Channel 4 Commissioning 18th June 2020

Everything available on 4Producers Website from Friday 19/6/2020.

Ian Katz.

All about 3 things: informing, survival and cheering up.

Ad revenue back on the up again but still tighter budgets next year. Need surplus in coming years to recover.

He understands they can’t expect same for less.

Still in the market for biggest shows, Hunter, Sas, Circle, Smuggled, 24 hours a +e. have ringfenced budgets. Answer is more co-pro on unscripted, such as “Murder in the Outback”.

Interested in the nature of identity, questions of fairness, the nature of Britain.

Plan to double the number of BAME indies C4 work with by 2023.

Coronavirus will still dominate in 2021. Less travel, less money, more debt and unemployment. All about rediscovery of simple pleasures and what really matters, family friends and wider community. Want to explore how post-covid world is changing, whether consumerism, inequalities, science, nature of Britiain, So get into precincts and create formats that reflect how Britain is. Also want audience to relax and have a laugh. Need to double down on the fun side. More entertainment like Taskmaster. More humour, warmth, subversiveness. Factual more First Dates and Doghouse. Cheeky. Need wit warmth and mischief.

Kiran Natarajah on scheduling.

See schedule structure on website.

9pm opportunities for this year, else focus is for 2021.


Mostly 4 and 5 pm

Escape to Chateau, 4 in a Bed, Escape to the Sun, Come Dine with Me. Consistent high volume series, programmes that are easy to dip in and out of. Older audience at 4 and needs to be 60mins. Potential for quiz formats for 4 or 3 for Countdown inheritance.

30’and 60’ work at 5. Reversions work (for TX at other times). Repeatability is Key


Celeb Bake Off, Location, Location, Location, Spring at Jimmys, George Clark Old House New Home, Secret life of Zoo. Shared viewing and escapism, Joe Lycett’s got your Back…

Broad drive of volume into 9, warmth and shared viewing, 15% of viewers are 16-34. ABC1 skew to work against the soaps. Singles useful for Sundays. Fridays more overtly entertaining. 30’s can pair with Dispatches.


Celeb Gogglebox, SAS, Barrymore, Celeb SAS, 24 hours in police Custody, First Dates Hotel, 24 hours A+E, Murder in the Outback.

This is shop window. Aim for 2m. Broader audience, 19% now 16-34, Commissions are from contestable fund so full range of genres.

Q2 younger shows

Q2/3 upmarket female, older skews

Q4 Huge opportunity post Bake Off. Can really be a launchpad.

Singles Access docs, need to be distinctive, noisy, channel defining, event pieces.


Friday Night Dinner, Naked attraction, First Dates, Last Leg, Bring back the Bush, Sun, Sea and Surgery.

Want news avoiding viewers, more edgy, brand defining, can take on new talent, multi episode repeatable series. Can do splashy singles. Generally lower tariffs at 10

Kelly Webb-Lamb.

Been working on the contestable fund, a ring-fenced pot to ensure for 2021 there’s a focus on big risky shows. Big and joyful. Can say things about the world but a light touch. Can be cross genre as they tend to be the most creative ideas. Not a fact-ent pot. Ideas should first go to place where they have the biggest champion. 2 rounds this year. Early Sept and just before Christmas. Hope to commission straight from that. Potential of working with Motion Studios. Does depend on social distancing. Committed to N+R as well. 9% Nations quota, focus on diversity. Stick by C4 as they see the brilliance of an idea and sticks with it. Innovation big part of the remit.

Ben Marsden

Audience research. With Amy and Lucy.

Uncertainty about the future.

Generally TV viewing is up 15% about extra 30mins per day. Doesn’t include SVODs. Including SVODs generally an extra 86mins per day

C4 share has gone up 3%, 9% in 8-11pm.

Covid is collective trauma but isolated experience. Anxiety, adjustment, re-evaluation.

Anxiety – info hunger, comfort in normal.

Fun and Escape now Big Priority, Distraction, Scenery, Aspiration, Great Stories, Needn’t be flimsy or frothy.

Also about Reassurance and Comfort. Togetherness

Need Guidance and Explanation. High desire for News and Info. Trust is at a premium.

Fact Ent.

Alf Lawrie.

Mostly looking for 2021.

Big range but need

1) Drama,

2) Emotional truth

3) Humour. Even in bleakest times.

Character driven stories.

a) Incredible Constructs. This is the biggest priority for 2021, British Tribe, Married at first sight, Hunted, Treasure Island. Simple questions that lead into breadth of drama.

b) Entertainment that tells us something about the world. Gogglebox, Friday Night Feast, Travelman.

c) Innovative Reality. Like The Circle. Need to be original and relatable, but hard to do both. If you can the world is your oyster.

d) Social experiments with scale are in. 60 days on the Street. The Write Offs. But avoid contrived feel. Question is what are the big issues for 2021 and what are the big ways to explore them. The School that ended Racism.

e) Talent Led journeys. Cathy Burke’s All Woman, Bill Turnbull, Staying Alive, Jamali Maddix Adventures in Futureland. Charlotte Church: My Family and Me.

f) Pop Dox - Naked Truth, Inside Cadburys,

g) 10pm (depends on Ad revenue) not many spare hours. Is a slot for a new Brand like Naked Attraction, Sex Clinic, Very British Sex Shop, Barking Mad, 120K ph.

Co-Pros. Important nowadays.

Daniel Fromm. Want clarity of purpose and need ability to entertain.

Ian Dunkley. In charge of returning brands. Everything needs to be escapist, done with wit.

Remaining 2020 slots

9pm midweek q3/4

9pm Sunday night q3/4

Tariffs 120k

Treatment or one or two line emails. Needs Scale. Ideas must be “big”. With Drama Innovation and Distinctiveness.

Features and Formats

Sarah Lazenby

Sean Doyle

Clem Green

Viv Molokwu

Tim Hancock

Mainly deliver to 8pm, from food, dating, travel to health, property to porn. About improving life, need to help nation get back on their feet. Crave togetherness, reassurance and guidance, but also aspirational. They’re trying to cheer everyone up.

They love Joe Lycett’s Got your Back, Crazy Delicious, Flirty Dancing, Keith Lemon.

Talent is so important. Great if they’re genuinely authored. Have to appeal to broadest audience.

What’s working: Warm and Welcoming Worlds. Glorious escapism. Such as “Devon and Cornwall”, Bake Off (cheek and warmth), Escape to the Chateau. All the stars need a glint in their eye, like George Clark. Want take out but not homework.

They want…the Good Life. Downsizing. More about love than cash. Authenticity is key. Jonny Vegas starting a glamping site for real (already commissioned). New River Cottage. Also looking for gardening.

Property: room for more even if a tried and tested territory. Is there a super rich property show? Amazing project from the start. Need a fresh and joyous tone.

They’re looking for domestic travel shows. Underexposed areas of Britain.

Talent very important, but have options for training people up.

Email contact works. Tim prefers one idea per email. Face to face as well. Time never better to get in touch with C4 as a new Indie. Think what shows you want to make. Fresh and new companies are often the best.

Specialist Factual

Danny Horan.

Hitched at Home, Grayson Perry, still commissioning in lockdown.

“Now is their time” more than ever.

Looking at family relationships, travel, education, home. Don’t have to come with “on the nose” ideas.


Doghouse, Secret life of Zoo, Living Wild. Gaps are in familiar access (such as High Street, Airline) or travel. But has to be something happening – why are they filming there, then. Not access for access sake.


New high volume returnable series, with 6 or 8 parts in year 1, then scale from there. Not blue flashing light, more family/community/travel/education. With warmth and humour. Think of a different way into these worlds. Yorkshire On the Job for instance. Or the Jade series, take a look at a moment or a person and tear it apart in a way that reflects on lots of other areas of life. Also investigative docos like Barrymoor. True Crime like Murder in the Outback. (that taps into fears about gap years, travelling etc). Need to find something new about it as well. Can’t just be an old story told again. Daniel Morgan as well, “Murder in the Car Park”. Also true crime probably needs co-financing. Close relationship with Netflix. Want to commission another 6 this year. 3 like Barrymoor. Also 3 authored films by new and established directors, very open to what territories they should be.

Still doing First Cuts as well.

Need BAME and NR.

Partnerships – want to keep premium level so co-pros with Netflix, CNN, HBO and PBS.

Fatima has relationships with Europeans.

Also Advertising Funded has potential.

Fatima Salaria.

Stories as above but funny as well. Broad, returnable, gives us sense of the world, makes us feel connected, with strong points of view. Needs returnable history series that comes with co-pro is top of her list. Wants to keep making Secret Histories. Untold moments in history seen from a new point of view. Can’t be just a retelling of history. Journo bar is really high. Needs press. The Queen and the Coup got editorial in the Times. BAME indies should be leading this. Who Killed Malcolm X on Netflix for example.

Popular Science like Netflix’s “Diagnosis”. Jeff Goldblum for Disney+ as well. Climate and Post Pandemic are key areas in science.


Launched “The Steff Show”.

Warm energy, easy sense of fun. Comfort and familiar is needed

Commissioned Mend it for Money for Daytime. Want diverse unexpected casting, Need the transactional and transformational with a distinctive c4 voice. Also Great House Giveaway (strangers put together to flip houses).

Ideas that punch above their weight.

Want strong single formats, relatable, with a twist. Noisy toplines that people can’t resist for 5pm. Formats with ideas that reflect people’s lives, that families can watch together. Need to be able to work with 60k ph, or 35 per 30 mins. But they do big runs, and getting extra cash from other sources helps.

Do love quizzes as well but needs a distinctive daytime feel. Simple with a twist. Can there be a description in a sentence? Will people talk about it? Competition is fierce.

Don’t want… sunshine property formats, think what can be made safely. Not Bluelight access. Not so many cooking shows. No pets. Can be a short pitch but give the right impression - that you know what your idea is. One or two precise ideas are better than lots of vague ones. Fewer celebs.

Commissions for summer 2020 they want a brief final idea by 16th of July.

News and Current Affairs

Louisa Compton

Big impact in the department over lockdown.

1. Investigations.

Big impact, hold power to account, the wow factor, want to be even more ruthless.

2. Broad stories with mass appeal.

Need to have digital plan attached. Need 2/3 standout stories, the “For Sama” for next year. Sri Lankan Killing Fields. That level.

Siobhan Sinnerton

Look behind the pandemic, poor hardest hit, where is that going next with NHS and social care? Who is profiting from the Pandemic? Short of a Brexit investigation for the autumn. And structural racism in prisons etc etc. Foreign filming on hold, but can look beyond that though. Look at co-pro and different financing models.

Areas are: Fallout from Corona Virus, Climate change, race, British politics. US Elections.

Climate really looking into it.

Adam Vandemark

Want expertise, insight and guidance also for consumer issues. Like truth about Amazon. More into online consumerism. Single popular subjects with broad appeal, packed with revelations.

Always needs a new thing to say. Can be a few lines but need to know where the original journalism is.