BBC Worldwide Channels Ups Commitment to Original Programming


LONDON: BBC Worldwide Channels is planning to create more original programs for its international portfolio of channels, looking to increase the amount of hours threefold.

The plan is to have three times the amount of original hours ordered for BBC Knowledge, BBC Entertainment, BBC Lifestyle and UKTV. The effort will see the business commissioning 100 hours a year by 2014.

Tracy Forsyth, the VP of commissioning, is looking for fully funded projects as well as co-productions with BBC in-house teams and independent producers. BBC Worldwide is looking to make a long-term investment in high volume formats with the potential to run up to 50 episodes.

The commissioning strategy is part of Jana Bennett’s long-term goals for the channels business that she outlined in June 2011.

Bennett, the president of worldwide networks and Global BBC iPlayer, said, “I believe the addition of original commissions can play a key part in the ongoing success of our international portfolio of BBC-branded channels. We have already premiered a number of originations to a great reception from our audience and I’d like to build on this.”

Forsyth commented, “Since joining the business in January this year, I’ve been working with the regional programming teams within BBC Worldwide to clearly identify the gaps in our schedules that can’t be filled from our acquisitions pipeline. The new shows I am ordering will give the viewers of our BBC-branded channels around the world more of the quality British content and talent they love, in their first run, and tailor-made to suit their tastes.”

She added, “I look forward to working with independent producers as well as the BBC’s in-house teams to create a brand new slate of shows that will celebrate the best of British talent and creativity, and inform, educate and entertain audiences around the world.”