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Documentary Business

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What Do UK Viewers Watch? Top 100 Factual Programs: Broadcast, 2H 2012

Below are the Top 100 Unscripted Programs on broadcast television in the UK during 2H last year.

  • The scale of these audiences is astounding, at least compared with the appetite for comparable nonfiction programs in the U.S.
  • So is the wonderful diversity of sub-genres and formats.
  • We particularly enjoy the Brits’ loyalty to classic, content-rich docs like Supersized Earth and Rome’s Lost Empire. Specials like these are increasingly rare on US schedules outside PBS and the Smithsonian Channel.
  • Channel 4’s gripping Plane Crash was also a hit for C4’s equally brave/crazy copro partner Discovery US.
  • Programmers everywhere are looking for risky but doable ‘Event Specials‘ like Crash and Felix Baumgartner’s Space Dive.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tm68PK8GCuk

The top of the UK list includes:

  • I’m a Celeb – a survival elimination format in its 12th season. Celebs are pitched into a jungle wilderness that is in fact located outside Murwillumbah, the old spiritual home of Aussie hippies and a short drive from the barista-filled surfing paradise of Byron Bay.
  • Countryfile  – a magazine show that captures British nostalgia for village life.
  • Season 3 of BBC2’s Great British Bake Off is a huge hit that combines the elimination format with a rediscovery of Britain’s love for baking, bakers and bakeries.
  • Food-related formats and specials were frequent Top 100 winners.
  • It was a royal anniversary year, and the Top 100 is sprinkled with Windsor family nostalgia. And BTW, why the Queen’s Christmas greeting is classified as a ‘Factual’ program is a mystery.

Antiques Roadshow:

To round out the UK picture, we recently published:

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Top 100 UK Factual Programs
Broadcast, 2H 2012 

Viewers /‘000

TitleChannelAudience
I’M A CELEBRITY – GET ME OUT OF HERE!ITV 110,087
COUNTRYFILEBBC One7,750
THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFFBBC Two6,743
THE QUEEN’S CHRISTMAS MESSAGEBBC One6,576
ANTIQUES ROADSHOWBBC One6,215
ACCUSEDBBC One6,148
PANORAMA: JIMMY SAVILE – WHAT THE BBC KNEWBBC One5,959
BRAZIL WITH MICHAEL PALINBBC One5,741
WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?BBC One5,533
WATCHDOGBBC One5,354
THE ONE SHOWBBC One4,994
NIGEL SLATER’S DISH OF THE DAYBBC One4,909
POUND SHOP WARSBBC One4,796
SNOW BABIESBBC One4,752
50 YEARS OF BOND CARS: A TOP GEAR SPECIALBBC Two4,726
YOUNG APPRENTICEBBC One4,575
DIY SOS: THE BIG BUILDBBC One4,544
INSIDE CLARIDGE’SBBC Two4,460
PAUL O’GRADY: FOR THE LOVE OF DOGSITV 14,434
FAKE OR FORTUNE?BBC One4,374
SUPERSIZED EARTHBBC One4,258
CASH BRITAINBBC One4,251
BRITAIN’S HIDDEN HERITAGEBBC One4,250
ROME’S LOST EMPIREBBC One4,234
CRIMEWATCH UKBBC One4,160
THE QUEEN’S MOTHER IN LAWChannel 44,093
RICHARD HAMMOND’S MIRACLES OF NATUREBBC One4,022
PAUL O’GRADY FOR THE LOVE OF DOGS XMASITV 14,020
WHEN I GET OLDERBBC One3,995
MASTERCHEF: THE PROFESSIONALSBBC Two3,902
PANORAMA SPECIAL: BRITAIN’S HIDDEN HOUSING…BBC One3,898
GRAND DESIGNSChannel 43,872
BRITAIN’S SECRET TREASURESITV 13,869
TRAFFIC COPSBBC One3,867
ANDREW MARR’S HISTORY OF THE WORLDBBC One3,852
THE PLANE CRASHChannel 43,851
PANORAMABBC One3,820
THE TOWN THAT NEVER RETIREDBBC One3,806
REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY: THE CENOTAPHBBC One3,766
TURN BACK TIME: THE FAMILYBBC One3,704
WAR ON BRITAIN’S ROADSBBC One3,668
NIGEL SLATER’S 12 TASTES OF CHRISTMASBBC One3,566
FAKE BRITAINBBC One3,554
THE FLOWERPOT GANGBBC One3,508
THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF CHRISTMASBBC Two3,485
THE CORRIE YEARSITV 13,475
PANORAMA SPECIAL: TROUBLE ON THE ESTATEBBC One3,447
HAIRY DIETERS: HOW TO LOVE FOOD AND …BBC Two3,421
GOODNIGHT BRITAINBBC One3,418
PANORAMA SPECIAL: BRITAIN’S HEALTH TOURIBBC One3,383
FOOD FACTORYBBC One3,354
WILD WEATHER IN 2012BBC One3,292
HELICOPTER HEROESBBC One3,279
24 HOURS IN A & EChannel 43,234
LOVE YOUR GARDENITV 13,194
PANORAMA SPECIAL: THE TRUTH ABOUT SPORTSBBC One3,118
SUPER TINY ANIMALSITV 13,056
PENSIONERS BEHIND BARSITV 13,041
TOM DALEY: DIVING FOR BRITAINBBC One3,033
TONIGHTITV 13,019
COUNTRYWISEITV 13,008
QUESTION TIMEBBC One2,975
VICTORIA PENDLETON: CYCLING’S GOLDEN GIRLSBBC One2,921
ATTENBOROUGH’S ARK: NATURAL WORLD SPECIALBBC Two2,878
THELMA’S GYPSY GIRLSChannel 42,863
OPERATION ICEBERGBBC Two2,850
NIGELISSIMABBC Two2,845
WARTIME FARMBBC Two2,845
CELEBRITY BIG BROTHERChannel 52,835
GREAT CONTINENTAL RAILWAY JOURNEYSBBC Two2,827
LITTLE ENGLANDITV 12,814
THE BBC 999 AWARDSBBC One2,797
PLANET EARTH LIVE: AN ELEPHANT’S TALEBBC One2,780
THE MIDWIVESBBC Two2,762
THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF REVISITEDBBC Two2,759
GRIMEFIGHTERSITV 12,745
CRIMEWATCH UK UPDATEBBC One2,700
CLIMBED EVERY MOUNTAINBBC Two2,670
999: WHAT’S YOUR EMERGENCY?Channel 42,665
THE TOWN THAT CAUGHT TOURETTE’SChannel 42,663
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATIONChannel 42,636
SOHAM: A PARENTS’ TALEITV 12,611
PLANET EARTH LIVE: A MEERKAT’S TALEBBC One2,599
STEPHEN FRY: GADGET MANChannel 42,580
THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF MASTERCLASSBBC Two2,561
THE ZOOITV 12,558
JOANNA LUMLEY: THE SEARCH FOR NOAH’S ARKITV 12,557
HORIZONBBC Two2,555
MINIATURE BRITAINBBC One2,550
THE ONE SHOW ON ICE – BEST OF 2012BBC One2,549
AUTUMNWATCHBBC Two2,547
VOLCANO LIVEBBC Two2,519
DOUBLE CROSS: THE TRUE STORY OF THE D-DAYBBC Two2,488
THE HOTELChannel 42,479

 

Speaking Engagements

MIPDOC
Saturday, April 6, Cannes

THE FUNDING WORKSHOP
Do’s & Don’ts of Getting the Right Partners on Board

Speakers
David Royle, EVP Programming and Production, Smithsonian Networks, USA
Peter Hamilton, Founder, Editor & Publisher, DocumentaryTelevision.com, USA.
Twitter: @doctvdotcom

NEW FRONTIERS IN ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE

Speakers
Tom Jennings, Executive Producer & Founder, 1895 Films, USA @1895films
David Royle, EVP Programming and Production, Smithsonian Networks, USA
Moderator: Peter Hamilton

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WHITE PAPERS & INDUSTRY GUIDES
e-Publications for Executives and Producers
From DocumentaryTelevision.com

Sweet Spots: U.S. Factual Networks’ Production Cost Benchmarks
What do U.S. networks pay for unscripted and documentary programs? Production Cost Benchmarks for 29 U.S. Networks. Documentary and Reality. Plus key contacts. Includes a private consultation. Read more here.

International Documentary Buyers’ Guide
An invaluable resource for producers who are seeking international partners. Profiles 37 channels and slots in 17 countries. Includes the filters and key contacts. Created for Hot Docs. Read more here.

Production Budget Template for a Documentary Special
Our comprehensive production budget package and schedule saves producers time and uncertainty by immediately establishing professional credibility with network production managers. Developed by veteran budget consultant Elizabeth Ventura. Read more .

Diary of a U.S. Reality Network Program Development Executive
Veteran network executive and producer Stephen Harris describes how U.S. networks take pitches and make decisions to commission unscripted programs. Read more.

The Rise & Rise of ‘Pawn Stars’ and Leftfield Pictures
Analysis of the key success factors for History Channel’s breakout hit show and the hot production company that created it. Read more.

Crowd-funding for Documentaries – Case Study: Kickstarter & Plimpton!
Learn the secrets of Kickstarter from a successful documentary fundraising campaign. What is the expected payoff? How much work is involved? Read more.

China’s Documentary Market: Development, Coproduction and Sales
How to approach the expanding Chinese nonfiction market. Our interview-based white paper provides valuable data and key contacts and more. Read more.