Warner Bros. & CBC’s Format Incubator Returns for Round Three


CBC and Warner Bros. International Television Production (WBITVP) are bringing back the Format Incubator for a third edition.

Canadian producers are encouraged to submit ideas for original prime-time unscripted formats with both Canadian and international appeal through April 23. Format Incubator is a collaborative venture between CBC, WBITVP and the independent production community in Canada that is designed to boost the creation of original, exportable TV formats.

The first program to come out of the Format Incubator was Frantic Films’ factual series The Stats of Life, which premiered as a pilot in spring 2016 and has been renewed for a sophomore season. The format is represented internationally by Zodiak Rights. The winner of the second round of the Format Incubator was Under New Management, produced by Proper Television and hosted by Dragons’ Den investor Arlene Dickinson. Under New Management will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. International TV Production.

The Format Incubator is open to applicants with all levels of experience, from students to established producers, and will support up to three new unscripted pilots through the development and production process, including prime-time broadcast on CBC. Pilots will be financed by CBC and WBITVP, along with provincial and federal tax credits and CMF funding when applicable. Canadian producers will retain copyright of the program, and the format will be owned equally and jointly by the production company, CBC and WBITVP.

“In partnership with Warner Bros., CBC is committed to investing in Canadian formats with broad appeal for audiences in Canada and around the world,” said Jennifer Dettman, executive director of unscripted content at CBC. “The first two rounds of the Format Incubator have produced two original factual series that have resonated with Canadians, both through broadcast and social engagement: The Stats of Life and Under New Management. We’re thrilled to announce that they have both been renewed after successful runs on the schedule in 2017, and are now being shopped on the global stage at MIPTV. For the 2018 Format Incubator, we are looking for prime-time entertainment concepts that feel big, bold and innovative and appeal to the core CBC audience.”