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Meet the Entertainment Commissioner: Mark Sammon, Virgin Media

Mark Sammon, Head of Commissioning at Virgin Media TV, recently outlined his commissioning needs to attendees of the Broadcast Entertainment Forum (as of September 2009). Mark commissions programmes for Virgin 1, Bravo and Living.

Photo by Torres CC BY 2.0

Photo by Torres CC BY-SA 2.0

Mark's View on Living
  • Living is aimed at young women; its competition is ITV2 and BBC3.
  • Celebrities, dating, weddings and makeovers do well.  Dating in the Dark and Four Weddings add a new angle to familiar subjects and allow the guilty pleasure of being bitchy about other people’s taste.
Looking For:
  • A new way of doing weight loss with a reveal, in a way that’s not just about eating less and exercising more.
Mark's View on Virgin 1
  • Virgin 1 has a fun, entrepreneurial spirit that its programmes need to match eg. The Naked Office
  • Looking for new talent – who embodies the Virgin brand?
  • Virgin 1 celebrates its Britishness.
Mark's View on Bravo
  • 16-24 year old men are the core demographic, but want to open the channel up more to women – want to have shows that men can watch with their partners. Don’t want to alienate women from the channel.
Looking for:
  • Talent that will attract a broader audience.
  • “Danger” is the watchword – does the subject matter scare the audience?
  • Don’t want more ‘flashing blue light’ shows.

Source: Broadcast Entertainment Forum 24th September 2009

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