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BritBox looks to boost originals slate

BritBox is hunting female-led scripted relationship shows and documentaries that ‘say something about our history’ as it looks to expand its slate of original commissions.

Speaking to Broadcast, managing director Will Harrison outlined a scripted wishlist spanning four areas that reflect British culture, as the ITV-led on-demand service looks to build on its revival of Spitting Image.

As well as the female-led scripted shows, which should have a “light tone”; he wants a comedy-drama centred on thirty-to-fortysomethings in the vein of Cold Feet; edgy thrillers; and series that explore major cultural moments from recent British history.

In unscripted, Harrison is open to docs that look at “the right noisy subject” or dig deeper into history, which could be co-productions, as well as low-tariff fast-turnaround docs.

Netflix: bring us more action

Netflix is calling for “exciting action pieces” as the streamer looks to further carve its own space against public service broadcasters.

Speaking at the Creative Coalition Festival, Netflix vice president Anne Mensah hinted that Netflix should have its own take on the likes of BBC1’s Top Gear or Amazon’s The Grand Tour when she joked: “Where are my fast cars?”

Mensah stressed that Netflix had to “complete the other channels, not compete with them” and said she did not want period dramas that could easily sit on BBC1 or ITV.

Netflix shows, she said, should be ambitious but accessible and urged producers to frame pitches in terms of whether people would talk to anyone about it.

BBC assistant producer scheme alumnus becomes fact ent commissioner

A recent alumus of the BBC's Assistant Producer scheme for under-represented minorities has landed a full-time commissioning role at the corporation.

Patrick McMahon has been named a commissioning editor of popular factual and factual entertainment less than a year after joining the scheme, where he developed BBC1 doc Anton Ferdinand: Football, Racism and Me and also worked on BBC2's Remarkable Places to Eat.

McMahon, who was previously development chief at indie Wonder, where his credits included The Fast Fix: Diabetes, steps into a gap created by former commissioner Catherine Catton's recent promotion to genre commissioning head.

He is the second graduate of the scheme to land a permanent role following Sreya Biswas' appointment to the BBC science and natural history team in May.

Sky backs Scottish docs

Sky has teamed up with Screen Scotland to launch a fund to invest £100,000 in documentaries from at least four Scottish indies.

The pitch spans a range of topics from crime and scandal to politics, biography and ‘stranger than fiction’ true-life tales, that will ultimately air on the new Sky Documentaries channel.

Each partner is putting £50,000 towards at leads four companies’ projects. They will initially pay for paid development with more promised depending on the final project.

Steered by Sky Documentaries chief Poppy Dixon and Screen Scotland head of unscripted Dani Carlaw, submissions are open until 21 December and should be sent to

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