RTÉ Comedy, Talent Development & Music

COMMISSIONING BRIEF

Head of Comedy, Talent Development & Music: Eddie Doyle

Executive Producer - Justin Healy

UPDATED: 28th March 2014

COMEDY, TALENT DEVELOPMENT, MUSIC PROGRAMMING

This is a new department, which is responsible for commissioning all Comedy output for RTÉ ONE, RTÉ TWO, and Online. All Comedy formats are managed in this department. So from Panel Comedy Shows to Scripted Comedy. From Sitcom, Satire, and Sketch Shows, to Studio Comedy, Standup Shows, and anything in-between.

The secondary function of this department is to develop new and existing Presenting and Production Talent. The Reality Bites Popular Documentary strand sits within this Talent Development brief.
This department also handles Music output on both channels, and on RTÉ's Digital platforms.

COMEDY

Making people laugh is an unusually Irish vocation. We have an extraordinary level of writing and performing talent, production and editorial skills, and Irish audiences have an unquestionable appetite for quality comedy.

Comedy production is one of the most pure forms of creativity, and it requires taking bigger risks. But when these risks pay off, they can generate the biggest wins for RTÉ, such as channel defining content (Damo & Ivor, Mrs Browns Boys), new ways of reaching audiences, especially on-line (Republic of Telly, The Mario Rosenstock Show), strong youthful public service statements (Savage Eye, Irish Pictorial Weekly) and generate additional commercial revenue.

We are now looking for proposals that can build on recent successes. Ideas that break new talent, or generate new opportunities for existing talent. Coherent development phases will be prioritized, as will pragmatic budgets and finance plans - including BAI and Co-production Opportunities (especially with the UK Comedy Industry). Projects that maximize RTE's cross-platform offering will be of particular interest.

*******************************************************

So what are we looking for?

On RTÉ ONE Comedy output can build an emotional connection with mainstream audiences, helping to give the channel a lighter, contemporary feel, to augment the more heavyweight News, Current Affairs and Factual programmes. Proposals that can bring large audiences, but which also help reposition RTÉ ONE as a confident, modern brand at the heart of contemporary Irish life. Big talent, strong writing, confident warm tone and contemporary family appeal are key.

RTÉ TWO has refocused on the 15-34 audience, and the programmes commissioned in recent years, such as Damo & Ivor, and The Republic of Telly are at the core of the channel's brand. These are high quality Irish comedy statements, aimed definitively and unapologetically at this youthful audience. They stand out in the crowded multi-channel environment, and also respond to the increasingly multi-platform viewing habits of the young.

*************************************************************

RTE Comedy is looking for a variety of new proposals, primarily in the area of scripted comedy.

High rating family entertainment and high quality statements in scripted comedy are of particular interest on RTÉ ONE, while on RTÉ TWO the focus is on serving the 15 - 34 audience, enhancing the channel's digital and social media engagement and also breaking new talent. We are interested in projects that can build on the success of projects like Damo & Ivor, Mrs Browns Boys, The Mario Rosenstock Show, The Walshes and The Savage Eye.

The next steps of our comedy strategy will focus on coherent development phases, and maximising the impact of available resources.
And there are two particular opportunities to focus on, with specific deadlines:

*******************************************************

RTE TWO January 2015

***************DEADLINE FRIDAY 02nd MAY*******************

RTE Comedy is looking for a project that can play in the highly competitive 9.30 slot on Monday nights. This is a pivotal slot, at the core of the 'Monday Night Comedy' strategy on RTÉ TWO, and we are seeking comedy ideas that can deliver the same sort of broad comedy audience that The Mario Rosenstock Show has generated in September 2012 and 2013, and that Damo & Ivor generated in 2013.

Six half hour long slots are available, budget depending on project

We ask, in the first instance, that producers submit ideas into the eCommissioning system:
https://e-commissioning.rte.ie/SWIFT.Web/skins/rte/login.aspx
under the programme category "Comedy Music & Talent "January 2015"

Deadline for proposals to RTE: 5pm, Friday 2nd May 2014 (expected delivery of project November 2014)

Our general, broader call for comedy ideas for both channels remains, and we will look at other proposals that do not fit these specific three current opportunities, and remain open to development phases for any strong comedy idea.

********************************************************

COMEDY PROGRAMMING ON RTÉ ONE

No. of Episodes: 6

Duration: 30 minutes

Transmission: RTÉ ONE - Sunday 20:30 and/or 21:30, Autumn 2014

Delivery: June 2014

Budget: Project dependent. Scripted comedy will be at a higher tariff than other forms of comedy, and sources of additional funding will be welcome.
Sunday evenings are hugely competitive slots. We are interested in high end family-friendly programming that can play pre-or post watershed. These can be scripted comedy, or more cost-effective, mainstream comedy. Proven talent is at a premium. Proposals that make RTÉ ONE feel more youthful and contemporary will be favoured.

There is some dedicated funding for comedy for these slots, and there is additional 'contestable' funding, which comedy projects can be pitched into.

We ask, in the first instance, that producers submit ideas into the eCommissioning system:
https://e-commissioning.rte.ie/SWIFT.Web/skins/rte/login.aspx
under the programme category Comedy Music & Talent "Sunday - Autumn 2014"

*Please note budget ranges are indicative only, and proposals that can achieve lower costs per hour will be particularly attractive'.

********************************************************

CONTESTABLE' SLOTS ON RTÉ ONE

No. of Episodes/Duration: Various RTÉ ONE 'Contestable' Slots, all 30 minutes

Budget: Between 30 and 50k per half hour episode *

The Channel Controller for RTÉ ONE will pick proposals pitched from different RTÉ TV departments for 'contestable' funding. In recent years, cost-effective family-friendly Comedy has played in the Sunday 20.30 slots, and we are interested in developing and commissioning the next iteration of this genre.
We are also interested in new Comedy, Music and Talent Development proposals for the other contestable slots. This sort of material has not played in these slots previously, and we are open to exciting new propositions that can compete against ideas from other departments.

A variety of specific slots are available for contest across 2014, specifically:

Tuesdays at 7pm. One series of 6 x 30 mins will be commissioned from contestable funds, and this series must be delivered in time for transmission in March 2014.We are interested in pre-watershed comedy proposals, presenter-driven programmes that break new presenting talent, or spot a new opportunity for pre-existing talent, and accessible music programming that can bring an audience to this slot.

Sundays at 8.30pm. Two series of 6 x 30 mins are available for contestable funding. The first must deliver in time for transmission in May 2014, the second in June 2014. Accessible family-friendly contemporary comedy is of interest.

Thursdays at 8.30pm. One series of 6 x 30 mins is available for contestable funding, and this must deliver in time for transmission in June 2014. We are interested in pre-watershed comedy proposals, presenter-driven programmes that break new presenting talent, or spot a new opportunity for pre-existing talent, and accessible music programming that can bring an audience to this slot.

Tuesdays at 9.35pm. One series of 4 x 30 is available for contestable funding, and this must deliver in time for transmission in June 2014. This could be a comedy format, a co-financed scripted comedy run, or an opportunity to bring new talent to RTÉ ONE, or show a different side to pre-existing presenting talent.

As the contestable process and slots are new, we want to engage in open dialogue with Producers about how best to target this funding, and deliver on-brand, popular programming for RTÉ ONE.

We ask, in the first instance, that producers submit ideas into the eCommissioning system:
https://e-commissioning.rte.ie/SWIFT.Web/skins/rte/login.aspx
under the programme category Comedy Music & Talent "Contestable Slots - RTÉ One"

*Please note budget ranges are indicative only, and proposals that can achieve lower costs per hour will be particularly attractive'.

********************************************************

COMEDY PROGRAMMING ON RTÉ TWO

No. of Episodes: 6

Duration: 30 minutes

Transmission: RTÉ TWO - Mondays 21:30 and 22:00

Delivery: TBA

Budget: Project dependent. Scripted comedy will be at a higher tariff than other forms of comedy, and sources of additional funding will be welcome.

Monday Night Comedy is back, and has been offering young audiences a likeable way to start the week. We are interested in developing and commissioning new content in this area, that can build on the success of Damo & Ivor, The Mario Rosenstock Show, and The Republic of Telly. Some of the slots in 2014 have already been commissioned and we have a Panel Show in development for a potential 2014 series.

But in addition, we are interested in a variety of new comedy proposals that can fit these slots, and the channel's overall mission of nurturing and supporting new Irish talent and commissioning brave comedy that connects with 15-34 year olds. Comedy formats, talent based projects and scripted comedy is of interest, as are proposals that lend themselves to development phases and BAI or co-production funding.

We ask, in the first instance, that producers submit ideas into the eCommissioning system:
https://e-commissioning.rte.ie/SWIFT.Web/skins/rte/login.aspx
under the programme category Comedy Music & Talent "RTÉ Two - Mondays"

*Please note budget ranges are indicative only, and proposals that can achieve lower costs per hour will be particularly attractive'.

********************************************************

POPULAR DOCUMENTARY PROGRAMMING ON RTÉ TWO

No. of Episodes: 10

Duration: 52 minutes

Transmission: RTÉ TWO - Thursdays 21:55

Budget: 55k per hour*

Delivery: TBA

This department has 10 dedicated Reality Bites slots on RTÉ TWO in 2014. One-off proposals that bring new talent to the fore, in front of or behind the camera, are of interest, as are potentially longer-runs or mini-series with pre-existing or more established talent.

We ask, in the first instance, that producers submit ideas into the eCommissioning system:
https://e-commissioning.rte.ie/SWIFT.Web/skins/rte/login.aspx
under the programme category Comedy Music & Talent "RTÉ Two - Popular Doc"

*Please note budget ranges are indicative only, and proposals that can achieve lower costs per hour will be particularly attractive'.

********************************************************

'CONTESTABLE' SLOTS ON RTÉ TWO

No. of Episodes/Duration: Various RTÉ TWO 'Contestable' Slots, variety of half hours and hour long durations.

Budget: Project Dependent.

Popular Documentary proposals 55k per hour. Formatted Fact Ent 65k per hour. Comedy formats 40k per half hour. Sources of additional funding will be welcome.

As with RTÉ ONE, the Channel Controller for RTÉ TWO will pick proposals pitched from different RTÉ TV departments for 'contestable' funding.

The priority here is to generate programmes with grabby titles and popular content to set out very clearly RTÉ TWO's proposition as the channel for 15 - 34 year olds. Youthful, brave, challenging, exciting, entertaining and non judgemental programmes wanted.

6 x 60': Post Watershed Autumn 2014
Would suit closed end narrative lifestyle or entertainment format, with a strong female skew . Don't Tell The Bride has been one of the flagship success stories on RTÉ TWO, while previous series such as ICA Bootcamp have also performed strongly in this area. Looking for characters and storylines that will create a lot of noise with target demo. Likely Thursday slot.

6 x 30' Post Watershed Autumn 2014
Would suit a comedy or prank show - but other options will be considered, especially if targeted at 15 - 34s. Likely Monday or Wednesday slot.

4 x 60' Post Watershed Summer/Autumn 2014
Popular documentary series providing a non judgemental slice of life. Looking for interesting characters and grabby stories which will engage 15 - 34s. While one off Reality Bites docs will continue there will be an increased emphasis on mini-series such as Maia Dunphy's What Women Want. Likely Thursday.

1 x 60' Post Watershed Summer/Autumn 2014
RTÉ TWO is open to one off popular documentary or fact ent programme ideas - again the ability to create noise and talkability among target demo is key. Likely Wednesday or Thursday.

We ask, in the first instance, that producers submit ideas into the eCommissioning system:
https://e-commissioning.rte.ie/SWIFT.Web/skins/rte/login.aspx
under the programme category Comedy Music & Talent "Contestable Slots - RTÉ Two"

*Please note budget ranges are indicative only, and proposals that can achieve lower costs per hour will be particularly attractive'.

********************************************************

MUSIC PROGRAMMING, RTÉ ONE, RTÉ TWO, RTÉ DIGITAL

We are interested in creative proposals for music programming, to augment our current output. Programmes like Other Voices on RTÉ TWO and Fleadh Cheoil, For One Night Only and The Transatlantic Sessions on RTÉ ONE have delivered mainstream audiences. Proposals for low cost or fully funded music programming (perhaps with a commercial sponsor on board) will be of interest, as will proposals which have a digital component.

Music-based proposals that can draw a significant audience, or make an on-brand, noisy statement for the target audience on either channel will be of interest for the Contestable Slots on RTÉ ONE and RTÉ TWO.

Projects that can potentially secure BAI funding, or co-production finance are also of interest.

We ask, in the first instance, that producers submit ideas into the eCommissioning system:
https://e-commissioning.rte.ie/SWIFT.Web/skins/rte/login.aspx
under the programme category Comedy Music & Talent "Music"

********************************************************

Please note:

The discussion of, or initial interest in, a proposal does not represent a commitment to commission by RTÉ and should not be understood as such. Commissioning decisions will reflect the quality of proposals received and the scheduling priorities operating at the time. RTÉ's financial position will also be a factor.

*******************************************************

Any proposals previously submitted to RTÉ in categories listed here, and which were rejected on a first reading in a previous Round, should not be re-submitted and will not be reconsidered.

RTÉ 2014
Terms & Conditions