In the March/April issue of realscreen, our lifestyle report focuses on the wedding genre. Here, Clare Laycock, channel head of UK networks Really and Home, talks about what she’s looking for at MIPTV in Cannes next week, in what she calls an evergreen genre.
The channel head is looking to acquire wedding content and is optimistic that, although Really isn’t looking to commission original programming at the moment, that will change going forward.
“I think this is really a prime genre if we do,” she says. “There are some really good gems from America and Canada. At the market coming up we’ll be looking for wedding stuff, sorting out the good ones from all the rest.”
Laycock will be looking for content that appeals to Really’s key demo – 16- to 34-year-olds, 70% female, who she says are in the “wedding zone,” meaning they’re having their own weddings or their friends are. She says she’ll also keep an eye out for UK formats since Really’s audiences prefer to see people like themselves.
“If the format’s right, people will watch on repeat because they know what they’re going to get and because it’s a wedding, you’re going to get that amazing finale every episode. It’s just as good to have more series of successful formats than to keep reinventing the wheel,’ she says.
In addition to wedding content, Really is also looking for titles with multi-platform elements. “There’s extra fun we can have online with games, quizzes or videos,” she says. “It’s exactly right for the target audience.”
She offers current Really hits, such as Renegade Pictures’ Don’t Tell the Bride and September Films’ Bridezillas, as success stories for the network. However, she has firm ideas about what she’s not interested in.
“We have rejected quite a few titles because they have just been too gimmicky. Maybe it’s mothers-in-law organizing things or there’s a really hideous twist, where it [goes] too far away from the bride and the dress,” she says. ‘The other reason we’ve turned things down is that they just feel that they won’t relate to the UK audience enough.”
Nevertheless, she believes the genre remains strong. “There’s an ever-renewing audience for that kind of show as people get in that wedding-zone frame of mind. It feels like a real evergreen genre for us.”