14 November 2014
Award-winning media company, UKTV, today announced an unprecedented original scripted commissioning push on Gold, with a commitment to five scripted shows on the channel in 2015 to supplement its existing slate.
Richard Watsham, UKTV's Director of Commissioning, said, "This level of investment in original scripted comedy marks a real step change for UKTV and is the next stage in our strategy of focussing spend on the entertainment channels. We are committed to attracting the very best writers, producers and on screen talent in order to produce the type of high quality, scripted output that Gold requires."
The news follows the announcement that UKTV has increased its programming budget to £125 million and the commissioning team has already received a strong response to the challenge it has set the Indie sector: to come up with original programme ideas that will work for Gold's schedule and sit alongside some of Britain's best-loved sitcoms.
A handful of shows are already in development, with the prospect of joining Gold's returning original scripted sitcom You, Me & Them on the channel next year.
UKTV is also on the hunt for a one-off comedy event piece. Commissioning editor, Simon Lupton, added, >The success of The Comic Strip Presents: Five Go To Rehab and Gold's live transmission of the final ever Monty Python stage show, prove that there is a real appetite from the Gold audience for longer form stories with a true sense of scale. We've received a number of brilliant ideas from the Indie sector, with a high calibre of writing talent attached, and we are excited about their development potential.
The broadcast of the Monty Python Live (mostly): One Down Five to Go stage show in the summer was the highest ever rating programme on Gold and 2015 looks set to be another stellar year for the channel, with a raft of new content in the pipeline. Filming has also just wrapped on the second series of You, Me & Them, made by Hat Trick Productions, featuring a brilliant cameo performance from the legendary Honor Blackman.
The UKTV network is enjoying its third year of unprecedented growth, reaching over 42 million viewers a month and making up over 9% of the British TV commercial market.
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Notes to Editors
About Gold (Sky 110, Virgin 126, TalkTalk 408, Top-Up TV 20)
Dedicated to celebrating the best of British comedy, Gold is the nation's favourite comedy channel. Much-loved comedy series such as Only Fools and Horses, The Vicar of Dibley and Outnumbered sit alongside successful commissions including Porridge: Inside Out, You, Me & Them, and the live broadcast of the final ever performance of the Monty Python Live (mostly): One Down Five to Go stage show which became the highest rating programme in Gold's history earlier this year.
The perfect tonic to make you laugh whatever the time of day, Gold shows universally funny content that everyone can enjoy.
UKTV is the multi-award winning media company that reaches over 42 million viewers every month.
UKTV's eleven imaginative brands - UKTV Play, Dave, Watch, Gold, Alibi, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home, Eden and Good Food - include the most popular non-PSB channel in the UK and account for 9% of the British commercial TV market. The company's most recent financial results showed record-breaking year-end revenue of £278m, and EBITDA of £67.4m. It invested a record £125m in programming and related launches last year, and is becoming an increasingly significant investor in UK creativity.
UKTV has a truly innovative model, curating brand-defining commissions, high-profile acquisitions and the very best of BBC, alongside programmes originally shown on ITV and Channel 4. The network embraces technology to deliver inspired channels to audiences through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView and UKTV Play, and distributes its highly valued original programmes to 200 territories.
Now celebrating its 21st year at the forefront of digital television, UKTV - an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (SNI) - is proud to be the only British television broadcaster to be recognised by Best Companies.
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