ITV2 is the home of entertainment for young people. From award-winning commissions TOWIE and Celebrity Juice to American acquisitions The X Factor USA and The Vampire Diaries, our schedules aim to deliver quality entertainment.
Commissions are really important to ITV2. They can say so much, drive reputation and really define the tone of the channel. Our needs are really for 9pm and 10pm with very limited opportunity pre-watershed. At 9pm we are primarily looking for hours and at 10pm we have had a lot of success with programmes in 45' slots but we can accommodate half hours too. There also may be a few opportunities at 10.45pm, mainly because at this time we can often drive over a million viewers into a show and it seems a shame to lose some of the audience at this time.
When it comes to genres it feels like formatted entertainment shows or access shows sit well at 9pm. These shows almost definitely need to be hours. And at this time given the other commissions on the channel, closed ep series would be enormously helpful; formatted shows that deliver a different cast every week are missing. And at 10pm where multichannel really can come into its own and there's a much bigger available audience, shows need to be much noisier, brighter and funny. The range of opportunity here is at its biggest, from funny clip shows to comic-led pieces and anything in-between that subverts and surprises.
In a concerted strategy to make ITV2 a fully rounded entertainment channel we are now actively commissioning scripted comedy and drama, mainly for the 10pm slot. Clearly funny is important here, as well as distinctive. ITV2 shows feel bold and bright. Big name talent is not a pre-requisite here but might help around the edges. Our first half-hour comedy for a while launched earlier this year. Plebs is about the hapless lives of a group of boys and girls who also arrive from the suburbs to the bright lights of the big city, but this time it is Ancient Rome. We are looking for more comedy and will aim to develop and pilot ideas before we go to series.
In terms of ITV talent we are really proud that we have a well-established and highly regarded rosta but equally it is incredibly rewarding to grow and nurture our own talent and make stars of our own. We actively want to encourage a mix of new and more established talent and presenters and feel there is still room to add to the incredibly impressive rosta of clever, funny and distinctive people we already have.
Music shows and live entertainment shows are not big on our wish list. If we do music it seems better suited to our audience in a show like The Big Reunion, taking six pop bands famous in the 90s and reuniting them for a one-off gig. What has happened in those intervening years is surprising, heartbreaking and in some instances full of sadness with some hope too. The series is full of stories, drama and funny moments.
Uniquely we are now the only channel attached to a bigger channel that carries switchover shows. These are a perfect opportunity to carry audience over, give opportunities to new presenting talent and have live shows in peak time. It's important to appreciate here that this means a lot of slots across the year are taken up by these terrific shows and that because the majority of them are live our desire for live shows feels satiated by these.
ITV2 is the number one digital channel. When we work at our best we are serving a broad, mainstream and young group of viewers who want to be thoroughly entertained. We want to give our audience a little of what they are expecting but also surprise them with a little of what they didn’t even know they wanted. A good example of that is Magaluf Weekender - a series that looks at the rites of passage moment that is your first holiday abroad without your parents - you feel you could write the script for what happens next in Magaluf but by creating the format using fixed rig cameras and a cast of reps, we hope that the storytelling is more nuanced and surprising, capturing those intimate moments that may ordinarily not have been captured.
Remember there is no prescription. Most importantly surprise us; you can pitch something that we didn't know we were looking for... And if past decisions are anything to go by, you stand a strong chance of getting it commissioned. Passion, vision and an attitude with a sense of purpose will make your ideas stand out. This is ITV2, we are broad, young and have our tongue firmly in our cheek. We don't want to take ourselves too seriously.
ITV3 is the home of quality British drama. We have recently experimented with buying some foreign language drama too. The opportunity for original commissions is limited here. We continue to commission The Crime Thriller Awards as our autumn event and programming to support it around transmission.
ITV4 is the home of free-to-air sport, sports related shows and quality entertainment programmes aimed firmly and squarely at men but importantly that don’t have a keep-out sign for women. A number of sporting events have been acquired so that ITV4 can give its viewers a more consistent offering across the year. These include the French Open which we share with ITV, coverage of TT and Tour de France. These are in addition to a sports slate including Africa Cup of Nations, UEFA Europa League, IPL cricket, and British Touring Cars.
Alongside this we have had success with timely sports programmes like a season of docs to celebrate Muhammad Ali's 70th birthday and a Lionel Messi doc, illustrating why he is currently the best football player in the world.
We are keen to commission for ITV4 and in the first wave the shows must feel rooted in the world of sport. In what genre we are completely open. They can be docs, factual, or entertainment shows. There are no particular slots as we have to work around our live sport coverage, but generally post watershed. We commissioned a series of sporting biographies called Sports Life Stories chronicling the lives of many of our British sporting high-achievers like Dame Kelly Holmes, Lawrence Dallaglio, Barry McGuigan and Gareth Thomas, which was then repeated on ITV. A second series has been recommissioned. Last year we transmitted a sports doc series with some social history thrown in called World Of Sport which took a romp through the sporting highlights of a decade per show. There is still plenty of scope and opportunity here but the idea must be rooted in sport.
CITV is the number one commercial children's channel. We commission and acquire a range of programmes aimed at children up until the age of about 11. When commissioning we do not tend to generally fully fund so co-pros are completely the norm here. We are looking to focus on shows for 4-9 year olds and live action and animation. It would be fantastic if we could put original, funny stuff on CITV; that would be a bold ambition fulfilled if that happened.
How to submit an idea
Please refer to the commissioning page of the genre you are proposing and use the contact details provided there.