Acquisitions

Acquisitions

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.

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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

Arts commissioning opportunities

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

BBC Two: Single subjects for stand-alone documentaries and open to ideas for seasons and theme nights

BBC Four: Singles and three-parters and seeking new and diverse talent with arts expertise

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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

 

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

Arts

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. 

Events

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.

Archive

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’

 

CBBC

Digital content for Children's - watch a 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

CBeebies

Digital content for Children's - watch a 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

Comedy commissioning priorities

Comedy Feeds open for submissions for 2017 pilots

BBC One: Pre and post watershed scripted comedy, series and some specials, particularly around Christmas

BBC Two: Studio audience sitcom and single camera sitcoms: six x 30 minutes

BBC Three: Longform series of four to six eps from 22 – 30 mins, series and some specials 

Find out more

What we want on BBC One

  • Pre and post watershed Scripted Comedy: six x 30 minutes.


Click on the buttons to the right to find out more

What we want on BBC Two

  • Studio audience Sitcom: six x 30 minutes. Tariff range: £180k - £230k.
  • Single camera Sitcom: six x 30 minutes. Tariff range within Comedy Two.

What we want on BBC Three

  • Comedy series of four to six episodes from 22 – 30 minutes, tariff: £180k-220k
  • One-offs considered, the tariff reflecting the nature of a standalone piece and dependent on the Commissioning specification.
  • There will be a focus on regional and Nations production in 2015/16

Comedy Feeds

Comedy pilots commissioned exclusively for BBC Three to showcase new talent and develop new ideas for full series. Comedy Feeds are low-cost pilots and are produced for roughly £70 - 100k.

Click the read more button for further information. 

What we want on BBC Four

We have a small Comedy slate that we aim to use strategically to develop projects which potentially could have a long running future on BBC Two. We are looking for projects to deliver in 2015.

What we want 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.

Comedy showreel

Watch the lastest highlights from BBC Comedy and see what's working well for the genre.

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

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Panorama

  • 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.

 

 

 

Documentaries

Commissioning priorities

BBC One: Ideas which have wit and warmth, characters we root for whose dramas are real and whose stories tell us about life in modern Britain

BBC Two: Lighter access to worlds that promise fun and intrigue

BBC Three: Areas such as beliefs people are willing to die for, money and home. Access driven, presenter led series or experiments. Drama documentaries and distinctive single films

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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

10pm:

  • 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.

 

Drama

Commissioning priorities

We have limited opportunities remaining in 2015/16 with more available in 2016/17 within the In-house Guarantee, the WoCC and the Independent Quota.

Find out more

Entertainment

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

Formats and features

Commissioning priorities

BBC One: We’d love transformational formats to play at 8 or 9pm

BBC Two: Low cost returning formats at 7 and 8pm. Transformational and/or ambitious. Opportunities for half hour food or consumer formats and keen to find formats with scale and ambition at 8 and 9pm

Find out more

History

Commissioning priorities

BBC One: 9pm, both singles and series up to three x 60 minutes and occasional 90 minute special projects

BBC Two: 8pm and 9pm slots for singles and series. Also interested in projects strong enough to merit being stripped or even live

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

Learning

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 Learning transforms lives through education and their annual Campaigns are aimed at countering a cultural, societal or educational need.  

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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.

Campaigns

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.

Music

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

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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

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

Specialist factual formats

Commissioning priorities

BBC One: Popular, formatted natural history ideas, social experiments with purpose and science meets factual entertainment ideas beyond health

BBC Two: Access with strong science narrative, formatted history outside of living history, experiments and new ways of looking at factual theatre

Find out more

On BBC One we are seeking:

  • series at 9pm: 3 x 60mins - 6 x 60mins - ambitious, relevant factual formats that will get the nation talking, with a strong specialist factual layer.

Ongoing needs include:

  • Returnable series ideas or big event piece which can be stripped across the schedule.
  • Closed episode formatted series beyond health and pets.
  • High impact ‘factual theatre’ or specialist factual stunts – could be one-offs, two-parters or a series.
  • New ways to do popular history beyond living history.

 

On BBC Two we are currently seeking:

Slots available mid-week at 8pm and 9pm.

Ongoing priorities include:

  • Special access to precincts or people to reveal a bigger specialist factual story – think about Documentary style access within a specialist factual format.
  • Ways to bring drama-documentaries to the genre on smaller budgets.
  • Always looking for social experiments on the scale of The Borrowers. These don’t necessarily need to be rigged or live/as live.
  • New ways of combining travel ideas with specialist factual content.

Commissioning Editor Craig Hunter discusses his role

Watch Commissioning Editor Craig Hunter discuss his strategy for Specialist Factual Formats, his commissioning priorities and role.

Craig also commissions Natural History programming. Find out more about the genre including interviews with Head of Commissioning Tom McDonald.

Read more

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