Acquisitions on BBC Two

To complement original commissioned content the BBC aims to bring the best international movies and programmes to its audiences. Find out about factual and fiction acquisitions.

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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: Limited opportunities for lightly formatted series with occasional talent-led singles

BBC Two: Focus on innovative and varied Saturday night singles and new approaches to landmark

BBC Four: New ways of doing three-part series beyond travelogue + single films with strong authorship

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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


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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 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 OneTwo more runs of Comedy Playhouses with broad appeal commissioned on a rolling basis

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

BBC Three: Seeking more mid-form scripted comedy pieces so interested in 5-10 min one-off pilots

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Current affairs

Commissioning priorities

BBC OnePanorama episodes of 30 minutes and more, some 60 minutes to run as specials

BBC Two: We want bold simple concepts and content which gets closer to everyday concerns

BBC Three: We want more sharply opinionated content along with ideas that examine domestic issues

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Daytime opportunities on BBC One

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

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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 One: Access documentaries + popular documentary formats with a difference and singles 

BBC Two: Access documentaries + innovative popular formats. Also interested in reinventing travel

BBC Three: Authored singles with purpose and a personal, passionate story to tell

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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

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Early peak

Early peak opportunities on BBC Two

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

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Commissioning priorities

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

BBC Two: Sunday night 8pm and 9pm - series of 60 minutes

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

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History and business

Commissioning priorities

BBC One: Returnable formats and large scale series

BBC Two: We want to refresh the landmark space and move away from programmes with a survey feel

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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.

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Commissioning priorities

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

BBC Two: Saturday night single films of 60 or 90 and new ways of doing classical 

BBC Four: Seeking a popular music series and single documentary films for Fridays nights

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Natural history

Natural History priorities

  • Statement pieces on conservation and environment
  • New takes on populist formats, like Natures Weirdest Events/Animal Odd Couples

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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.

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Religion and ethics

Religion and ethics commissioning priorities

We want to reinvigorate the five 'faith films' on BBC One and are particularly interested in new talent on and off screen. We also want to look again at how we deliver landmark religion titles.

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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 One: Landmark, popular domestic formats, new forms of social experiments and singles

BBC Two: New technology to capture science, documentary access and formats

BBC Four: High-end science ideas and factual theatre

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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


Storyville commissioning priorities

Ground breaking films with compelling narratives and strong characters, which though international in scope, have themes that touch us all.

Find out more

Latest commissioning news


Nations and Regions commissioning