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The Children's Media Conference, Salford 28 January 2010


The Children's Media Conference, Salford 28 January 2010 Melissa Hardinge Executive Producer, CBBC Commissioning Running order this morning . Who s who in BBC ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Children's Media Conference, Salford 28 January 2010

The Children's Media Conference, Salford 28
January 2010
  • Melissa Hardinge
  • Executive Producer, CBBC Commissioning

Running order this morning.
  1. Whos who in BBC Childrens?
  2. CBBCs aims
  3. The CBBC Audience
  4. What is a CBBC Idea?
  5. CBBC Interactive
  6. The Commissioning Round

Whos who?
  • Joe Godwin,
  • Director , BBC Childrens
  • Damian Kavanagh,
  • Controller CBBC
  • Michael Carrington,
  • Controller Cbeebies

CBBC Commissioning Unit
  • 6 Executive Producers
  • Alison Gregory (
  • Bridget Banton (
  • Melissa Hardinge (
  • Rebecca Shallcross (
  • Catherine McAllister (
  • Sue Nott (

CBBCS aims
  • CBBC is aimed at 6-12 year olds
  • Unlike other children's channels CBBC is a
    mixed-genre schedule we cover drama, comedy,
    factual, factual entertainment, gameshows, news,
    documentaries, events, sport etc. We think it's
    very important for CBBC to cover all these
  • CBBC is currently in rude health. We're watched
    by more 6-12 year olds than any other channel in
    the UK. Our website is also the most popular
    channel website for that audience. (SHOWREEL

CBBCS aims
  • CBBC is wholly child focussed. We aim to
  • inspire a childs imagination and open their
    minds to new worlds
  • help a child understand itself and its place in
    the world
  • provide positive role models for children
  • empower them to be active citizens
  • encourage them to try something new and be
  • provide them with moments where they can laugh
    out loud and be silly
  • create great content that will stay with them for
    a lifetime

  • To retain existing audiences, and grow in cable
    satellite homes
  • To honour the trust that the audience their
    parents have in CBBC
  • Want our brands to sing in a fragmented world
    want them to love our shows, and want to wear it,
    be part of their identity

The CBBC Audience
  • 30 dedicated childrens channels, plus adult TV,
    catch up services , short form content
  • Over 5 and a half hours a day infront of a screen
  • 92 live in multi-channel homes, 45 in their
  • Spending on kids hasnt declined in the recession
    bombarded by merchandise
  • Physical world is fairly restricted explore
    more online

The CBBC Audience
  • Friendship
  • Strong Characters
  • Aspirational/fantasy powers
  • Set in reality
  • Good always overcomes evil
  • Touch points children want to feel part of
    something bigger

The CBBC Audience
  • Adult/child division
  • Setting too fantastical cant get a handle on
  • Characters non-aspirational
  • Complex narratives

What is a CBBC idea?
  • worlds they recognise
  • think about why would this matter to or inspire
    a 9-year-old?

What is a CBBC idea?
  • TONE
  • it needs to be cheeky, upbeat, fun, energetic
  • It must be conversational and never speak down to
    the audience
  • It must speak to them in their own language
  • We're not interested in formally educating the
  • If we can make them laugh and facilitate them
    taking knowledge out of that, e.g Horrible
    Histories, we will do. Laugh yourself smart!

What is a CBBC Idea?
  • What would a child want to talk about or share
    with their friends in the show theyve
  • Disney are great at creating emotional engagement
    with viewers. We have to make our content
    playground currency/more talked about. We need to
    facilitate our audience to pass it on/share with
    their peers.
  • Routes in are to think about characters,
    catchphrases, format points, music etc (CLIP)

What is a CBBC idea?
  • It's important that producers try and surprise
    us! They need to have a real passion for their
    subject, ie Steve Backshall, Stefan Gates,
    Richard Hammond. No rent-a-presenter because the
    audience will see through them.
  • Comedy very important for this audience so think
    of comic talent, new and established. Weve got
    Johnny Vegas, Eddie Izzard and Bill Bailey all
    doing stuff for the channel.
  • New talent is very important to us. Are there
    ways that established talent can mentor new
    talent, e.g. Jimmy McGovern

What is a CBBC idea?
  • Nothing is out of bounds as long as it's relevant
    to and dealt with in an appropriate way for our
  • Newsround Specials have dealt with divorce,
    death/bereavement, bullying, poverty, online
    grooming. We've covered politics in Election and
    won a BAFTA, parental smoking in Smokehouse, and
    killed a pig in Gastronuts.
  • Docs - facial disfigurement, children of
    prisoners, disability, travelling children (My
  • Dont want to do mini versions of existing big

What is a CBBC Idea?
  • Incredibly important for the channel.
  • Approval of CBBC is very low in the devolved
    regions. We can be perceived as very middle class
    and very English. Outreach is very important
    going forward, we need to get out more, produce
    shows outside of London.
  • Where does diversity work well on the channel -
    in a show like Tracy Beaker where one of the
    characters has cerebral palsy
  • Not really interested in doing shows specifically
    about disabled characters

CBBC Interactive
  • 2 ways we work with Indies
  • through Commissioning, where you bring your ideas
    to us in response to our published briefs, your
    original IP
  • or alternatively as outsourced production for
    in-house commissions, through the BBCs Approved
    Supplier List.

Interactive Strategy
  • Stay at the vanguard of the BBCs strategy to
    embrace the full potential of digital
    technologies by applying multiplatform thinking
    to all that we do.
  • Continue to build on the re-launches of CBBC and
    CBeebies and bring a feeling of overall cohesion
    to our interactive portfolios.
  • Continue to improve media literacy for children
    and provide trusted and safe community spaces on
    the web and relevant platforms.
  • Develop a stronger connection with our audience
    beyond the screen and engage children in more
    active and creative ways through digital media.

Multi-platform approach
  • We do take a Multiplatform approach to all we do
    but not everything can or will work
    cross-platform. Fewer, bigger, better strategy
    for interactive as well as television.
  • Across our interactive portfolio we are taking a
    'product' approach, with gaming being a key
    aspect of our service, but it is very much brand
    or character driven.
  • We can utilise standalone ideas to fit with
    existing brands or build up new brands from
    scratch from an idea which works well on more
    than one platform.

Interactive Examples
  • Gamebuilder was a standalone idea / application
    (featuring lots of CBBC brands) an indie project
    which came through the commissioning round in
    response to a brief.
  • Horrible Histories commissioned alongside the
    TV series through the commissioning round, where
    the indie subcontracted another company to
    deliver the interactive element.
  • Escape from Scorpion Island an indie TV
    commission, but developed by the internal
    production team at CBBC Interactive.
  • MI HIGH indie TV commission, but online element
    pitched separately by the in-house interactive
    team and then tendered out to another third party
    indie to develop.
  • Bugbears an in-house commission outsourced to
    two different indies to develop it.

The Commissioning Round
  • End of the current commissioning round (Sept to
    Nov 2009 decisions by 18th Feb)
  • Debate about going to rolling commissioning
  • We only accept initial submissions via the
    e-commissioning system
  • You need to register on the system, which may
    take a few working days.
  • E-commissioning is different from the BBCs
    Approved Supplier List its a separate
  • We work with a wide range of independent
    companies and are always keen to hear from new