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Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

What’s the Buzz? Takeaways from the Science & Factual Producers’ Congress,1/3

The Welcome session for WCSFP delegates was dedicated to trends across the global Factual landscape.

  • What’s the Buzz?’ was 100% fascinating!
  • It was produced by Story House‘s Carsten Oblander and moderated by NHNZ‘s Phil Fairclough.
  • A common theme was “Break the Rules”.

This week, we recap the 1st four of the big trends identified by the producers:

  • We linked to clips related to many of the selected programs.
  • But most aren’t the clips chosen by the session producers.
  • (Memo to producers/channels: sent a link to a better clip if you have one.)
  • And we didn’t have the time or space to capture the valuable commentary on each of the selections.


Here are the Big Ideas, #1-4:

  • Drama
  • LIVE!
  • Magazine
  • Embedded
Next week:
  • Ideas #4-8.
  • And then our own Big Takeaways for 2012.
  • There’s a shift from dramatic vignettes to fully- or partially-scripted Factual.
  • History’s smash hit mini-series Hatfields & McCoys is the trend-setter.

Mermaids: The Body Found

Mankind The Story of All of Us

America The Story of Us

Killing Lincoln


2. LIVE!

  • ‘Live’, ‘It happens on Sunday morning’ and ‘BBC has the rights to the doc!’. These should have been deal killers for Discovery. But Felix Baumgartner’s Space Dive Live was one of Discovery’s biggest shows for 2012!
  • Channel 4 UK took Natural History into the backyard.  The viewer response crashed the C4 site.


Foxes Live: Wild in the City



  • The magazine format used to be a Factual staple. Its making a comeback in themed magazines with bite-sized segments..

Through the Wormhole with Morgan freeman

Doomsday Preppers

Searching for the Best Sex in the World

Richard Hammond’s Miracles of Nature



  • Joe Hutto became a wild turkey for Nature‘s award-winner. He captures the trend towards what programmers used to call ‘immersive’.

My Life as a Turkey

Food Unwrapped




  • Weird Sects
  • Blending Genres
  • Toys
  • Monsters
  • Plus bonus picks from NHNZ’s Phil Fairclough



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