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The Pitch - A New Television Programme

Jack Todhunter | Friday August 07, 2009

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Think of an established TV magazine…whether it is Top Gear, Blue Peter or Grand Designs. These popular niche programmes have a ready-made template or formula that their fans recognise.

Once a template has been established, it is necessary to feed in new ideas to feed the creation to keep the programme attractive to viewers.

Media companies are therefore keen to have novel ideas to feed into their schedule.

Many ideas come from in-house production teams. Fortunately, many ideas come unsolicited from outside, whether from ardent fans or professional agencies.

Your task is to choose a magazine type programme and think of a pitch for a new idea or topic. Think of this as a bit like The Dragon’s Den. You are going to talk (on telephone or in person) to the producers of your chosen television programme and run through some ideas for them to consider.

You need to consider the genre of the programme and the audience very carefully.

You can construct a script to make things simple.

An example is provided below.

Top Gear

Pitcher: Thanks for inviting me in.

Richard Hammond: A pleasure. Glad you could make it. We were intrigued by your email.

James May: Now we’ve got the chance to meet in person it’d be the perfect opportunity to talk through your concept in detail.

(Suddenly, in storms Jeremy Clarkson. He is carrying a polystyrene cup. Coffee is all over his hands,  tie and notes. He is trying without much success to dry himself off with his shirt sleeves.)

Richard Hammond: Now that’s what I call an entrance! What happened?

Jeremy Clarkson: Don’t ask!

James May: Apologies for our flustered friend. Right, after that little diversion, it’s down to business. Fire away!

Pitcher: Well, I think…

(Now it is YOUR turn. What programme would you like to influence? How? Are there any obvious costs or safety features involved? Is it realistic? Who would it involve? Where? When? How? Why? You need to convince the...


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