RTÉ Lifestyle

RTÉ Lifestyle

Head of Lifestyle: Grainne McAleer

Executive Producer: Teresa Smith

Updated: Monday 10th July 2017


Commissioning Brief

RTE Lifestyle Commissions into a number of slots across both channels.

We commission Factual Entertainment, Features, Formats and Observational Documentary Series for both pre and post-watershed slots on RTÉ ONE and RTÉ2.

RTÉ Lifestyle is home of wide range of RTÉ's most popular , high quality and impactful programmes. Recent and current commissions include: Operation Transformation, At Your Service, What Are you Eating, Room to Improve, Toughest Place To Be, First Date, You Should Really See A Doctor, Don't Tell the Bride.

We operate a rolling commissioning system as well as having specific call-outs for individual slots.


One-hour Factual Formats for RTÉ ONE and RTÉ2.

Slot: Sundays 21.30 - Autumn 2018

Number and Duration: Our preference is for 4 or 6 part, hour- long series' but we are open to piloting or experimenting with a shorter initial run.

Budget: €90,000 - €110,000 per hour

Deadline: 18 August 2017 (12 noon, strict deadline)

RTE ONE, Sunday Nights, 21.30

For RTÉ ONE we are currently looking for big returnable series that will play on Sunday nights at 21.30. Sunday is the second biggest TV night of the week, after Friday. We need to engage the large and diverse audience looking to RTÉ1 to entertain and distract them through the dying hours of their precious weekend. Room to Improve with its mix of character, story and guaranteed reveal, does extremely well in this slot as does Drama. For other documentaries and series there are mixed results but what is generally clear is that the audience is ready to be engaged on an emotional level with an end of weekend treat. It is also clear that a returning series can become a very satisfying part of the Sunday night routine.

Sunday evening is generally strong for RTÉ ONE with an audience accumulated over an evening of well scheduled Entertainment, Lifestyle and News which regularly gets over 500,000. The challenge then is to build on this with a variety of offerings across the entire year.

We want:

- Series that are slightly younger and slightly more female skewed than other nights

- Formats that deliver big and genuine emotional hooks like DIY SOS, Long Lost Family, or our own High Hopes Choir, but we don't want to feel patronised and we don't want formats that feel exploitative.

- Casting strong characters from the real world is obviously also key here.

- We are looking for straightforward concepts. These may be lightly formatted or be a new twist on the competitive format. We don't want series' that are overly contrived and we don't want versions of popular UK formats.

We're also looking for new ways of storytelling and good use of fixed rig, not necessarily as an end in itself but as part of the production mix. We're happy to look at Food and Property is obviously again a major pre-occupation for our viewers. Business and Money formats could work but not simple transformational ones. Don't discount Births, Marriages and Deaths when looking for stories with big hearts. We need another layer of engagement that brings in the general viewer and most of all we need a big charismatic leads, in either the presenter or cast.

You need to think of the kind of subjects and treatments that reflect the concerns of an audience in Ireland in 2017. An audience that is slightly more optimistic than their 2012 counterparts but is still bruised and often still carrying the burden of past mistakes. More people may now be able to afford a holiday but after years of stagnation both the millennial generation and their parents worry that they will never be able to buy or even rent a house. They are also very savvy consumers; money is no longer easily accessible. There is no doubt, one of the biggest needs of our audience continues to be the need to escape the realities of work, mortgage, child and family care but there is also little doubt that this audience has become more socially engaged and more aware of the political and economic forces that shape their destiny.

We ask, in the first instance, that producers submit ideas into the eCommissioning system:
under the programme category Lifestyle "RTÉ One Sunday @ 21.30"

Deadline for submission of proposals: Friday 18th August at noon (Strict Deadline)



Tuesdays and Thursday Post-watershed, 40 and 52 minute

Budget: Up to €85,000 per hour for straightforward Lifestyle propositions (NB in exceptional cases RTÉ may agree to increasing the above budget per hour and in such instances Producers should clearly outline specific reasons and provide costs for the same, e.g. fixed rig costs).

Deadline: 18 August 2017 (12 noon, strict deadline)

Factual Entertainment Series and Formats.

We are looking for programmes to play against Prime Time on RTÉ2. Skewing young and female, our prescription for RTÉ2 isn't widely different for RTÉ ONE. Programmes that work best for us could frequently play on RTÉ ONE as they tend to have a broad appeal, great story-telling and likeable characters. Warmth is key and subjects like births, deaths, marriage, property and interiors are perennial favourites. Tone and access are very important here and we're looking for clever use of resources that will allow stories to be told in an authentic and fresh way.

Hour long and 40 minute slots allow more depth to stories and offer opportunities to deliver substantial and credible transformations. Such shows need layers and great casting to sustain and hold an audience over a longer duration. The Lifestyle slate on RTÉ 2 currently consists of Don't Tell the Bride, Say Yes to the Dress, Crowded House and First Dates. It may also be worth re-looking at formats you may have submitted to RTÉ ONE but which might have been rejected for durational reasons. Some programmes that were originally submitted for half-hour slots may be worth considering at longer durations.

In short we're very open to both new and old ideas for RTÉ2 and while our preference is definitely for original formats, we are open to considering established formats from elsewhere.

We ask, in the first instance, that producers submit ideas into the eCommissioning system:
under the programme category Lifestyle "RTÉ2 Tuesday Post Watershed" & "RTÉ2 Thursday Post Watershed"

Deadline for submission of proposals: Friday 18th August at noon (strict deadline)


Rolling Round.

We are always looking for ideas that can be developed or commissioned for the following slots:

RTÉ ONE Mid-week and Sundays 20.30, half-hours, 6- 10 episodes (€40K - €55k per ep)

RTÉ ONE, Sundays 21.30, post-watershed, hour-long episodes 4 - 6 episodes (€80K - €95K per ep)

RTÉ2, Mid-week, post-watershed, series, hour long series (€ 55k to 80k per ep)*

RTÉ2, Reality Bites. Single, hour-long formats for RTE2 (€55,000 per episode).

BAI Proposals - Projects of scale that could play in one of the Lifestyle slots but are suitable for submission to the BAI Sound and Vision scheme.

*We are also open to ideas at 25 minute duration for both pre and post-watershed on RTE2, our preference however is for formats that work at an hour.

On RTÉ ONE, we are looking for programmes that appeal to a broad general audience, that offer emotional engagement as well as practical take-away.

We are looking for programmes that are original and innovative and for new presenters/experts who are talented and credible but who also have a sense of humour and fun. The Consumer Show, Supergarden, Operation Transformation, Home of the Year, At Your Service and The Shelbourne, What are You Eating, have all played in this slot.

For post-watershed on RTÉ ONE, we need great story telling, huge emotional engagement as well as strong presenting talent. These need to be stories of scale, capable of holding an audience for an hour. Our recent post-watershed commissions on ONE are Room to Improve and The High Hopes Choir.

On RTÉ2 the mood is lighter and bolder. We need to reflect the preoccupations and obsessions of 18 - 35 year olds. We must attract them to a linear viewing experience as well as satisfying their appetite for social and second screen engagement. We need to entertain and provoke. RTÉ2 successes need to have components that can be seeded virally in advance of viewing and that therefore can find their audience outside traditional TV promotional cycle. Humour is absolutely key to success on RTÉ2.

Recent Commissions from Lifestyle for RTÉ2 are: First Dates and Don't Tell the Bride, Toughest Place To Be


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


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.

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


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