BBC Worldwide beefs up original content

Long runs a priority for international arm

LONDON — BBC Worldwide Channels is beefing up the amount of original shows it commissions from the present 20 hours to a hefty 100 hours by 2014.

Shows will be commissioned to run across all BBC Worldwide Channels markets — Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, India, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand — alongside local commissions targeting individual markets.

High-volume factual entertainment formats capable of reaching 50 episodes a season are a priority.

Shows should have “strong British connectivity, which might be through talent, subject matter, or irreverent wit and humour, but still with a tangible takeaway for the audience,” said Worldwide.

Projects can be fully funded or co-produced, and made by third-party shingles or the BBC’s in-house production team.

On the cards are more international versions of BBC shows such as the recent “Sports Relief Goes Global” and “Planet Earth Live.”

Tracy Forsyth, VP commissioning, said, “Since joining the business in January, I’ve been working with the regional programming teams within BBC Worldwide to clearly identify the gaps in our schedules that can’t be filled from our acquisitions pipeline.”