could form a centrepiece to a season such as Ted Hughes: Stronger Than Death forming part of a wider poetry season across Radio and TV.

  • Limited opportunity for high impact landmark Arts series to play on Wednesday nights. Looking for innovation - think beyond single Presenter-led essays.

  • Big attention grabbing singles and events like Pride and Prejudice: Having a Ball.

  • Always on the lookout for smart acquisitions.

What we want on BBC Four

There are a range of available slots on BBC Four such as season ideas, original singles, authored series and one-off events such as:

  • Singles that can form part of a larger series or season.

  • Looking for new Presenters – fresh, innovative talent that comes to Art from a different angle, artists, practitioners and other insiders.

BBC iPlayer

Commissioning priorities

Our intention for iPlayer first commissions is not to compete with our own broadcast channels and programmes, but to complement them – find the gaps, explore what’s missing for on demand audiences and challenge convention by experimenting with storytelling outside the creative borders of the broadcast schedule.

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Comedy on BBC iPlayer

Our focus for BBC iPlayer is on Comedy Feeds for BBC Three: bold, experimental long-form pilots which push the boundaries for Comedy as a genre, creatively exploit the online platform and showcase new UK talent (both on and off-screen). We commission between seven to nine pilots per year and we invite submissions once a year.

Drama on BBC iPlayer

For established or returning Drama series, we want to commission exclusive episodes for BBC iPlayer or Red Button that heighten audiences’ excitement for the return of the series on TV. We’ll be looking to commission three to five pieces like this per year. Episodes need to feature key onscreen talent from the TV series.

BBC iPlayer and Red Button episodes offer Writers an opportunity to break open the story world in an original way for fans. Episodes can be of any duration.

Entertainment on BBC iPlayer

Our primary focus is Saturday night, BBC One and we’re excited by ideas that use BBC iPlayer, Red Button, online and social media to bring the nation together. We want ideas that really appeal to broad audiences, making shows as big and inclusive as they can be.

Factual on BBC iPlayer


We want to commission topical content for BBC iPlayer around festivals, events and exhibitions that reflect the culture of Britain and support the BBC’s wider Arts strategy. 


We want to commission Red Button content around Factual programme events such as Autumnwatch, Springwatch and Winterwatch and the Chelsea Flower Show to increase their scale and ambition and offer audiences unlimited access to the fullness of the event, beyond broadcast.


For BBC Four we’re looking to drive impact and enrich seasons of programmes on the channel with exclusive archive Collections on BBC iPlayer.

BBC Music on iPlayer

The primary focus for BBC Music in 2015 is to pilot bold and inventive new forms of music for the BBC iPlayer. These may also have potential for Red Button, social media and to become regular BBC commissions.

Current commissioning briefs for BBC Music on iPlayer include:

  • BBC iPlayer: ‘Music Entertainment'
  • BBC iPlayer ‘Memorable moments’



BBC Children's - working with us video briefing

We are always looking for new, memorable, innovative and distinctive ideas across all genres and platforms.

The starting point should be a clear audience need and we would encourage content makers to think about their idea working for linear and digital together.

Find out more about CBBC commissioning


BBC Children's - working with us video briefing

CBeebies offers a mixed genre output presenting entertainment, drama, comedy and factual content. Content that is specifically produced for a young audience, at a pace and in a style that suits them and using a range of formats including live-action and animation.

Find out more about CBeebies commissioning


Comedy commissioning priorities

BBC One: Pre-watershed, comedy-entertainment for Saturday tea-time and 7.30/8.30 on Fridays + three new Comedy Playhouse pieces

BBC Two: Four or five ‘New on Two’ pilots, studio audience sitcom and single camera sitcom

BBC Three: Longform series of four to six episodes from 22 – 30 minutes and opportunities for rolling Comedy Feed commissions

Find out more

Current affairs

Commissioning priorities

BBC One: Panorama episodes of 30 minutes and more, some 60 minutes to run as specials

BBC Two: Series ideas of scale and ambition for 2017/18 to go into production soon 

BBC Three: Longform series and singles (target 45 min duration) and blocks of short-form content

Find out more


  • Panorama: 30 minutes and more rarely 60 minutes to run as specials. Within the Panorama strand there are opportunities in the WoCC and Indie Guarantee for 2014/15 and beyond.

Click on the buttons to the right for further information

What we want on BBC Two:

  • This World: Pre and post watershed international current affairs, one x 60 minutes
  • Domestic ideas: either Documentary or ambitious Format approaches to core current affairs territories and investigations.
  • Not currently seeking analytical presenter led pieces or feature formats.

What we want on BBC Three

  • Seeking long form launch proposals for BBC Three online. Either landmark in vein of Life on Death Row or presenter led journalistic pieces with Three type talent.

  • Also interested in short form online proposals we can consider for pre online launch development.

Daytime and early peak

Daytime and early peak opportunities

BBC One: Distinctive formats and documentary series, mainstream quizzes with a new approach and occasional event drama series

BBC Two: Factual entertainment and entertainment shows, 30 minutes at 6pm and 6.30pm

Find out more

What we want on BBC One

  • Distinctive Formats and Documentary series at 9.15am and 11am – 45 minutes

  • Mainstream quizzes with a new approach at 2:15pm (or later) - 45 minutes

  • Occasional event Drama series at 2.15pm - 45 minutes

  • Factual Entertainment and competition formats at 3.45pm - 45 minutes

What we want on BBC Two

  • Entertainment, Quizzes or Factual Formats, 30 minutes at 6pm and 6.30pm - 15, 20 or 25 episodes

On BBC Two we are looking for 30 minute shows to play at 6pm or 6.30pm. We are looking to offer a mainstream alternative to the news and would like people to think broadly about what is possible rather than trying to replicate what is there already. Commissions may include quizzes but we are also looking for original Factual-Entertainment ideas. 

Daytime showreel

View the latest highlights from BBC Daytime and Early Peak and find out what's working well across the genre.





Commissioning priorities

BBC OneAccess documentaries remain a priority and we still need popular formats with a difference. Singles on big subjects of national importance with a contemporary feel are also key.

BBC TwoAccess documentaries are critical while new, innovative popular formats with heart are also sought. We are also interested in reinventing travel.

BBC Three: Authored singles with purpose and a personal, passionate story to tell are key. We also want to focus on domestic issues that dominate young minds.

Find out more

What we want on BBC One

  • Actively seeking more ambitious Documentary ideas driven by greater innovation that will work at 9pm and 10.35pm made by the best directing talent.
  • Observational Documentary series with purpose and broad appeal which feel forensic and new. Big characters and strong compelling narratives and unmediated access to pockets of hidden Britain.
  • Formats that capture the public imagination. Transformational or social experiments. Driven by emotion and relevance with innovative constructs and cross genre approaches: 9pm.
  • Documentary Landmark Events: 9pm.
  • Reputational and reactive singles: 9pm.
  • Attention-grabbing singles: 10.35pm.
  • Light formatted series suggestions welcome.

What we want on BBC Two

For 9pm:

  • Compelling, popular series which combine wit and intelligence
  • Ambitious access with great sense of purpose and directorial innovation
  • Formats and experiments that challenge as they entertain
  • Stand-out singles by the best Directors


  • Series with new shapes and tones

What we want on BBC Three

  • Series: access driven, Presenter led or big experiments. Be bold.
  • Drama Documentaries: our audience loves real stories powerfully brought to life by great writing, directing and acting.
  • Singles: Huge opportunities for distinctive single films that have the ambition to make noise and excite debate.
  • New talent – both off and on-screen. We want to hear about fresh voices directing films and presenting films.

What we want on BBC Four

  • Observational Documentary series: 9pm.

  • Singles: stand alone or as part of a series.

Storyville priorities on BBC Four

  • Ground breaking films with compelling narratives and strong characters, which though international in scope, have themes that touch us all.
  • No turkeys, no worthiness and no dullness.


Danny Horan discusses his priorities

Watch Commissioning Editor Danny Horan discuss his priorities for Documentaries on BBC Two and BBC Three.



Commissioning priorities

BBC One: Limited availability in 2017/18 with more available in 2018/19 and beyond.

BBC Two: Looking for six part series and serials in 2018/19

Find out more


Commissioning priorities

BBC One: One or more peak shows for Saturday nights and a Saturday early evening series from the Nations

BBC Two: Series on Sunday night at 8pm and 9pm, midweek at 8pm and 9pm and weeknights at 10pm

BBC Three: Three x longform series a year that will repeat on BBC One or BBC Two

Find out more


Commissioning priorities

BBC One: 8pm and 9pm, 60 minute singles and series (including high volume opportunities), occasional 90 minute specials

BBC Two: 8pm and 9pm slots for singles and series. 

Find out more

History on BBC One

Seeking singles and series up to three x 60 minutes, and occasional 90 minute special projects for 9pm.

Mixing traditional BBC One strengths with innovations in visual effects both point to future opportunities.

The emphasis will increasingly be on marrying emotional storytelling that allows viewers to relate to our programmes in as immediate and relevant way as possible, with challenging ourselves to do things in new ways.

Click on the buttons to the right to find out more

History on BBC Two

Plenty of 8pm and 9pm slots both for singles and also series, though realistically these are unlikely to exceed three episodes unless exceptionally compelling

Also interested in projects strong enough to merit being stripped, or even going out live

Click on the buttons to the right to find out more


BBC Bitesize brings together the BBC formal education content into one highly trusted brand covering a wide-range of online content types including short-form video, interactive activities, study guides and infographics.

BBC Teach is a new and exciting YouTube channel to support students and teachers in the classroom by curating the best of BBC videos, clips and other resources.

Find out more

BBC iWonder

BBC iWonder is the digital factual and educational brand from the BBC designed to explore different perspectives on thought-provoking questions sparked by everyday life, current events, seasons, anniversaries, BBC programmes and campaigns or social trends.

BBC iWonder has been built with a “mobile first” mentality using responsive design as a way to enable a fluid experience for users across multiple devices. Interactive content formats are a key feature of BBC iWonder.

Click on the buttons to the right to read more.


In 2016 Get Reading (working title) will be the umbrella brand for a yearlong celebration of books and authors. BBC Learning will explore the books that matter to us most through two separate social media campaigns: one targeting the heartland BBC audience and the other focussing on teenagers and young adults.

In response to the commissioning brief, one successful company will devise the social media strategy for both campaigns as well as creating content to help promote and increase the reach of the campaign on social networks.

Learning showreel

Watch the latest highlights from across BBC Learning and find out what's working well now.


Commissioning priorities

Looking for ideas for transmission from April 2017 for BBC Two and Four. Additionally:

BBC One: Documentaries on top artists, performance films and authored single events

BBC Two: Forensic history films in all genres and broader popular series for Saturday nights

BBC Four: Core genre-based music series and broader popular insights. Explore ambitious ‘event’ type ideas

Find out more

Natural history

Natural History priorities

BBC One: The next generation of popular, formatted natural history ideas

BBC Two: Natural history experiments and events of real scale

Find out  more

For BBC One we are seeking:

  • Ideas which deploy new technology or new camera techniques to tell natural history stories in entirely new ways
  • Popular natural history series with cutting edge science to tell smart, funny, insightful stories
  • Single films or series which tackle contemporary subjects
  • Big event pieces that will stand out in the schedule
  • New ways of telling Natural History stories
  • Contemporary access which tells a Natural History story

For BBC Two we are seeking:

  • Natural History events: live or as live but bringing the audience close to the action, either in constructed environment or in the field
  • People and Animals: stories of those with extraordinary proximity to
  • Innovative new takes on animal soap operas
  • New ways of delivering blue chip Natural History stories with innovative technology or storytelling
  • New ways of doing travel and travelogue - with authentic presenters or talent at their heart


For BBC Four we are seeking:

  • Big event pieces
  • Stand out single films
  • Travelogue and immersive journeys with a strong natural world narrative

Click on the buttons to the right to find out more 

Craig Hunter

Watch Commissioning Editor Craig Hunter discuss his strategy for Natural History, his commissioning priorities and role.

Craig also commissions Specialist Factual Formats programming. Find out more about the new genre including interviews with Head of Commissioning Tom McDonald.

Read more

Religion and ethics

Religion and ethics commissioning priorities

BBC One: Very occasional singles or short series; either peak, post peak or daytime

BBC Two: Occasional singles and series, either 8pm or 9pm

Find out more

What we want on BBC One

  • Very occasional opportunities for singles or short series at either peak, post peak or daytime.

BBC One is home to a large array of religion broadcasting, from Songs of Praise to the Sunday morning debates of Sunday Morning Live and The Big Questions.

This is the channel that also sees many of our key religious festivals marked and celebrated.

What we want on BBC Two

  • Seeking occasional singles and series, either 8pm or 9pm

BBC Two has tended to occupy the landmark category, often combining travel and history. The opportunities for these remain but with issues of religion, belief, ethics and sectarianism so dominating the headlines we are keen to have proposals that help us reflect and investigate these areas.


Science commissioning priorities

BBC One9pm landmark

BBC Two8pm and 9pm, singles and short series with the occasional 90 minute special

BBC Four9pm singles and short series

Find out more

What we want on BBC One

  • Looking for 9pm landmarks.

BBC One is determined to have Science which challenges and informs. This is not the place to dumb down, or play safe!

Interested in ideas more in the shape of The Young Ones.

Our audiences are also deeply invested in how Science can help transform lives, as well as provide critical information of use every day.

What we want on BBC Two

Seeking singles and short series with the occasional 90 minute special for 8pm and 9pm.

Looking for reactive pieces triggered by events in the news, or reputational landmark series that bring as wide an audience as possible.

We have a major priority working out what landmark Science might now look like. What new areas of Science can we cover?

What we want on BBC Four

Looking for 9pm singles and short series.

Distinctive landmarks, mind-boggling concepts, but also experiment and processes allowed to unfold over time are all great ingredients.

Presenters who combine total mastery of detail, story-telling focus and deeply credible point of view.

Click on the buttons to the right to find out more

Latest commissioning news


Nations and Regions commissioning