Children's acquisitions and independent animation
To complement our commissioned programming the Children’s Acquisitions and Independent Animation team acquires and pre-buys material for CBeebies (children aged 0-6) and CBBC (children aged 6-16) from production companies in the UK and internationally.
Please note we have limited opportunities for pre-buys for 2020/21 due to recent emergency spend on content as result of the pandemic.
Visit the Children's commissioning homepage for further information about teams and processes, and for current development priorities.
For CBeebies our budget is primarily utilised to buy animated series. We welcome ideas which demonstrate new ways to educate, inform, entertain and inspire a child’s first steps towards big ideas. Ideas should be driven by an understanding of our audience and inspire a sense of awe and wonder, whilst keeping the tone exciting and fun. It is important to have distinctive visuals alongside diverse, authentic and compelling characters.
We are currently looking for completed series and new proposals that will help us serve diverse and C2DE audiences more effectively.
Content with strong and aspirational female leads is/are always welcome.
An action-themed title for the younger end of 0-6 would be of great interest – team adventure and hijinks with public-service values at its heart.
We are also on the lookout for fresh preschool comedy to complement our slate.
Successful series that have come through the acquisitions team include: What’s the Big Idea? (a pre-school philosophy show) Octonauts (an action-adventure show based around teamwork and marine biology), Messy Goes to OKIDO (introducing complex scientific ideas to a very young audience), Kiri and Lou (a musical series that gently explores emotions).
We’re on the lookout for dynamic animation and live action drama series with superb story-telling and winning characters at their heart. For older viewers we like to see more complex stories with authentic characters and big rites of passage stories told sensitively.
We have super-served the older end of CBBC recently and are keen to redress the balance with more acquisitions aimed at the 6-9s.
Fresh and genuinely funny friendship groups as well as a strong sense of family are always of interest, as are ideas that promote inclusion and that give a platform to underrepresented voices.
We like genre-busting adventure series that reach beyond our current offerings and which don’t rely on casual violence to achieve tension and excitement.
We are also looking for a slightly older skewing animated sitcom with snarky offbeat humour.
We are always keen to unearth content with strong, aspirational female characters.
We are also interested in anime and anime-inspired titles for the channel and iPlayer. Completed and dubbed series are preferable but an English dub is not essential at this stage – submissions must have English subtitles in order to be considered.
Mustangs FC, The Next Step, Arthur, Odd Squad, Dennis and Gnasher Unleashed!, Scream Street, The Deep, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power and Shaun the Sheep, are examples of programmes that have come through our department.
Submitting to acquisitions
Submissions from UK independent production companies should be submitted to Sarah Muller via BBC Pitch. (BBC Pitch is open to UK based production companies who have had a commission in the last three years from either the BBC or another major broadcaster.)
International companies and those not eligible for a BBC Pitch account can pitch directly to Sarah Muller and the Acquisitions team. All submission materials should be sent via email to Desiree Peeters.
Please note that we are unable to take submissions from members of the public and those not affiliated with a production company. For more information about how to get in touch with the BBC, please find further information on the ideas from the public page.
Please also note that we do not accept resubmissions once a project has been rejected. The team will only review a submission for a second time if the indie or producer can prove the proposal has significantly changed.
In the first instance, your pitch should include:
- A short pitch outlining the concept. This should contain a clear explanation of the concept, character descriptions, locations and sample storylines along with visual materials.
- Proof of concept in the form of script(s), especially if your idea is comedy skewed.
- If there is test animation or an animatic available that is also useful but we appreciate this can be costly.
All these materials will help in our consideration of a submission. It is the core idea and execution of that idea that we focus on when we review submissions. We do not judge a top-line submission any differently to one with a bible, scripts and animatic.
The BBC email size limit is very small. If you are sending large files or multiple materials, we advise exploring alternative file sending services such as WeTransfer or dropbox.
Please be aware that due to the high volume of submissions received it may take some time for us to get back to you.
Get in touch
Subscribe to the BBC Children’s mailing list to receive seasonal commissioning updates.
Productions delivering Children's content to the BBC should follow the processes laid out in the delivery timeline and the production handbook. (There are also specific instructions found in the BBC Children’s Delivery Handbook, sent to producers by their delivery contact once a programme has been commissioned or acquired.) Credits, graphics and logos can be downloaded from the credits and brandings page.
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