CBC and Warner Bros. International Television Production (WBITVP) today announced the return of the Format Incubator for a third round. Beginning today through April 23, Canadian producers are invited to submit ideas for original primetime unscripted formats with strong Canadian and international appeal. Format Incubator is a collaborative venture between CBC, WBITVP and the independent production community in Canada, aimed at boosting the creation of original, exportable television formats. Full submission details are available at cbc.ca/formatincubator.
“In partnership with Warner Bros., CBC is committed to investing in Canadian formats with broad appeal for audiences in Canada and around the world,” said Jennifer Dettman, executive director, unscripted content, CBC. “The first two rounds of the Format Incubator have produced two original factual series that have resonated with Canadians, both through broadcast and social engagement: THE STATS OF LIFE and UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT. We’re thrilled to announce that they have both been renewed after successful runs on the schedule in 2017, and are now being shopped on the global stage at MIPTV. For the 2018 Format Incubator, we are looking for primetime entertainment concepts that feel big, bold and innovative and appeal to the core CBC audience.”
The first program to come out of the Format Incubator initiative was Frantic Films’ factual series THE STATS OF LIFE which debuted as a pilot (1×60) in spring 2016, followed by a four episode half-hour series in fall 2017. The series reached over 2 million viewers* and has now been renewed for a second season. THE STATS OF LIFE is a fun, factual entertainment series that layers graphics of statistics over intimate stories of real people, exploring how households across the country compare to one another while allowing the viewer to discover where they themselves fit into the bigger picture. The format is represented in the international marketplace by Zodiak Rights, part of the Banijay Group (formerly Banijay International).
Produced by Proper Television and hosted by DRAGONS’ DEN investor Arlene Dickinson, UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT was selected as the winning format for the second year of the Format Incubator. Featuring Dickinson as she took budding entrepreneurs shopping for the right small business to fulfill their dreams, two back-to-back specials premiered in November 2016 and reached one million viewers on CBC.** Under New Management will be distributed internationally by Warner Bros. International TV Production.
Format Incubator is open to applicants with all levels of experience, from students to established producers, and will support up to three new unscripted pilots through the development and production process, including primetime broadcast on CBC. Submissions must be original, non-derivative primetime entertainment formats that are fun and family-friendly with the potential for multiple seasons and broad appeal for both Canadian and international audiences. Chosen formats will benefit from development and creative editorial support from CBC and Warner Bros. International Television Production, and an expedited distribution process to bring their concept to the international market.
Pilots will be financed by CBC and WBITVP, along with provincial and federal tax credits and CMF funding when applicable. Canadian producers will retain copyright of the program, and the format will be owned equally and jointly by the production company, CBC and WBITVP.