UKTV History will rebrand as Yesterday on March 2. Realscreen spoke with Richard Kingsbury, current head of UKTV Food and UKTV History about the rebrand and the mandate for the new channel.
How does the mandate for this channel differ from the previous mandate for UKTV History?
In terms of mandate the idea of Yesterday is to make history feel more immediate and more relevant to a broader audience. We are taking natural history and what I call British outdoors programming off the channel. These have moved to our new channels, Eden and Blighty. Yesterday will have a greater focus on the events of living memory from World War II through the ’60s and ’70s to the present day. The ideal Yesterday program will give traditional history lovers the facts and the insight they seek with a great story to hook in a broader audience and encourage shared viewing. We will see more historical drama and more archive-based programming that brings to life popular culture in the post-war era.
How much of your programming will be acquisitions vs. coproductions vs. original commissions?
The channel is mainly fed by acquisition but we do have a budget for commissioning or co-production.
What advice do you have for producers hoping to work with your channel?
For this we have tended to look for programs that give a fresh insight into proven topics such as World War II backed up with great archive. But moving forward, we will be looking at other great events of the post-war era, and with the new targeting in mind, we will be looking for great stories that can break out beyond the core history audience.