Entertainment and Events: 2021 / 2022
In 2021 and 2022 we’re on the hunt for big entertainment and comedy entertainment brands to help grow our existing talent and launch new names. We want to hear ideas with scale, ambition and humour that can bring big broad linear and All4 audiences. This page details our areas of focus for the next 12 months and the contact details of the team for submitting your ideas.
Ideas MUST be submitted via a production company; Channel 4 cannot accept unsolicited material from members of the public.
Piloting Opportunities 2021
Social Pilots (TX on social)
This approach allows us to work with a greater range of suppliers in a more efficient way. Here is what we’re looking for:
Short form social pilots
Like last year we want to use our 2021/22 development pot more effectively by piloting a set of short form digital formats on social. These pieces should be self-contained while also offering a neat way of testing new formats. They’ll be produced to sit online and socially, but with a clear eye on how they could expand to make the leap to long form or linear.
What do we want?
- The format must feel scalable and developed with linear/longform in mind; think about how this would work from the outset.
- Short-form, shareable ideas with clear and definitive format beats.
- A simple top line with a real-world premise.
- They can be led by new talent or contributors but the casting, setting and subject matter must feel authentic
- We want them to be original and experimental but please don’t make them cruel; audiences really respond to warmth.
- They should be young skewing, aimed at a core demo of 18-24.
- Each piece should be able to serve a range of platforms; Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook each have slightly different lengths and formats – we can help guide you here.
10PM Comedy Entertainment
Comedy Ent Hybrid
We know from shows like Friday Night Dinner and The Last Leg that both scripted and unscripted comedy can work at 10pm on Friday. We are on the hunt for broad, young skewing shows with comedy or humour at their heart that can play here while also feeling like a treat on All4.
We’re particularly interested in ideas that blend elements of scripted comedy with unscripted entertainment, to tell stories in fresh ways that appeal to a comedy loving audience. Much as Star Stories did, fusing comedy and celebrity biography in a way that felt fresh, broad and confident.
Please avoid anything too topical; we’re looking for universal themes that reflect the zeitgeist, but we’re not after Spitting Image. Feel free to play with form; it could be hidden camera, it could have a real world setting or a mix of the two, in studio or out. Or of course it could be something completely different.
We would love to land a new take on satire that also has a long online shelf life; this means less slavishly topical and more focussed on popular culture; perhaps a format that covers big, broad issues with universal themes.
We really want to hear from voices across the political spectrum. How do we best reflect the diversity of thought in Britain whilst still speaking truth to power in a way that feels uniquely Channel 4?
What entertainment formats could help some viewers relive a special slice of history or a introduce a younger audience to a particular story or moment for the first time? Or perhaps even do both?
How can we tap into these areas for comedy and drama? This doesn’t need to be a studio or a list show; we are open minded about approach and we’d love you to be imaginative with the form. Remember what an innovative blast ‘Bring Back’ was at the time, turning nostalgia from celebrity talking heads into a heist movie.
With all these areas, talent is key in setting tone and expectation. Trusted and familiar voices are still essential to bring in an audience, but the right format can offer a fresh way of using existing talent and give a creative leg-up to newer voices.
Across each of these briefs we are especially excited to hear thoughts built around a distinct female voice, we are also open to hear about female gang shows.
Ambitious event television has always been a key part of the C4 entertainment landscape as demonstrated by this year’s Stand Up To Cancer telethon and the forthcoming National Comedy Awards with Stand up to Cancer.
Event TV is at its best when it reflects the times we’re living in – so think about which real world themes, landmarks, events or unrepresented voices we could amplify with the might of Channel 4. Think also about which commercial and/ or charity partner could help make it happen. Attitude and humour must be baked into any pitch, so please also think about which talent can sit at the heart of your idea to provide this.
We have two areas of focus for E4
Comedy/ Reality - Out of the Studio
We would like to mix the worlds of reality and comedy with a broad and authentic unscripted, comedy ent format that happens away from the studio. We are interested in simple and funny top lines as well as access to new and interesting subcultures, people and places. We are open to travel, but please don’t bring us soft travelogues.
Ideas could be built round an established name going on a lightly formatted but authentic personal journey, or a gang of up and coming funny people out in the real world; in either case ideas must be returnable with both episodic and series arc narratives.
E4 Competition Formats
We want to create a young skewing and celebratory competition show that gets the nation rooting for the contestants across both E4 and All4.
How can the series show off enviable talents in a super fun, colourful and entertaining way, while still overflowing with competitive and driven characters? We’d love to hear about competitions based in unexplored or alternative territories and are open to embracing heavy formatting. The subject of expertise probably shouldn’t be too obviously young skewing, unless it has a novel twist; we want this series to attract intrigue and attention on a large scale.