ViacomCBS-owned Channel 5 has unveiled two commissions to have come out of its diverse led Indie Initiative.
An extended second season of Chatterbox’s Sally Lindsay’s Posh Sleepover is in the works, along with a new strand of Greatest Toys…, which is from Big Deal Films and will consist of three specials looking back at decade-defining toys.
The indie scheme, set up in conjunction with UK-based The TV Collective in September 2019, supports diverse supplier’s delivery of mainstream, primetime programmes for the channel.
The initiative has now resulted in 12 commissions, including the inaugural season of Adrian Dunbar’s Coastal Ireland and The Yorkshire Ripper’s New Victims, coproduced by Clockwork Films and Daisybeck.
“This is an important initiative and we’re delighted that it’s continuing to enable talented diverse-led indies to flourish in Channel 5’s primetime,” said Ben Frow, chief content officer at ViacomCBS Networks UK. “Curating a varied supply chain that incorporates UK indies of all sizes, backgrounds and geographies is absolutely crucial if we’re to keep reflecting the audiences we serve at Channel 5.”
Simone Pennant, founder & director for The TV Collective, added: “With Channel 5’s belief and commitment, these producers have demonstrated how to diversify a broadcaster’s supply chain, with mainstream content from black and Asian run production companies. As other broadcasters start to follow suit my hope is that they will match Ben Frow’s level of decisiveness, commitment and trust to create outstanding results for their audiences.”
ViacomCBS Networks UK launched a raft of new measures last year designed to improve representation both on and off-screen, including the introduction of a ‘no diversity, no commission’ content policy. ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI) has since extended the policy around the world.