RTÉ Comedy, Talent Development & Music

COMEDY, TALENT DEVELOPMENT & MUSIC

Head of Comedy, Talent Development & Music: Eddie Doyle

Executive Producer: Justin Healy

UPDATED: 02nd October 2017

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COMMISSIONING BRIEF

This department is responsible for commissioning Comedy output for RTÉ ONE, RTÉ2, and Online. The secondary function of this department is to develop new and existing Presenting and Production Talent. 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 RTÉ's cross-platform offering will be of particular interest.

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RTÉ and the Irish Film Board have formed an initiative to support new Irish Scripted Comedy projects, with export potential.

Following the success of shows like Can't Cope Won't Cope and Bridget and Eamon, which have been sold to the BBC and UK TV respectively, and the upcoming series based on the hugely successful film, The Young Offenders, we are calling for proposals for half-hour scripted comedies, which have the potential to be picked up by international distributors and/or international broadcasters. To that end, participation in this initiative requires producers to source additional financial investment from international distributors/broadcasters, which, at a minimum, matches RTÉ's investment at pilot and series stage.

Selection Process:

Up to 10 of these proposals will be selected for initial development, and receive €4,000 development funding, to bring to 'pitch' stage. This pitch should flesh out the editorial, production and business affairs/finance proposition - including formal letters of commitment from international funders, outlining their support for pilot and subsequent series. After the pitch, four proposals will be chosen to go to pilot, for transmission on RTÉ in Autumn 2018. Each of these 4 pilots will receive €130,000 production funding (€65,000 from RTÉ, €65,000 development funding from the IFB), and producers will be asked to source a further €65,000 from international sources, and where appropriate, s481 support.

After broadcast of the pilots, RTÉ shall pick one pilot which will be brought to series for transmission on RTÉ in 2019. This series will receive €400,000 from RTÉ towards the production of 5 additional episodes to complete the series, and producers will be asked to source a further €400,000 from international sources, and, where appropriate, s481 support.

RTÉ will require premiere transmission (both linear and digital) on pilots and subsequent series.

If successful, it is intended that the scheme would be run again in 2018.

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&IFB, before the closing date of 12 noon on 29th November 2017 (Strict Deadline)

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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. We have had success on the recent past with a mix of big, broad family friendly comedy (Mrs Browns Boys, Killinaskully), topical and satirical comedy (Irish Pictorial Weekly, Mario Rosenstock Show), alongside some comedy formats and quirky comedy and comedy drama (Trivia, The Walshes). We are interested in finding and developing new projects in these spaces.

RTÉ2 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. We are interested in new scripted, formatted and talent-driven comedy for this audience, focusing on the core channel brand.

On both channels, we are interested, on an ongoing basis, in comedy projects that can be co-produced by RTÉ and another broadcaster - following the financing model of projects like Mrs Browns Boys and The Walshes. In these cases, RTÉ partnered with the BBC to develop, produce and fund the projects.
This has influenced our overall comedy strategy, and one of our core ambitions is to act as a bridge and partner for Irish comedy talent, into larger marketplaces - primarily the UK. To that end, we are engaging proactively with a variety of potential partner broadcasters in the UK, and we now want to identify new projects (often in the scripted comedy territory) to co-develop.

We are happy to discuss a variety of budgets and production timeframes, on a case-by-case basis. Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Separately, on both channels, we are interested on an ongoing basis, in projects which provide an opportunity to innovate with new or existing talent (primarily comedy talent), for example placing a high profile individual in a new format or talent vehicle. As above, given that innovation is key to our plans, we are happy to discuss a variety of budgets and production timeframes, on a case-by-case basis. Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis.

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 "Comedy"

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MUSIC PROGRAMMING, RTÉ ONE, RTÉ2, RTÉ DIGITAL

We are interested in creative proposals for music programming, to augment our current output. Programmes like Other Voices on RTÉ2 and The Imelda May Show, Fleadh Cheoil, 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 RTÉ2.

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"

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BAI

Closing date for submissions for to be considered for RTÉ support in BAI Round 30 is 12 noon on Friday 27th October - Strict Deadline.

All submissions must include a full budget and proposed finance plan.

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 - BAI - Oct 2017", before the closing date of 12 noon on 27th October 2017 (Strict Deadline)

**Only proposals submitted through e-commissioning will be considered.**

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Format Farm

We are always looking for ideas that can be developed or commissioned for Format Farm. For more information on Format Farm please click here

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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.

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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.

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