Channel 4 has pledged to boost their spend on programming aimed at teens (10-14 year olds) to £5 million by 2018, up considerably on the current budget of £3 million. Content aimed at that demo that can be played in the 8pm time-slot will be a decided focus.
Boosting output for “older children” has been a priority for Channel 4 for a number of years. They started down that path in 2011, when the committed to spend £1 million on such content, and have continually upped the budget in the years the followed, with a total of £3 million having been spent in 2015.
With the increased budget, C4 has already commissioned new unscripted series Guy’s Big Build and 8pm drama The ABC. They have also ordered a pilot for studio format Kidology and new runs of both Child Genius and Educating… All of which will sit alongside existing commissions, such as Gogglesprogs.
“Over the past three years we’ve steadily increased our spend and our share of the 10-14 audience. This additional spend will supercharge our strategy at 8pm and deliver even more great programming for this audience”, said Channel 4’s Chief Creative Officer Jay Hunt. “From Gogglesprogs to our new drama ABC, we are commissioning hours of TV that promise to be compelling for young teenagers”
Full details of these commissions follows below:
Guy’s Big Build
From indie North One Television, Guy’s Big Build sees Guy Martin recruit a group of unemployed Grimsby teenagers and train them in construction and engineering. These teens will then deliver a technical and engineering challenge on a site in Lincolnshire. The aim is that once the site is up and running, it will be a training ground recruiting from the local area and, through maintenance and expansion of the site, give young people the opportunity and skills they need to become trained engineers. To accompany the series, Channel 4 is also developing a short form animated series for All4 which will pass on engineering knowledge about new technologies to a whole new generation of engineers.
In what is a return to 8pm drama for Channel 4, The ABC is described as week-night series set in large Northern comprehensive school within a diverse community. Produced by The Forge, the series is set to air on Channel 4 in 2017. The accompany the drama, Channel 4 has also commissioned a bespoke online series targeted specifically at older children. The ABC is not a new commission per se, as it was first announced as having been picked up by Channel 4 back in November 2014.
Picked up for a non-broadcast pilot, Kidology is a studio based entertainment show that answers the questions we should all know the answers to but actually don’t. The stars of the show are kids whose curious questions will be answered by a cast of anarchic comedy players who will act out answers to questions such as ‘how do clouds float? And why do men have nipples?’ After watching the answer the kids have to decide if the answer they have been given is true or false. Simple, funny and packed full of never ending universal questions from Astronomy to Zoology, this is a play-along quiz show for all the family.