26 April 2018 The Irish Film & Television Network
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RTÉ Lifestyle - Commissioning Brief for RTÉ 1 and 2
11 Jul 2017 :
August deadline for a number of slots across both channels.

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.

One-hour Factual Formats for RTÉ ONE and RTÉ2.

Slot: Sundays 21.30 - Autumn 2018

Number and Duration: RTÉ’s preference is for 4 or 6 part, hour- long series' but are 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 they 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. They 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.

RTÉ 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 High Hopes Choir, but they don't want to feel patronised and don't want formats that feel exploitative. 

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

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

RTÉ are 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. They’re happy to look at Food and Property is obviously again a major pre-occupation for their 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. They need another layer of engagement that brings in the general viewer and most of all they need a big charismatic leads, in either the presenter or cast.

Production companies 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 RTÉ’s 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. 

RTÉ 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.

They are looking for programmes to play against Prime Time on RTÉ2. Skewing young and female, the 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 they'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 RTÉ are very open to both new and old ideas for RTÉ2 and while their preference is definitely for original formats, they are open to considering established formats from elsewhere.

RTÉ 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)


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