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 6-12) from production companies in the UK and internationally.
We have a slightly different buying approach for each channel but deals are completed via a straightforward license agreement.
For CBeebies our budget is 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. Successful animations which reflect these ideas include What’s the Big Idea? (a pre-school philosophy show) Octonauts (an action-adventure show based around teamwork and marine biology) and Messy Goes to OKIDO (introducing complex scientific ideas to a very young audience).
In a crowded marketplace a highly distinctive visual is important alongside fresh, inventive and compelling characters. Ideas should be driven by an understanding of our audience and where possible inspire a sense of awe and wonder.
Note: we do not acquire live-action programming and we rarely buy off the shelf animation for CBeebies. The most common way for CBeebies to acquire animation is through the pre-buy model as this ensures that all programmes are tailored to perfectly suit our very youngest viewers. This means we can make sure our programming is tonally right.
To view the latest commissioning priorities please visit our 0-6s commissioning page.
We’re on the lookout for fresh and exciting ideas for animation and live action drama series with superb story-telling at the heart of the concept. For older viewers we like to see more complex stories with authentic characters and big rites of passage stories told sensitively.
Mustangs FC, The Next Step, Arthur, Odd Squad, Dennis and Gnasher Unleashed!, Scream Street, The Deep, Dragons Race to the Edge and Shaun the Sheep, are examples of programmes that have come through our department.
We are open to both pre-buys and completed programmes for CBBC.
- We are currently on the lookout for a genre-busting adventure series that reaches beyond our current offering.
- We are also looking for a slightly older-skewing animated series, possibly a sitcom with sarky offbeat humour.
- We are still on the lookout for more content with strong, aspirational female characters.
To view the latest commissioning prioritise visit our 6-16s commissioning page.
Submitting to acquisitions
All submissions from independent production companies should be submitted to the Head of Children’s Acquisitions and Independent Animation Jackie Edwards.
UK based production companies who have had a commission in the last three years from either the BBC or another major broadcaster should submit ideas via the submission system BBC Pitch.
For international companies and those not eligible for a BBC Pitch account, please email Jackie Edwards with the pitch. Please note that unfortunately we are unable to take submissions from members of the public not affiliated with a production company, but please find further information about how to get in touch with the BBC on the ideas from the public page.
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).
- If there is test animation or an animatic available that is also useful but we appreciate this can be costly.
- The BBC email size limit is very small. If you are sending large or multiple attachments such as animatics, we advise exploring alternative file sending services such as WeTransfer or dropbox. Due to the BBC firewall we cannot access files through .ftp
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.
Once your idea has been submitted and reviewed by the Head of Acquisitions and team someone will get back in touch with you with regards your submission. Please be aware that due to the high volume of submissions received it may take some time for us to get back to you.
If your submission is successfully acquired a member of the Acquisitions team will work with you and support you through the process.
Note: If we feel a submission is better suited to a different department we will send the materials to that department or signpost applicants to do so themselves.
The Discovery team
Working in close collaboration with the Content team, the Discovery team focuses on giving all our commissioned content maximum impact across platforms. The team have created wishlists of content across their different platforms. Visit the Discovery page to download and find out more.
Please see the main Children's commissioning page for further information about teams and processes.
Get in touch
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Children's Discovery team
The Discovery team help BBC Children's develop deep audience engagement across platforms - getting the right content to the audience, in the right place, at the right time.
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