Our commissioning philosophy and promise to you

Our Commissioning Philosophy

Every idea needs to be brand-defining, marking out our unique place in the industry. Bring us the ideas that you are most excited about, whether they sit within the mainstream or are your most quirky, off-the-wall ideas; the ones that no-one else would make. Bring us programmes that, through their unique approach and high quality, will appeal to a UK audience and could work in the international market too.

It’s vital that we continue to grow our reputation as a commissioner of exciting and different content, but for that we need your help.

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“The UKTV commissioning team is a small and passionate group of individuals with diverse tastes and backgrounds. Our aim is to deliver eye-catching, innovative shows that get us noticed and talked about but most importantly are ones that our audiences will love. Please bring us your favourite ideas – we want to see the ones that you are most excited about and we will work hard to try to get them on screen.”

Hilary Rosen, Director of Commissioning

In return for your best ideas we promise to…

Be passionate

We don’t traditionally commission as much volume as other commissioning departments, so every single project is incredibly important to us, and we will work tirelessly to make it as great a show as we can.

Work continually to improve our relationships with indies

We are always reviewing and making changes to our processes at every stage, from ideas tracking through to how we structure internal meetings and make decisions. We will continue to work on feedback, further streamlining and clarifying all our processes.

We would never operate commissioning rounds and commission throughout the year and we work with the widest possible range of indies across the UK. We don’t have a preferred suppliers list and work with indies of all scales.

Improve our Business Affairs processes

We are not a public service broadcaster and we do not operate the same terms of trade. We are a unique company with a different model to every other broadcaster in the UK, but we promise to be up front about our requirements and to deal as swiftly and fairly as possible.

Back our shows with proper budgets

We want to compete with public service broadcasters and we know that we need to be competitive with our budgets to do so. We do not operate a tariff system because we want to let the creative drive the price rather than the other way round.

Support and shout about your ideas right through to transmission

For every show, we promise to use the huge expertise of our award-winning Press, Marketing and Digital teams to promote it.

Be accessible

We are a small department and we are approachable. For proposals, send an email to and our submissions team will take a look at your ideas. You can find details of our process here and our commissioning briefs here.

Feedback is the best way to raise our game so contact if you would like to raise an issue.

Be aware of our impact on the wider world

Take a look at our Sustainability section to see how we commit to normalising sustainable practices and please consult our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion section to see how we want to elevate all under-represented groups on and off-screen.

Commissioning Process

Here we will tell you how your idea makes it from pitch to transmission.
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Pitch your idea

Simply send us an email at with the idea attached. Please consult our commissioning briefs before you pitch to check if we are looking to commission in that genre. Here you will see how your idea can appeal to U, our free on-demand service, and it also details how to pitch to the Commissioning department in more detail.

We aim to feedback within four weeks. If a commissioner wants to take the idea forward, they will discuss the next steps with you. If you don't hear after four weeks, we are happy for you to chase us directly or email who can flag to the relevant team member.

Please note we do not accept proposals unless affiliated with or from an independent production company. You can search for production companies within your genre in the PACT directory.


After you have worked up the idea with a Commissioner, they will progress the idea within the Commissioning and Programming teams. If needed, the idea could be put into paid development to support the filming of taster tapes, pilots or to help with researching and curating a more detailed treatment.

Decision Process

If after development it is agreed to proceed further, the editorial will receive final sign-off, the Production Management team will help finalise the budget and schedule with you, and a member of our Business and Legal Affairs team will pick up with you to agree the rights position. It will then be discussed at the Finance Committee for cross-departmental approval.

Pre-Greenlight meeting

This meeting will focus on Diversity and Inclusion and Sustainability, as the Commissioner and Production Executive for the project will explain how we can help increase representation both in front of and behind the camera. They will also discuss opportunities to further de-carbonise the production and how to reflect sustainable behaviours through planet placement references on-screen. For more information, please do look at our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Sustainability sections.


Once the programme is signed off, you will be asked to fill out an Editorial Specification form. This will form the basis of the Commissioning Agreement that will then be negotiated with a member of our Business and Legal Affairs team. We will then send out an official greenlight email, confirming that we are commissioning the project.

Pre-production meeting

Soon after the greenlight has been given, a large meeting with all relevant departments from UKTV takes place. They are informal and provide a good opportunity to meet everyone that you will be working with from the broadcaster to discuss the project as well as schedules and deliverables required.


Throughout production, you will work closely with the Commissioner who will be your main point of contact across UKTV, and our Marketing and Press departments will start to work on campaigns for the show. Once you are in the edit, viewings from both the Commissioner and Compliance Manager will begin, and for a new series Episode 1 will be viewed by the Director of Commissioning before final sign-off.

Once the finished show is approved, our Delivery Manager and Production Executive will coordinate delivery ready for transmission.


When the programme is transmitting, the Commissioner can update you on viewing and consolidated figures, and the show's performance on U.