Tuesday, 29 May 2007

I Outline My Channel Vision

FROM: TVC-01@Corporation.co.uk
TO: All Commissioning; All Supply Chain; All Regional(UK); All Development; All Executive PAs; All Senior Management; Key Independent Suppliers
BCC: Mark Thompson


Since joining the Corporation, I've been thinking of ways to best get across what kind of programmes I want on My Channel.

On the one hand, there are the lurid, reactive, shockumentaries that have always done well for us in the post peak slots. Then there is the home-grown raft of comedies which seem to be slow burning their way to some sort of mainstream success. We only have to look at Little Britain to know we can punch through and deliver to much wider audiences, given time and some TLC.

But there has to be something else. I need something more.

Yes, we've hads lots of great success recently with shows like The Real Hustle, The Baby Borrowers, Mischief and F**k Off I'm... strands - and not forgetting Rob Brydon's Annually Retentive. But where are the new Rob Brydons? The new Little Britains? The new noisy, punch-through formats?

Where should we take The Channel next?

One of the things that I want you to think about are programmes that reach the parts that other programmes cannot reach. It's what I call The Heineken Effect.

Our audience are intelligent, urban, contemporary, and above all else, young. And we always have to refect that. But they are also bored by modern media so we need to be catering for their needs. Ask yourself this: what programmes do the Myspace generation want to watch?

I have recently started a Myspace page to try and communicate directly with this key demographic. We really shouldn't be afraid of this - it is up to us as programme makers to embrace this exciting new frontier, however challenging or scary we might find it at first.

One area that I really want you to concentrate on is itchy reality formats for 9pm. These are the shows that exist outside of our comfort zone, no matter how sophisticated we feel we are. This doesn't mean I want the obvious - our audience isn't stupid. I want you to be clever and play around with the form.

Just like The Autopsy and Space Cadets did for Channel 4, I'm looking for my own way of reinventing Factual for people who don't want to watch factual.

Remember: Think Bold. Be Big. And be Brave.

My team are looking forward to hearing from you.

Warm regards,

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