20 May 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
RTÉ Updates Commissioning Briefs for Independent Producers
19 Nov 2013 : By Kevin Cronin
'The Republic of Telly', one of RTÉ Two's current flagship programmes.
RTÉ Commissioning has released new submission guidelines for independent producers wishing to submit programming proposals across several of its genres including Lifestyle & Formats, Entertainment, Young People’s, Irish language content, and Comedy & Music.

The following is a brief overview of the different genres accepting new ideas, with links included to more comprehensive information on RTÉ’s commissioning website.

RTÉ Lifestyle & Formats

Head of Lifestyle & Formats Grainne McAleer and Head of Format Development Tonyia Dowling are currently seeking new formats - with past examples including ‘Don't Tell the Bride’ and ‘Masterchef’ - for a small number of slots in 2014 and also to develop further series for early 2015.

For RTÉ One, they are seeking formats for May 2014 and September 2014, and are open to all lifestyle categories from make-over to money, health, parenting, food, design, relationships and consumer issues.

For RTÉ Two, programmes are sought that appeal to the key demographic of 15-34 year olds, with a number of contestable slots available in Autumn 2014.

Further information is available by clicking on the link here.

RTÉ Entertainment

Head of Entertainment John McHugh is now commissioning for both RTÉ One and RTÉ Two.

Programming slots range from 30 min to hour long shows, including broad family-audience oriented content - with budgets rising to €100k per hour. ‘Celebrity Bainisteoir’ is cited as a past success story.

Among the programming concepts wanted for RTÉ Two are entertainment ideas with a strong female skew, such as ‘Don't Tell the Bride’ and ‘ICA Bootcamp’. Programming with a strong emphasis on humour is also encouraged.

Further information is available by clicking on the link here.

RTÉ Young Peoples

Controller, RTÉjr and Cross Divisional Head of Children's Content Sheila de Courcy is looking for a broad range of content for RTÉjr, dedicated to youngsters aged under 7; TRTÉ, which is aimed at young teens; and 'Two Tube' for older teens and young adults.

Of particular interest to RTÉ Young People commissioners are co-productions with broadcasters or content producers in other countries.

TRTÉ submissions should include cross-media elements, with recent successful series in this style including 'Music Inc'; 'OMG! Jedward’s Dream Factory; and ‘Sing’, a quiz entertainment format.

Full details can be found by clicking on the link here.

RTÉ Irish Language Programming

Executive Producer Kevin Cummins heads this brief, which counts amongst its recent successes such programmes as ‘Bernard Dunne’ s Bród Club’; ‘Aerfort’, ‘Scannal’; ‘CSÍ’ and ‘An Cór’ - all of which are designed to engage with audiences with or without a fluency in the language.

Full details are available here.

RTÉ Regional, Diversity, Wildlife & Education

Commissioning Editor Ray McCarthy describes 2013 as an ‘amazing year’ for his department, with their wildlife series 'The Secret Life Of The Shannon' - produced by Crossing the Line Films - winning three major awards at the international Wildlife film festival, including Best Overall Documentary.

‘The Genealogy Roadshow’ from Big Mountain Productions was also sold to PBS in America, while Bio Blitz Ireland 2013 is cited as a successful cross platform event.

Past success stories are diverse and range from ‘Des Bishop's Chinese Revolution’ and ‘Genealogy Roadshow’ to ‘Class Swap’ and ‘Tommy Bowe's Bodycheck’.

Full details are available here.

RTÉ Factual

Head of Documentary & Arts Niamh O'Connor and Assistant Commissioning Editor for Documentary & Arts Sarah Ryder present updated submission requirements for the latest round in this area.

Over the past two years, some of the most significant documentaries in this genre were ‘Life on The Inside', the two-part documentary series about life inside Irish prisons, produced by Midas Productions; and ‘Inside Irish Nationwide’, which saw journalist Richard Curran explore what went wrong within this Irish building society.

‘The Disappeared’ - an RTÉ/BBC co-production that investigated what happened to those who were abducted, murdered and secretly buried by republicans during the Troubles - was also a ground-breaking effort for RTÉ Factual.

Further information is available by clicking on the link here.

RTÉ Comedy, Talent Development & Music

Head of Comedy, Talent Development & Music Eddie Doyle spearheads this new department, which is responsible for commissioning all comedy output for RTÉ One, RTÉ Two, and Online – ranging from panel shows and scripted comedy to sitcoms, satire and sketch shows.

RTÉ Two, which now focuses on the 15-34 year old audience, counts ‘Damo & Ivor’ and ‘The Republic of Telly’ as two of its current flagship comedy programmes.

Further information is available by clicking on the link here.

RTÉ Religious

Editor of Religious Programmes Roger Childs welcomes proposals with funding from new sources, to enhance a line-up which includes such successful programmes as ‘Would You Believe?’; ‘The Meaning of Life’ with Gay Byrne; ‘The Moment of Truth’, presented by Blathnaid Ní Chofaigh; and ‘iWitness’, which consist of nightly reflections that capture ‘the spirit of Ireland’.

Full and comprehensive details can be found here.

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