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RTÉ Young Peoples Invites Programme Ideas
31 Jan 2011 :
Test the Teachers
RTÉ are currently accepting proposals for several genres of young people’s programming. Ideas can now be submitted for programmes such as one-off documentaries, series of live action and animated shorts, along with Lifestyle/ Reality programming and holiday series. There is no official deadline in place for the submitted ideas but applicants are asked to send them in as soon as possible.

RTÉ’s former RTÉ Two children’s programming blocks, The Den and TTV were replaced in September 2010 by RTÉjr and TRTÉ. For children aged six years and younger, RTÉjr delivers a mix of both original and acquired live action and animation programming from 08:30am to 3:30pm on weekdays, and during the early mornings at the weekend. Children aged from 7 to 15 have TRTÉ which delivers a mixed schedule from 3:30pm to 5:30pm on weekdays and mid-mornings at the weekend. In addition 'Two Tube', a third programming strand, for older teens and young adults runs from 5:30pm to7:00pm.

One of the key programming styles being sought by the broadcaster includes one-off documentaries that can be up to a half-hour in length. These should be specials made for public holiday transmission and should be made with a target audience of 8-15 year olds in mind. The documentaries chosen will be granted a budget of €50,000 to €80,000 per hour and the broadcaster is interested in receiving proposals for documentaries which explore and reflect the huge changes that are taking place in Ireland, filmed through the eyes of a tween or teen.

The subject may be challenging or difficult, it may be uncomfortable viewing for its audience, or indeed may challenge the adult audience, but a key factor in the success of a proposal for this area will be the prism through which the world is viewed - the eyes of a young person. One such recent documentary is Macalla Teo’s 26 minute feature, ‘On the Block: Road Trip’ which follows the Buckingham St film club on their visit to Tory Island off the coast of North Donegal. RTÉ are also seeking submissions of shorts in units of five or ten in which each short should be between one minute and a minute and a half. These series will be shown as part of RTÉ Two’s Two Tube block of early evening teen programming and a budget of €40,000 is being offered per half hour. Recent series of this description have included Still Films’ ‘Sweded TV’ and CR Entertainment Ltd’s ‘Aisling’s Diary’. Content should work across platforms, sitting comfortably both online and on broadcast and ideally should drive consumers back and forth between platforms. Proposals for this series should include a sample script and treatment; an outline of content to be covered as well as proposals for key talent etc.

Similarly, animated series are being invited by the broadcaster. The guidelines as to timing and budget is TBC but a release from RTÉ cites series such as Kavaleer Production’s ‘Garth and Bev’ and Monster Animation’s ‘Ballybradden’ as guideline series.

The desired animated series are further explained in a release from the broadcaster, which states that: ”While it is appreciated that funding models necessitate proposals for animated series looking towards an international Childrens TV market, proposals that have an Irish resonance are of most interest to us. Projects that appeal to audiences outside pre-school are also particularly attractive. Proposals may be considered for general Broadcaster support, support for BAI Sound and Vision Funding or funding support.

Where Lifestyle/Reality programming is concerned, RTÉ is seeking to commission series of five to ten episodes each of which should be half an hour in length. These will be transmitted on 5:00pm on weekdays and should be made with a target audience of 11-15 year olds in mind. Where the budget is concerned the broadcaster is offering up to €85,000 and the broadcaster is looking for strong reality or ob-doc programming designed to appeal to tweens and teens. RTÉ has given an example of possible programming in this genre in the form of its in-house produced series, ‘Supercrew’ which followed the search for Ireland's hottest teenage hip hop dancers with the aim of creating a new dance group to perform alongside Jedward at the Christmas pantomime.

The final group of young peoples’ programming being sought by RTÉ is in the genre of Holiday Programming. Here the broadcaster is seeking submissions of series that are made up of either five or ten half-hour episodes that can be aired during school holiday periods.

With a budget of up to €60,000 per hour, the shows that are given as an example include Screentime Shinawil’s ‘Test the Teachers’ (pictured above) and notes that ”Quizzes, challenge shows, action shows all rate well with our audience. Have you got ideas for a series which will engage our audience?”

The commissioning decisions will be carried out by RTÉ Young Peoples commissioning editor, Sheila de Courcy and Executive Producer, Pauline MacNamara further outlines their audience, saying:“Our audiences love good stories, strong characters and humour. The older kids love anarchy and passion. They need to be hooked from the opening moments of a show and entertained right to the very end. They need to escape from their own worlds and also to have things they can talk about in school the next day.”

Any proposals previously submitted to RTÉ in categories listed here, and which were rejected on a first reading in a previous Round, should not be re-submitted and will not be reconsidered. There is no official deadline in place for the submitted ideas but applicants are asked to send them in as soon as possible. Anyone wishing to submit programme ideas should visit www.rte.ie/commissioning



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