RTÉ INDEPENDENT PRODUCTIONS
Cláracha Gaeilge, Multiculture and Education Programming
Daytime & Lifestyle Programming
Young People’s Programming
PLEASE NOTE: Closing Date for receipt of all submissions is thMonday the 27 of August 2007 at 12 noon.
RTÉ Independent Commissions 2008
RTÉ Television offers viewers Irish public service television of a quality, range and ambition not found on any other channel. From News and Current Affairs to Drama and Sport, from Entertainment to Factual, Regional and Cláracha Gaeilge, from Young Peoples to Lifestyle, RTÉ continues to deliver a mixed general interest schedule to the Irish public, with programming designed to serve all of our viewers, of all ages and taste, countrywide.
RTÉ Television sources many of it’s programmes from the independent production sector. Programmes are
commissioned across a wide range of genres, with the ambition of bringing to our viewers high-quality, engaging and stimulating Irish television programmes. Our commissioning decisions are driven by our ambition to offer value for money, and diverse, Irish made content on our mainstream public service channels which are available to all Irish television viewers.
For 2008, RTÉ is looking for Factual, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Educational, Regional, Young People’s, Multi-
cultural, Education programming agus Cláracha Gaeilge for RTÉ ONE and RTÉ TWO. Drama proposals are accepted throughout the year.
All of our commissions must be original, distinctive in their own genre, focused on their target audience, and offer a clear sense of how they will enhance our service to our viewers. We are looking for the best available creativity and talent in the sector, and will particularly welcome new talent in appropriate roles, including front of camera.
The discussion of, or initial interest in a proposal does not represent a commitment to commission by RTÉ and should not be understood as such. Commissioning decisions will reflect the quality of proposals received and the scheduling priorities operating at the time. RTÉ's financial position will also be a factor.
Any proposals previously submitted to RTÉ in categories listed here, and which were rejected on a first reading in a previous Round, should not be re-submitted and will not be reconsidered.
Proposals which clearly do not belong in any of the categories identified, or which are not clearly marked according to category, will not be accepted for
consideration in the Round.
Guidelines for Submitting to RTÉ
RTÉ has updated its commissioning processes by introducing an
electronic system by which producers can submit programme
proposals or ideas.
In order to submit programme proposals or ideas to RTÉ e-
Commissioning, producers will need to register first with RTÉ (see
www.rte.ie/commissioning). Producers can begin to register from thWednesday 6 June 2007. Please note that registration will close thfor one week only from Friday 17 August 2007 prior to the closing date of submission deadline.
In addition, please note the following:
1. For the 2008 commissioning round RTÉ Independent
Productions will only accept submissions online made through
the e-Commissioning system.
2. We will begin accepting online submissions from Monday the th25 of June 2007 through our new online e-Commissioning
system which will be available on: www.rte.ie/commissioning.
3. If additional material needs to be sent by post producers will
need to tick the relevant tick box on the e-Submission form.
Each e-Submission will receive a unique reference number.
Producers should clearly mark this reference number on all
additional support material or DVD’s and send to:
2008 Commissioning Round
? Proposals must be submitted to RTÉ e-Commissioning by thMonday 27 August 2007 at 12 noon.
? It will not be possible to make submissions after the deadline.
Please refer to RTÉ’s e-Commissioning Terms and Conditions
on www.rte.ie/commissioning for further details.
Guidelines for Submitting to RTÉ
Producers should concentrate on identifying the key points of their
proposal. The following may be used as a guide.
? What is your idea / the editorial synopsis?
? What is the format, if applicable?
? What is the storytelling style?
? What is the outline budget?
If production or presenter talent is attached this will not be
regarded as binding; however the e-Submission should make it clear
whether the individuals involved have been approached / have
agreed, or are merely aspirational.
Documentary policy for 2008 will confirm 2 trends in recent Factual
One is the ongoing shift away from general single documentaries toward an
emphasis on popular short series. The True Lives strand of general single
documentaries will not be commissioned this year. Single documentaries of
exceptional potential and value may be pursued, but it is important to point
out that only one documentary of this sort was commissioned out of last
The other significant development is the expansion of Factual documentary
commissioning into the premier Monday 21:30 slot. In both 2006 and now in
2007 extra budgets have been provided across the year for additional
documentary flows into this high-demand, high-performance schedule slot.
The opportunity for producers to win commissions and high audiences, with
the potential for recommissions or other business growth with RTÉ, is marked.
Commissioning into the Tuesday and Thursday slots at 22:15 remains as high
as ever alongside this expanded Monday requirement.
The message across all output is the same. Producers should focus on strong,
competitive peaktime series ideas in which compelling characters, storylines
and revelatory social or life experience scenarios are clearly evident. Ideas
concerning relatively soft narratives, or centring on subjects and issues rather
than stories and characters, are unlikely to be pursued.
Schedule slot guidelines are as follows:
RTÉ ONE Monday 21:30
The intention here is to offer viewers high-impact documentary series capable
of holding a 30% share across their run. Landmark documentary items
offering unusual access or revelation or compelling human interest, or
generating discussion about Irish society or public affairs, have succeeded in
this slot. Examples have included The Asylum, Haughey and In Search of the
Pope‟s Children, Surgeons and The Hospice and Future Shock: Property Crash.
These are programmes that generate significant levels of media reaction and
public discussion and that stand out in the television listings.
Upcoming commissioning in this slot includes:
New series from David McWilliams
Modern political history -- further series in Haughey / Fine Gael mode Future Shock: more episodes in 2007 and more in 2008.
Documentaries on drug use and addiction in society
Budget norms: Up to a maximum of ?135,000 per hour.
RTÉ ONE Tuesday 22:15
In addition to showcasing most of the Arts and History documentary output,
this slot features strong general documentary material ranging from
observational to strong story narratives. Stories from contemporary or recent
Irish life are the priority. Output indicative of this slot‟s objectives includes
The Family Silver, Junior Doctors and Raging Bulls and audience shares of 25% or over are sought.
Projects currently in development for this slot include docs of:
Shifts in Irish employment
Prominent murder cases
andThe Family Silver [Series III].
Budget norms: Up to a maximum of ?120,000 per hour.
RTÉ ONE Thursday 22:15
This slot alternates between Factual, Lifestyle and Factual Entertainment
output and the documentary material playing into it will usually be of a lighter
type, often with durations of 25‟ or 40‟ rather than full hours. Recent output
of the type sought includes Chain Reactions and So You Want To Be Taoiseach? and again audience share targets of 25% or over will be the norm.
Budget norms: Up to a maximum of ?120,000 per hour.
An important note across all Documentary output is that subjects
and treatments capable of appealing strongly to female viewers, and
to adults 18 to 35, will be valued as part of the documentary mix.
The message in Arts documentary blends continuity and change.
We will continue to commission and screen Arts Lives documentaries which
blend biography and critique, as well as journalistic pieces on issues in the
Irish arts with a strong cultural resonance. In the biographical genre, recent
pieces such as Nuala Ní Dhommhnaill – Taibhsí in mBéal na Gaoithe and Paul
Durcan – The Dark School illuminated not only the work of their subjects but
the society and personal circumstances which formed them; and in doing so
both attracted and held significant audiences. And the approach of Charlie
Haughey – Patronising The Arts combined substantial journalism with a wit and lightness of touch which sat very well in an arts documentary strand.
We will also welcome strongly authored pieces – either within Arts Lives or in a separate, themed short series of strong documentaries. Strongly articulated
assessments of Irish society, whether by practising artists or by arts critics
and journalists, offer an opportunity to view the way we live from a particular
and creative point of view. Proposals for one or more pieces and for
durations from 26 through 40 to 52 minutes are welcome.
Beyond Arts Lives and these authored pieces, we are looking also for
proposals which will engage the public and the television audience in the
literary, visual, musical and performing arts. Producers are invited to bring
forward series and / or event programming ideas which will capture the public
imagination on a wide scale and engage with the creativity of Irish people
past, present and future. All formats and all modes of presentation and
interaction may be considered, though strong TV schedule delivery remains
Transmission: TX of all programming is likely to be on RTÉ
ONE post 22:00 but innovative proposals
may be scheduled in other slots.
Budget: Region ?120,000 per hour
The Hidden History strand has shown strong popular appeal across 3 seasons and further ideas for this series strand are required.
Successful proposals will feature a compelling narrative, key elements of
revelation and / or fresh analysis centring on important historical events and
characters, and will be likely to be delivered with strong production values
within RTÉ‟s commissioning budgets.
Factual programmes also seeks additional History projects, in single doc or
short series form, to continue varying our output beyond the Hidden History
strand. Authored or presenter-led projects will be valued, as will fresh
approaches to engaging with, investigating, re-evaluating and visualising key
strands, issues, arguments and personalities in Irish history. Series should
ideally consist of maximum of 4 episodes of 40‟ or 52‟ length.
Note that due to existing project commitments we will NOT be seeking
projects centred on the following:
? ancient/Celtic history;
? Cromwell‟s campaign in Ireland;
? Irish genealogy examined through scientific investigation;
? personal and family genealogies pursued through personal or celebrity
As History programming falls within the remit of the BCI‟s Sound and Vision
Fund, some projects suitable for future submission to the Fund will be
expected to be received through this RTÉ Round. Producers should be careful
to pitch projects at realistic and appropriate budgetary levels, while remaining
aware that if projects ultimately are to be funded solely by they must remain
within achievable budgetary limits.
Transmission: Normally Tuesday 22:15 RTÉ ONE
Budget: ?135,000 per hour if realisation involves drama
recons, extensive archive rights etc.
RTÉ TWO Factual series
Proposals are sought for a late evening weekly series aiming to capture
popular culture, events, street life and other moving targets of interest to the
18 to 30 age group.
This programming is intended to be low-budget, informative and entertaining
and to fill a gap in schedule provision for this key audience demographic.
Content and style should be fresh, witty, sharp and of the moment. New
presenter talent may be key to the successful proposal, but programming in
which the format and feel are the star elements will equally be welcomed.
May suit first-time directors, young programme teams and be a jump-off point
for fresh production and presenter talent. In this context, strong proposals
competitively priced will be favoured.
No of Episodes/Duration: 12 x 25‟ episodes in first run
Transmission: Post 21:00 weeknight, RTÉ TWO
Budget proposed: Up to max ?25,000 per episode.