Garbage Moguls (1x pilot) – follows green entrepreneurs as they try to make mainstream consumer products out of garbage – such as messenger bags out of seatbelts and billboard material and kites out of biscuit wrappers. Channel: National Geographic TX: 22 April 09 Source: Variety
Inside the Iraq War w/t (1×120′) – documentary from producers of Inside 9/11, which was Nat Geo’s highest rated programme ever. Channel: National Geographic Producer: Towers Productions Source: Variety
Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyer’s Cut) – (6×60′ stripped) – Surviving Pythons mark their 40th anniversary with a doc series looking back at the classic series. Features interviews with John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin and the late Graham Chapman will be seen in archive footage. Channel: IFC […]
Smashing Telly is a website that has collected the best factual TV programmes and clips available on the web together in one place. The video blog is run by David Galbraith who is an architect and co-founder of Yelp. You can find amongst other things: Lives Less Ordinary: Ian Shaw – the story of a […]
A German judge has been asked to adjudicate in the case of a man whose neighbour was sleeping with his wife. Twist No. 1: The man had hired his neighbour to impregnate his wife after finding out he was sterile. After 6 months of concerted effort, the neighbour still hadn’t impregnated the ex-beauty queen. At […]
Twins (2×60′) – Landmark science series that explores how scientists study twins in order to understand how nature and nurture affect everyone. The series features the reunion of 6-year-old twin girls who have been raised apart in California, and explores everything from musical ability, sexuality and body odour. It will also feature the reunion of […]
The Genius of Design w/t (5×60′) – A follow up to BBC4’s The Genius of Photography , this series examines the history of design, focusing on inventions – such as the ring pull and the fitted kitchen – that have transformed modern life. Channel: BBC2 Producer: Wall to Wall TX: 2010 Source: Broadcast
Gutted (10×60′) – Mark Durden-Smith launches the new Home channel with a show that empties hoarders’ homes and loads all their belongings on a truck. They then choose whether to claim their possessions back or take some cash instead. If they want their stuff back they have to answer a question about each item. If […]
Fast and Dangerous (10×30′) – High-adrenaline ob doc series featuring high-speed police car chases. Channel: Fox Reality Channel Producer: Mentorn USA Source: Broadcast
Publicolor is a not-for-profit organization that revitalizes the environment in under-performing public schools in the US. The pupils are involved in choosing the colours and then work on Saturdays to paint their school classrooms and hallways to a professional standard. The aim is to engage disaffected and underachieving pupils, introduce them to teamwork for the […]
You might think that all you need to get your TV programme commissioned is a good idea. Not so.
Assuming you have a really good idea, and have sprinkled it with fairy dust for luck, it is still unlikely that you will get your idea commissioned. Why? Because your commissioner is scared. They’re scared of commissioning a programme that might fail. And failing programmes put their jobs on the line. Which makes it your job to allay those fears and make it easy for them to say yes.
Here are six fears you need to address in your proposal and pitch. (Photo by Kables)
Today – 28th March 09 – the lights will go out all around the world as people participate in Earth Hour between 2030 – 2130 local time. Join in by turning off your lights for an hour. The initiative, launched in 2007 by World Wildlife Fund, to raise awareness about climate change. In 2008 400 […]
Do you have dangers lurking on your bookshelves? Millions of books are being stripped from library shelves and charity shops across the UK as new legislation means that books printed before 1985 are now banned due to concerns about lead in the books’ ink. Parents and librarians are dismayed/incensed, while scientists say there’s nothing the […]
Hulu.com (which is currently only available in the USA) is setting up an area on the site dedicated to documentary programming, from short films to features. Their ambition is to forge relationships with independent film-makers and producers, who they hope will provide content in the future. The first docs to appear on the site will […]
Thrillbillies (6x ) – Action/comedy series featuring a group of madcap rednecks doing crazy stunts. Channel: FUEL TV TX: 29 March 09 Source: Cynopsis
Stephen Hawking’s Universe (1×120′ + 2×60′) -Prof Stephen Hawking takes us on a journey around the mysteries of the cosmos. Hawking narrates and he explores whether time travel is possible, the likelihood of there being extra-terrestrial life, how the universe was born, and how it might die. Visuals are provided by a mix of live […]
Sophie Morgan, ex-commissioner of Living’s Jade Goody show is joining Reef Television in May 09 as head of factual entertainment. She will concentrate on developing and pitching peaktime fact ent, features and entertainment shows and on selling Reef’s formats in the USA.
Reunion (4×60′) – ob doc series that brings together estranged families, some of whom haven’t seen each other for years. It focuses on their attempts to repair their relationships as they all spend the weekend together in a country house. Channel: BBC2 Producer: Blast! Films Source: Broadcast
Grandparents (3×60′) – documentary series that explores the role of grandparents in modern Britain. Each episode features a different family and features a grandparents who are raising their grandchildren as their own and a young-at-heart grandfather. Channel: BBC4 Producer: Blast! Films Source: Broadcast
NY Mag has an article about Cara Muhlhahn, a NYC midwife who specializes in home births. It’s titled Extreme Birth and has prompted a lively debate among readers about the pros and cons of a home birth vs hospital birth / natural birth vs C-section etc. One of the women who comments has 10 children […]
David Lynch has just launched David Lynch TV which has short video tips on film-making and also explores transcendental meditation as a tool to help young people deal with stress and aggression. There is a really short clip in which he talks about developing ideas. Watch it here (and substitute ‘idea’ for ‘film’). The lesson […]
Matt Hanna has joined True Entertainment as SVP/Development. He was previously Head of Alternative Programming at BermanBraun. Source: Cynopsis
NY Magazine has an article about grannies who were mugged and gave their muggers what for – one of them even pulled out a gun and shot him. Go see them here. If you’re brave enough.
Eliot Goldberg has joined US cable channel TV Land as VP development and original programming with responsibility for TV Land Prime, which currently features programmes such as How’d You Get So Rich? First Love, Second Chance and Make My Day. Eliot was previously head of development at Ryan Seacrest Productions, which makes Keeping Up with […]
Stephanie Lydecker has been promoted to Head of Development with 495 Productions (Burbank, CA). Stephanie’s production credits include Temptation Island and The Bachelor and she has hosted shows too, including Makeover Mamas (A&E), Decorating Cents (HGTV) and Home Delivery (NBC). Source: Cynopsis
Cake Boss – Docu-soap about New Jersey baker-to-the stars Buddy Valastro. Buddy’s Italian family business, Carlo’s Bakery) in Hoboken has made cakes for The Sopranos, Today and Britney Spears. Channel: TLC TX: 19 April (pilot) then full series in early June Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Operation Salvage – Matt White and members of his family-owned salvage business use wrecking balls, hammers and cranes to tear down derelict buildings, all the while looking for valuable architectural treasures like claw-foot bathtubs, walnut doors, antique tiles, 19thC porticos and Victorian mantles. When there’s nothing valuable to be salvaged, they turn the raw materials […]
House Crashers – Contractor, Josh Temple (Ex- America’s Toughest Jobs) surprises people in the DIY Store and offers them a free home-makeover. Those that accept have Josh and his crew descend on them for a couple of days to redo their living room, kitchen or bathroom. Channel: DIY Network Producer: The Idea Factory TX: Late […]
Life After (8x ) – stories of celebrities’ life-changing moments, tragic and triumphant. Featured celebs include: Jaimee Foxworth, Al Reynolds and Bell Biv Devoe. Channel: TV One Producer: K2 Pictures TX: Late 09 Source: Cynopsis
In 1968, the day after Martin Luther King was assassinated, schoolteacher Janet Elliot divided her 3rd grade class into two groups – brown-eyed and blue-eyed – to teach the children about prejudice. The kids were reunited in 1984, and they watched the film of them taking part in the experiment and described the effect it […]
Forgotten someone’s birthday? Or done something you need to apologise for? Send a bunch of virtual flowers from Flowers2Mail. Pick a vase, choose your flowers and arrange them, write the card and send it via email. Job done. And it’s way more fun arranging flowers than it ought to be.
Gary Brolsma, the Numa Numa guy from a couple of years back is in a new YouTube video, which is an ad for Geico. But there’s no mention or Geico nor any ‘Call this number now’ – the only clue you get is if you peer behind Gary an notice the dancing gecko. If you’re […]
There have been a number on online projects where people take a daily photograph of themselves or their children to track the changes. Here’s one on Pixdaus that tracks the course of a triplet pregnancy, from seven weeks to 3 months after birth.
Animal Autopsy (4×60′) – Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins describes what different species’ anatomies can tell us about evolution, as experts from the Royal Veterinary College dissect a large mammal. Each week is a different animal: whale, giraffe, crocodile and elephant. Channel: Ch4 Source: Variety
Wreck and Roll – Demolition contractors take down buildings against the clock. Channel: DIY Network TX: 3rd quarter 09 Source: Cynopsis
Disaster House (aka Crash Test House) – Each week, contractor Josh Temple subjects a house to simulated storms and disasters to show homewoners what it takes to repair accident and storm damage. Channel: DIY Network TX: End of 09 Source: Cynopsis
10 Grand in Your Hand – Builder John DeSilvia helps home renovators reduce their rebuilding costs by $10k by learning to do some of the work themselves. Full of handy DIY hints and advice. Channel: DIY Network TX: 15 April 09 Source: Cynopsis
You’re Wearing That (10×30′) Makeover series in which mothers and daughters work with fashion stylists to update their wardrobes and revamp their relationship. Channel: WE tv TX: 2010 Source: Cynopsis
Adoption Diaries – (5×30′) – follows the stories of people who are going through the US adoption process in the hope of adding a new member to their family. Channel: WE tv TX: September 09 Source: Cynopsis
If you fancy getting back to nature but don’t like camping, you could set up home in Trilobis 65. It’s a 20-m long semi-submerged house that has space for six people and is designed for living in areas of natural beauty, like maritime parks, bays and atolls. It’s self-sufficient and non-polluting, and has four floors […]
Platinum Babies (6×30′) – Ob doc series following new mothers who will spare no expense on pampering their babies. Currently casting in the Los Angeles area. Channel: WE tv TX: November 09 Source: Cynopsis
I Want to Save Your Life (8×30′) – Diet Detective Charles Stuart Platkin, a nutritionist and public health advocate, stages nutritional interventions to help people lose weight. He ropes in colleagues, family and friends of the contributor to help. Channel: WE tv TX: 25 April 09 Source: Cynopsis
Click to get the a cappella horses to play a tune. Not sure what this is about, except that it’s a fun and (fairly) tunefully way to spend five minutes…. but hey. (Or hay.)
Tattoo Tribe (12x ) – Miami Ink‘s (TLC) tattoo artists, Ami James, Yoji Harada and Chris Nunez take to the road to explore global tattoo cultures, visiting The Netherlands, Spain, Israel, Germany, Thailand, Canada, Japan and Polynesia. Channel: The Travel Channel Producer: Alchemy Reality / Love Hate Productions Source: C21 See also: A&E’s Tattoo Highway
Extinction Sucks (6×30′) – Young Aussie Conservationists Aleisha Caruso and Ashleigh Young throw fund-raising events to help save endangered species such as sea turtles, Asian elephants, Hector dolphins, Tasmanian devils, Indian Rhinos and Asiatic Black Bears. Channel: Bablegum (from 16 March) Producer: Off the Fence Productions Source: Realscreen
Most Popular (6×60′) – Graham Norton hosts a studio-based show in which the audience questions a panel of seven women to find out who should be named ‘Most Popular’. Channel: WE tv TX: 23 July 2009 Source: Cynopsis / Mediaweek
Royal Inquest (8×60′) – Goes behind the scenes to investigate the most compelling royal scandals. Channel: TLC / Investigation Discovery Producer: Atlas Media Group TX: 29 March 09 (on TLC, repeats on Investigation Discovery) Source: Cynopsis
Libraries by Candida Hofer and Umberto Eco is a stunning book of photographs of library shelves. And that’s much more exciting than it sounds. Get a sneak peek here.
Here’s a blog with photos that make you think WTF? Just because.
Last week I mused about the burgeoning underground essay writing industry. Turns out I’m not the only one. The Chronicle of Higher Education has just published an article called Cheating Goes Global, about that very subject. They’ve investigated the top essay providers – Essay Writers – and the writers that can churn out 10 essays […]