Scripted & Entertainment

Thanks for all the offers in these genres to date. Please dive in to the revised briefing document and hopefully it’s clear from the brief that I’m looking cross platform so that radio, digital and TV can all feed and supply each other. Bring great stuff and we can work out the best way to shape it and place it.

Couple of wee things…

The previous call for STAND UP has dropped off because we have enough offerings in the mix there.

In comedy it would be great to find some bigger characters that can power a half hour and I’m keen to look at grounded and relatable precincts that feel very authentic in their voice. Also be good to get away from the West Coast.  

In previous briefs we have outlined our main areas of interest in Drama, so do please continue to bring those scripts. Also… because I’m across both Comedy and Drama I can look at Dramedy offerings and that’s not a genre that’s often pitched.

And in comedy entertainment I feel I’m not really getting funny formats that allow comedians to banter and shine. Could be panel-based, but not necessarily satirical - from Taskmaster to Room 101 there’s loads of other funny ways to work with comedians!

Last updated: 12 February 2019
BBC Scotland TV channel

Comedy

Comedy will play an important role on the BBC Scotland channel and we’re keen to find laughs through a range of programming.

PANEL / STUDIO ENTERTAINMENT

We continue to be keen on satirical review. There’s room for topical panel shows but we’re also open to other formats. Are there other comedy/ents ways we can look at satire that isn’t just a panel? In all our shows we need to be able to laugh at both sides of any debate.

Away from satire there’s scope for other non-topical panel shows – along the lines of QI - and other studio based formats that use comedians but can be batch recorded, such as Room 101. These ideas could also start life on radio (see below).

  • 10-15 x 30 mins
  • £25k-£30k per hour
  • Genre: Scotland Comedy
  • Channel: BBC Scotland Channel
  • Commissioner: Gavin Smith

COMEDY ENTERTAINMENT

Open to other comedy entertainment formats. Shows that might get us out and about with comedians - but not just a tour of the country in a vehicle. Hybrid shows that are funny first, warm and feel good and that use comedians in other ways e.g. Rhod Gilbert’s Work Experience.

We’ve recently been discussing prank shows. Comedians interacting with the unsuspecting Scottish public all over the country. The overarching idea, the tone and the talent behind it will all be important for an offer in this area but we’re keen to explore hidden camera. Could start life low cost and digitally.

And comedy archive and talking heads is always a great combination!

  • 30 mins
  • £70k-£120k per hour (idea dependent)
  • Genre: Scotland Comedy
  • Channel: BBC Scotland Channel
  • Commissioner: Gavin Smith

SCRIPTED SERIES

We have some of the biggest comedy shows on the network right now in Still Game and Two Doors Down.

We also continue to serve Scottish audiences with local output such as Scot Squad and Limmy’s Homemade Show. We want to build on that success with new ideas in scripted comedy.

Channel-first scripted will typically be lower cost than BBC One Opts and Network co funded offerings. Innovative production models and scripts that can be realised in creative ways are welcomed without compromising the comedy.

  • 6x 30 mins
  • £130k-£150k per hour
  • Genre: Scotland Comedy
  • Channel: BBC Scotland Channel
  • Commissioner: Gavin Smith

STAGED COMEDY

We have received a number of original stand-up formats and have enough of those for now, but what other comedy plays, events, stunts etc. are being staged in venues around the country and could be captured for broadcast?

  • 30 or 60 mins
  • £20k-£40k per hour
  • Genre: Scotland Comedy
  • Channel: BBC Scotland Channel
  • Commissioner: Gavin Smith
BBC One Scotland

SCRIPTED COMEDY

Still Game and Scot Squad play on BBC One Scotland and we’re keen to build on that success with new series.

We’re aiming to bring single specials and scripted series to air in 2019 and are keen to look at scripts now that will work for Opts and potentially with the network. These are high profile slots so projects need to have been developed (perhaps through radio or digital opportunities noted below) or have higher end talent at the heart of the offering.

  • 30 mins
  • Tariff varies according to volume and finance model
  • Genre: Scotland Comedy
  • Channel: BBC Scotland Channel
  • Commissioner: Gavin Smith
BBC One Scotland or BBC Scotland Channel

DRAMA

Scotland has a strong track record in drama – from River City to Shetland.

As with Comedy, we are working closely with network colleagues to bring new ideas with particular appeal to audiences in Scotland to air. At present, drama commissions for the BBC One Scotland opts or the BBC Scotland channel are likely to need significant co-funding.

We’re looking for entrepreneurial producers who can work with us to piece the funding together. In an evolving production and financing landscape in Scotland there’s great opportunity for drama and we’re keen to be part of it.

Within these parameters, there are a number of areas in which we’re interested in receiving ideas and treatments.

  • 60 mins
  • Tariff varies according to finance model
  • Genre: Scotland Drama
  • Channel: BBC One Scotland or Scotland Channel
  • Commissioner: Gavin Smith

FACTUAL BASED DRAMA

From biopics to powerful true stories that resonate with our audiences, many of the offerings here have been fairly safe, linear retellings of events. It needs to be sitting forward in your seat stuff, exciting character and dynamic storytelling…. rather than just wash over you. Untold, surprising, shocking… are all good words for these factual based stories and think about innovative ways to convey the story.

CONTEMPORARY DRAMA

Mainly looking for series here. Distinct concept and bold execution for audiences to be intrigued to come to the channel to watch our show rather than powering up Netflix. Looking for contemporary and relevant now… rather than something that is set now but feels like it could have been made 5/ 10 years ago. Anything procedural or that feels safe, gentle and formulaic is likely to be a pass.

SOCIAL HISTORY DRAMA

The stories that pack out Scottish theatres. Where’s The Steamie or Slab Boys for those who came of age in the 80s and 90s? Doesn’t necessarily have to be a single, it could be a reflective series from recent history.

STAGED DRAMA

We’re open to the recording of exceptional contemporary drama pieces, events or strands in theatres and festivals that deserve an outing on air.

  • 30 or 60 mins
  • £20k-£40k per hour
  • Genre: Scotland Drama
  • Channel: BBC Scotland Channel
  • Commissioner: Gavin Smith
BBC Radio Scotland

COMEDY

We are keen to expand on our successful comedy output on BBC Radio Scotland. Radio formats are an important treat for our listeners and can also be part of our pipeline for ideas that could transfer to our TV services.

When submitting ideas for BBC Radio Scotland in BBC Pitch please use the ’Channel TBA option’

SCRIPTED

Very open to scripts- both sitcoms and sketch. Don’t want to be too prescriptive on this. Just bring funny stuff! We plan to back new and established talent and use the platforms to introduce audiences to great comedy pieces that could grow to be long running series.

  • 4x 30 mins
  • Tariff: £10k-£11k per ep
  • Genre: Scotland Comedy
  • Channel: TBA
  • Commissioner: Gavin Smith

PANEL

Topical and non-topical… what innovative panel formats can we bring to audiences in Scotland?

  • 10x 30 mins
  • Tariff: £5k-£10k per ep
  • Genre: Scotland Comedy
  • Channel: TBA
  • Commissioner: Gavin Smith
Digital first - comedy

COMEDY

Working with Louise Thornton, our Digital Social and Youth commissioner we’re keen to use digital platforms to develop projects and talent that can grow to longer form series.

When pitching Digital First material please select ‘Channel TBA’ on the dropdown menu in BBC Pitch

SHORTS

This slot probably lends itself best to writer performers but there could be a fantastic piece of script that performing talent could attach to. This is the next step after Short Stuff and The Social where talent move from quick hits to longer pieces that will involve a bit of narrative storytelling. It’s a test bed for great character comedy in the form of mini sitcom eps. Can we find our next Gary Tank Commander?

  • 3x 5 mins
  • Tariff: £1500 per minute
  • Genre: Scotland Comedy
  • Channel: BBC Scotland Channel
  • Commissioner: Gavin Smith

Gavin Smith

Gavin Smith

Gavin has worked in scripted television for most of his career having spent 14 years at The Comedy Unit before moving to the BBC to take up the role of Commissioning Executive.

After spells at STV and Yorkshire Television, Gavin joined The Comedy Unit staff and worked as researcher, producer, director, head of development and most recently Creative Director at the Glasgow based indie overseeing the development and production of multiple series on the slate.

He has Executive Produced across multiple genres for multiple broadcasters including Sky, Channel 4, Channel 5, BBC Northern Ireland, BBC One, Two & Three, Discovery and Comedy Central.

Gavin is passionate about development and has overseen a successful slate of projects that went on to be commissioned by BBC Scotland including Scot SquadGary: Tank CommanderBurnistoun  and Limmy’s Show.      

Other credits include: The Break (BBC Three)Badults  (BBC Three), Scotland In A Day (C4), 247 Hours in A&E (Channel 5), Anna Mann’s Valentine (Sky)The Story of Slapstick (BBC Two), Taxi Gags (All4), Soft Border Patrol (BBC Northern Ireland)Fail  (BBC Three).