TG4 have announced their Programme Commissioning schedule for 2004-2004:
HIGH PROFILE DRAMA SERIES
TG4 seeks submissions from writers and production companies interested in developing a major seven part drama series for TG4. The original concept and format are the property of TG4. The channel seeks to develop the concept and series in association with a writer and / or production company.
The Concept: The Galway Races (Working Title)
COMEDY / DRAMA
Development funding will be available for suitable comedy / drama submissions that will cater for a youth audience in the age group 16 -25 years and will include actors from that age group.
TG4 is seeking a new format for a Lifestyle series. The distinctions between programme genres are blurring and therefore we would like different television genres - for example - entertainment, drama, games and reality mixed with lifestyle to create a new format and hybrid. Competition and challenge should form part of this new format - whether between people or against the clock. The series should be informative and entertaining. The presenter or presenters are an integral part of the series and therefore names and an example of their work on VHS should accompany the application.
1 Studio Gameshows
New formats or adapted formats to cater for an Irish audience are required. Formats that are available on other channels receivable in Ireland are of no interest unless they have been adapted for a TG4 audience. Characteristics should be incorporated into any format to appeal specifically to an Irish audience. Names of presenters or any regular guests should be included. Submissions for studio games, panel games or comedy studio programmes will be accepted and block recording should be considered to make the series cost-effective.
Studio Talk Show
TG4 welcomes submissions for a simple studio format in which conversation will be the central element and which will be broadcast live or as live. Such a series could be broadcast from the TG4 studio in Baile na hAbhann or another suitable location where the costs would be similar.
TRADITIONAL MUSIC AND SONG
This strand of programming continues to achieve some of the highest viewing figures on TG4. An extensive music schedule comprising both performance and documentary programming serves our loyal and discerning audience whose expectation is for not only the highest standards of performance but also excellent and informative presentation, interpretation and the highest production values.
GRADAM CEOIL TG4:
Gradam Ceoil TG4 is our annual premier television event. The Gala Concert will take place in November 2004 and the highlights will be broadcast on TG4 as a 90 -minute special the following night.
TG4 are seeking one hour documentary submissions that will explore indepth particular stories that have relevance for an Irish audience. The stories can be eclectic in subject matter, should have a dramatic storytelling structure and should be of interest to a discerning audience. Whereas last year's commissions were mostly historical, TG4 would especially welcome submissions that will tackle contempory themes and stories for this slot. In choosing the subject matter applicants shoud bear in mind that the stories are to be told in the Irish language and that contributions in the Irish language will be an essential part of the storytelling.
Submissions are sought for documentary series of up to six programmes which will explore and present a story or a series of stories that will capture the imagination and interest of contemporary Ireland. Each series should have a unifying theme with a stimulating narrative and an imaginative approach. Edgy material that unearths the less attractive underbelly of hidden Ireland will be especially welcome. The approach can be serious, comic, ironic, or satiric with an emphasis on the visual impact. Intelligent programming need not be weighed down by a heavy academic approach and an imaginative use of contributors, especially new faces, is a bonus to any submission. The series may but need not be presenter led. If presenters are intended, passion and knowledge of the subject matter is important and the recommendation of new talent, which is always welcome, should be accompanied by screen tests. Country music has built up a loyal audience on TG4. At present Irish and American country music videos are repackaged for broadcast and live concerts from venues like An Ghrianán and the Town Hall Theatre in Galway are recorded for broadcast. TG4 will welcome new formats that will serve this audience. The following should accompany the submission:
Outline of the concept or the format. Programme outline and running order A sample of the proposed presenters work on camera Weekly production and publicity plan There should be no budget line for PPI fees. (TG4 has a separate corporate payment agreement directly with PPI).
TRAVEL : [TS]
TG4 travel programming must bring the audience where they have never been before - in terms of locations, perspective and television experience!
They invite submissions for new travel formats that challenge, entertain, inform both programme participants and audiences alike.
Submissions are invited for single or two part half-hour documentaries that will be broadcast in primetime under the generic title Cogar.
TG4 will welcome individual submissions for any of the listed programme catagories, we will also welcome tenders from independent companies for an output package for a number of programmes. The submission should outline the financial and production benefits that such an output package would bring to the TG4 schedule. As a result of such submissions, it may be decided that a small number of companies would supply a substantial volume of the TG4 programming.
- Proposals must be submitted on standard TG4 forms and the deadline is 5 pm, Friday 17 October 2003.
- If TG4 expresses an interest in a particular project contracts must be signed within two months of that interest being expressed or there is no guarantee that the funding will still be available.
- Once the assessment is completed and decisions have been reached on this round of commissioning, TG4 will be open to other proposals if funding is still available.
- Guideline figures have been given for the maximum budgets available for some of the above categories. Other categories don't include maximum budgets as the cost will vary a great deal according to the location, and the production method and process.
- Submissions that give TG4 a good return for their money will be favourably regarded so long as the proposal is of a satisfactory standard. It must be borne in mind that it's rare in the world of broadcasting for a single broadcaster to fund a commission without any support from other quarters. Therefore, other sources of funding are worth investigating.
- Commissions from the above-mentioned categories will form the backbone of TG4's schedule. However, the Commissioning Department is open to proposals involving other television formats like Reality TV, Mockumentary or Docusoap which could expand and extend TG4's schedule. The obstacles involved in producing such genres in a minority language must be borne in mind.
- Interesting theme nights and anniversary commemorative proposals and possible television events will be given careful consideration.