RTÉ Lifestyle & Formats

Head of Lifestyle & Formats: Grainne McAleer

Executive Producer: Teresa Smith

Head of Format Development: Tonyia Dowling

Updated: Tuesday 04th February 2014


At their core, Lifestyle programmes offer help, tips and advice on a range of subjects that reflect our everyday life. Thought in order to engage and hold an audience at a busy and competitive time of evening, they must have a particular attention to character, story and entertainment value.

We need engaging entertaining formats like Don't Tell the Bride and Masterchef. We also need charismatic and entertaining experts like The Brennan Brothers and Dermot Bannon, people who are at the top of their game but who also embrace the business of Telly. Finally we need `know how' and `take away', programmes have to inform but if they don't engage and entertain as well, we're not interested. We must be able to compete for viewers hearts and minds with box sets and series links. In short, we need to distract, divert, entertain and inform. Not a big ask really.

Although we commission magazine series, our strong preference this year is for formats, strong ideas and unique takes on standard lifestyle subjects. We want programmes that draw attention to themselves, and their channels and that pique curiosity and stand out on the EPGs.

We have a small number of slots available in 2014 but we are also looking for series to develop and produce for early 2015. On RTE One, we have slots at 19.00 and 20.30 mid-week and 20.30 Sundays. On RTE Two we are looking for Factual Entertainment slots, post-watershed at both hour-long and half hour durations.



Mid-week at 19.00 and 20.30 and Sundays at 20.30.

We are looking for strong, clearly identifiable new formats for ONE, in May 2014 and September 2014. We are open to all categories within Lifestyle - business make-over; money, health, parenting, food, design, relationships and consumer issues. Many of our series have been in the schedule for a number of years so all areas and all current slots are up for grabs though we obviously won't replace anything unless we think the new proposition offers something which is at least as strong as the incumbent.

We are open to:
- All subject matters within the Lifestyle area.
- Submissions that really engage with the pre-occupations and obsessions of Ireland in 2014.
- Programme with closed narratives. If your idea has docu-soap elements, then, like From Here to Maternity, there have to be clear resolutions each week.
Pre-watershed series have to consist of stand-alone episodes.
- Great Presenters who light up the screen as well as being experts in their field
- Big Public Service Campaigns, if we can stitch a meaningful campaign into your idea, then it has an automatic advantage.
- If you're looking at Sunday night slots you really have to interrogate your ideas and unless it's going to work across the generations, then we're really not interested.

Costs per episode range from €40 - €50, mid-week, 20.30 and €45 -58k, for Sunday nights. 19.00 proposals range from €30 - 45k per episode.

We ask, in the first instance, that producers submit ideas into the eCommissioning system:
under the programme category "Daytime & Lifestyle Midweek & Sundays"



We are looking for Factual Entertainment and Lifestyle series for RTE TWO. We need programmes that appeal to the key demographic for the channel, 15 - 34 year olds. There are a number of contestable slots in Autumn 2014. Most are hour-long but there is also one half-hour slot. We are looking for programmes for Tuesday night (female skewed) and Thursday night (broad Factual Entertainment).

We are currently responsible for The Takeover, Don't Tell the Bride and Connected. The latter is an Israeli format, which is a new take on the docu-soap, based on the culture of on-line self-exposure.

Key to success on this channel is:

Programmes must entertain with a healthy degree of irreverence. Cynicism is good but in general the tone should be positive and non-judgemental but always with a healthy edge. What Women Want filled this brief as did many other of the author driven Reality Bites like Like a Virgin and Oi Ginger.

Entertainment value
Series must entertain first and educate incidentally. Don't Tell the Bride and The Takeover are great examples of Factual Entertainment series. We want more of these but they must work for the more modest budgets available on RTE TWO.
What subject matters do this demographic really care about and how can we give them this in a really entertaining way?
What sub-demographics within the broad sweep of 15-35 year olds are under-represented on the channel and how do we get RTE TWO to reflect them and their lives?

Risk Taking
Public service programmes for RTE TWO should take risks; tackle taboos and offer viewers an original approach. New formats and ways of telling stories should be top of your mind when looking at ideas for TWO.

Cross Platform
Content is king, particularly for this audience. We need a digital strategy as part of the programme proposal. How and where does this series live and what digital engagement does it offer the audience.

Great Talent
A number of new faces have emerged from Reality Bites this year. Have you suitable vehicles for any of them or have you brilliant new faces that we need to see. Talent needs to be smart, funny and credible.

RTE TWO budgets are lower than those of RTE ONE. We have two slots for hour-long series, one at 50k an episode, the other at €80k an episode. Half hour series should cost in the region of 35k per episode. All of the above slots are contestable across genres.


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


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.


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