Programme production

Hello and welcome to the Channel 5 Programming pages

Ben Frow, Director of Programmes

We are always looking for the next great idea and, who knows, you could have it! That’s why we’ve tried to keep this information site as straightforward as possible – so that you find what you’re looking for and don’t take the idea somewhere else!

Channel 5 is the smallest of the main terrestrial channels and, as a result, we have to work that bit harder to get noticed and punch through so, before you pitch in, please be sure that your idea is very clear in its proposition and has a resonance with the viewer. It should also have a grabby title.

I can tell you now that we DON’T want programmes that are tricksy or derivative – or that are over formatted. And we are not crazy about ‘experts’ – I think there are probably enough out there for now.

What we DO want are programmes that are engaging, intelligent, well made and have a relevance to the viewer.

We particularly like factual shows – Specialist Factual, Documentaries and Factual Entertainment. These can be poppy, tabloid type shows or serious pieces, there’s room for all tones and textures. But they need to have a good, grabby title. We are not really in the market for Comedy or Drama at the moment but that will hopefully change moving forward. We are also hoping to commission more Features and Lifestyle further down the line but it’s hard to get those kind of shows away at the moment.

As for Entertainment we’re always up for a chat but, as these are expensive and more high risk, it would be helpful if you have a track record in this genre.

Slot-wise… the main gaps are 8pm and 9pm where the budgets range from about 80k to 130k an hour – though we are always prepared to pay more if needed. And you can pitch one-offs, two-parters, or series – we are even open to season or event pieces…

Whatever you pitch, the commissioners will give you a very quick answer. We don’t want to waste your time and it’s only right that, if the idea is not right for us, you get to take it elsewhere.


Best of luck,


Ben Frow

Director of Programming