CBBC - what we want
Working with CBBC - watch a video briefing
Thanks for visiting CBBC commissioning!
Whilst we are keen to hear your ideas, please understand that getting commissions through onto our slate is particularly competitive at the moment. CBBC is committing to fewer brands overall, and focusing on both their linear and digital potential. This means of course that there is less room for new titles. The department is also making a significant investment in our digital offer, which has resulted in fewer opportunities for new linear commissions - particularly in the factual entertainment area.
Creative, clued up, connected, compassionate
CBBC inspires and enables six to 12 year-olds with world class, creative experiences across all platforms.
We offer multi-genre TV and digital experiences for children and expect CBBC to be a one-stop destination for a wide range of hit brands.
We aim to shine a compassionate light on the diverse lives of our audience and open windows on a wider world with content that is bold, innovative, challenging, infectious and, above all, gets everybody talking.
CBBC's tone is funny, entertaining, energetic, unpredictable, clever, and infused with laugh-yourself-smart appeal. We take our public service remit seriously and are proud that many of our most popular brands (Horrible Histories, The Dumping Ground, Operation Ouch, Dixi and My Life) have clear public service spines.
The CBBC channel is on air from 7am to 9pm seven days a week. On Demand is key, with as many as 24 per cent of viewers catching up with their favourite content on CBBC iPlayer every month. Our audience needs to find CBBC content wherever and whenever they want it - including on our website , CBBC YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and imminently, Instagram, plus we will have regular launches of quality games and apps.
In an increasingly connected world, we want to make an emphatic connection with our audience and facilitate connections between them - always in a safe environment.
We are always looking for 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.
With so many children actively sharing content on social media, understanding how your idea will cut through and get the audience talking and sharing is key.
We are particularly interested in ideas that can reach new digital audiences who are not frequenting the linear channel.
We would urge anyone hoping to pitch CBBC content to immerse themselves in what we already have on all our platforms, in order to understand what we already do well and what we could do differently. Further information about CBBC digital content and commissioning priorities can be found on the CBBC online commissioning page.
We have the ambition for our shows to appeal to other territories and have a global passport, though still be strongly relevant to the UK audiences. Shows might not necessarily be based in the UK but they must be accessible and must-see for UK children.
We are looking for ideas across all genres that have a universal appeal to our six to 12 age group. The Worst Witch and Danger Mouse are obvious examples of commercially successful brands which still clearly reflect a UK identity.
Please be aware that we sometimes have more than one company pitching the same concept. It is very rare that these will be exactly the same. If one company is commissioned over another, it will be due to the particular detail within the pitch.
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We are looking for powerful factual ideas with strong, enduring formats and diverse, passionate hosts – we’d love to find new role models who can really inspire young minds.
For 2018/19 we are looking to commission two x factual series of 10 to 12 episodes. They need to have whizzbang formats that sustain over several series.
We aim to commission brands that are outward-looking and life-changing and that help prepare children for adult life. They should be crammed with innovative and robust format points that can build and sustain interest over several series and across all our platforms.
My Life, CBBC’s BAFTA award-winning and International Emmy-winning documentary series is seeking ideas for fresh new films for 2018/2019 and 2019/20. The films do very well across TV and iPlayer – but is there a way of taking children’s inspiring stories further into the digital space?
There are 12 slots per year at £50,000 each.
Ideas should be submitted via BBC Pitch to Kez Margrie.
Ideas for CBBC factual content including My Life should be submitted via BBC Pitch to Kez Margrie or Hugh Lawton.
CBBC comedy and entertainment
In 2018/19 onwards we are looking for approximately three entertainment and comedy series of 12 x 30 episodes.
We definitely want to develop different and diverse family stories and we're still after a broad appeal studio sitcom. We would also be interested in younger skewed, physical comedy for six to nines with catchphrases, visual gags and buffoonery. This would need to be low cost and high volume with stellar comedy credentials and memorable characters.
Can you come up with low-cost sketch ideas that can work on all platforms – personality led and truly interactive, giving reasons to return? Or do you have family ideas with high entertainment values and high volume potential?
The CBBC extra hours (from 7pm to 9pm) mean that we may attract more family viewing with the right titles. We have developed a new quiz format Top Class and have commissioned a re-imagined Raven, but are open to other ideas with family appeal. Please note we will not be receiving extra funds for extended hours.
We are looking for entertainment ideas with female leads: we have several male duos on the channel and it's time for the ladies to make an appearance.
We are also after Inventive brand extensions which could take a popular show to another level, like Taking the Next Step and Officially Amazing Goes Bunkers. Our 'Fewer, Bigger, Better' strategy means fewer brands overall, paving the way for more impactful marketing campaigns and cross platform support.
Ideas for CBBC comedy should be submitted via BBC Pitch to Melissa Hardinge or Amy Buscombe. Ideas for CBBC entertainment and factual entertainment should be submitted via BBC Pitch to Hugh Lawton, Kez Margrie or Melissa Hardinge.
In 2018/19, we are looking to commission approximately two new dramas of 12 x 30 episodes, and two ‘event’ pieces of three x 30 episodes.
New, thrilling and ambitious drama ideas that have commercial potential but remain true to our public service remit would be very welcome. They should have a universal appeal, a global passport, while remaining UK relevant.
We want to find enduring fantasy and adventure stories with strong, memorable characters and unusual settings. The Worst Witch has proved a big success but what could be next?
Is there a sister or brother show for The Dumping Ground, not set in a school or care home but that has a similarly broad and refreshable cast?
Warmth and humour are integral to all our drama regardless of subject matter, as are engaging and complex characters. A refreshable cast is crucial – you should plan for when your main child lead grows up!
Digital first ideas
What are the fresh and innovative ways of telling stories on new platforms?
Dixi and Secret Life of Boys have proved a real success and we would also be interested in hearing about new ways to do digital narrative.
Is there a new way to make brilliantly scripted, compelling drama for our viewers that revolutionises the production process, reduces costs and still delivers infectious, highly entertaining narratives on demand?
Twelve to 16-year-olds
We have limited development resource for this age group, so are moving relatively cautiously and looking at spin-offs from current brands to take advantage of maturing fans for hit shows like 4 O’Clock Club and Dumping Ground.
However, this is not to say that we would not consider a brand new standout idea for this age group.
Individuals not associated with an independent production company should visit the Ideas from the public page to find alternative ways to work with the BBC or please check out the opportunities available on the BBC Writersroom website.
Please visit the Children's acquisitions page to find contacts and current needs.
Visit the CBBC online page for more information about CBBC digital content and commissioning.
- CBBC factual: £80,000 - £200,000 per hour: Broad tariff to encompass one off observation documentaries to new brand and channel defining, educational and public serving content.
- CBBC factual entertainment: £100,000 - £250,000 per hour: Programming based on a strong entertainment format, usually presenter-led, tend to be event driven.
- CBBC entertainment: £50,000 - £300,000 per hour: Strong formats, studio and non-studio based, high volume, contemporary, audience participation.
- CBBC drama, comedy and comedy drama (high range): £350,000 - £550,000 per hour: Scripted, commercial co-pros, high production values, foreign filming and/or multiple locations, special effects, stunts, large cast and established talent.
- CBBC drama, comedy and comedy drama (mid range): £140,000 - £350,000 per hour: Narrative drama or comedy, returning series, double commissions, minimal locations, less established talent, predominantly younger cast, digital propositions.
- CBBC animation: £150,000 - £300,000 per hour: Commercial co-pros, high production values, contemporary.
- CBBC short-form: £400 - £2000 per minute
- CBBC games: £25,000 to £100,000
Submitting all ideas
All new ideas from independent production companies must be submitted via BBC Pitch to the relevant commissioner.
Unfortunately we do not accept submissions from members of the public. Please see the Ideas from of the public page instead.
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