RSL ’14: BBCWW’s Swanston sets goals for Brit, Earth

BBC Worldwide's VP of commissioning Julie Swanston (pictured) outlined her programming goals for genre brands BBC Brit and BBC Earth at Realscreen London on Wednesday (October 9).
October 9, 2014

BBC Worldwide’s VP of commissioning Julie Swanston (pictured) outlined her programming goals for genre brands BBC Brit and BBC Earth at Realscreen London on Wednesday (October 9).

Speaking on BBC Brit, Swanston – who programs a minimum of 83 hours of content across the two brands – said she is looking for four original, male-skewing fact ent series that are fresh interpretations of classic male genres and accessible to a broad audience.

The series must also adhere to the four thematic pillars for the brand, which are camaraderie, expertise, wit and jeopardy.

“The BBC Brit audience has a deep appreciation of British humor and the quirks of our culture,” said Swanston. “These are intelligent blokes who enjoy having a laugh and we’re looking to meet their desire for entertaining content that is underpinned by substance and feels uniquely British.”

Shifting her focus to BBC Earth, the exec explained that she is looking for original content for a new ‘Earth Unplugged’ slot which she described as “natural history with its hair down.” Swanston said she was keen to commission a fast-paced adventure series with British talent.

“We are looking for series which have a clear mission and sense of purpose for BBC Earth. The ‘Earth Unplugged’ slot will be exhilarating, lean-forward television,” said Swanston. “Expertise is critical but it must be matched by entertainment: they are of equal importance in the content we are seeking for BBC Earth.”

The exec said she’s looking for “authentic, real life adventurers who are immersed in the experience, rather than at the end of a long lens.”

BBC Earth and BBC Brit are set to launch as international channels next year, rolling out globally throughout 2015. Swanston is looking for international rights to new commissions for both brands, and describes the ideal production model as a copro with a UK or U.S. broadcaster.


About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news editor at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joined the RS team in 2015 with experience in journalism following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and with communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.