C5 targets BAME indies for programme ideas

Channel 5 has launched a new initiative to encourage more BAME-owned and managed indie production companies to work with the broadcaster.

C5 is looking for nine small or medium sized BAME companies, primarily in the regions, which are owned and managed by BAME off-screen talent. They will be matched with C5’s nine-strong commissioning team. C5 says its ambition is to bring mainstream and popular programmes to the screen, from BAME-owned production companies.

C5 is working in partnership with Simone Pennant MBE, Founder of The TV Collective, on the initiative. The TV Collective will help create a shortlist of production companies.

Nine production companies will be chosen over the summer and a commissioner allocated to each production company to help nurture and develop them.  They will also receive development money to help build ideas.

Ben Frow

C5 director of programmes Ben Frow said:  “We’re looking for producers who have a burning ambition to make mainstream and populist programming that will deliver a large audience to Channel 5. The objective of the programme is not about producing niche programming; we are opening the door to ambitious and talented BAME-run indies who can deliver content with broad appeal across all our key genres, and most importantly, offer programming ideas that will resonate with viewers.”

Pennant said:  “This is an exciting opportunity for BAME producers to really grow their businesses and we’re very proud to be involved. Fundamental ways of increasing diversity, particularly at senior levels both on and off screen is not only by diversifying the content, and decision makers but also importantly, who is making it.”

This initiative follows C5’s small regionals initiative last year, where each commissioner identified and supported two production companies from the regions with the aim of helping deliver their ideas and shows to the screen. The initiative resulted in nearly £4m of commissions and 35 hours of new peak time content.

Producers wanting to submit their companies can do so via: https://www.thetvcollective.org.


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