Welcome to Discovery Channel Canada. We are devoted to creating entertaining, informative factual programs. This guide is designed for independent producers who wish to pitch ideas to the Channel.OUR GOAL:
Is to commission programs not only about science, technology, adventure and nature but about the world around us and interesting people doing interesting things. Whether it's Canada's Worst Driver or Last Day of the Dinosaurs, all of our programming captures the same core elements - curiosity, surprise and great take away. Our viewers have told us that they want programs that are as much about the WOW as the HOW. This means credible information and strong storytelling delivered in an entertaining package.OUR TYPICAL VIEWER:
Our typical viewer is male between 18 and 49 years old. He comes to Discovery Channel because he knows what to expect - intelligent television that is also entertaining. His curiosity factor is high and he asks the simple questions: How big? How High? How Fast? He likes to know how things work; but he doesn't like to be told how to do something. Instead he enjoys the process of figuring it out.
Our job is to give the viewer an experience topped with information he wasn't expecting. The story is paramount; it must be credible, relevant, intriguing, with a unique perspective or a surprising twist. Stories where the stakes are high, the setting high octane and the discoveries unforgettable.WHAT'S WORKING:
Series like Highway Thru Hell, MythBusters, Deadliest Catch, River Monsters, Gold Rush, How It's Made, Canada's Worst Driver, Cash Cab and Licence to Drill; as well as big international events like Earth: Making of a Planet, Finding Atlantis, Bigfoot: The Definitive Guide, Earth From Space, Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking, and Last Day of the Dinosaur.
Forms you may need: WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR:
Renewable series, some driven by strong characters and "everyday heroes" and all with compelling story arcs. Also, big "blue chip" two hour specials such as Inside the Titanic and Drain the Ocean. Also working programming with the following themes: How Things Work: Does your cell phone really interfere with an airplane's instruments? (MythBusters) How do they make skate blades and sand paper? (How It's Made). Do you think shooting fish in a barrel is easy? Why does a light bulb explode when sprayed with drain cleaner? What is 'pykrete' and will a boat made from frozen newspapers float?
Science, Technology and Engineering: The cutting edge of science's biggest, best and greatest stories. How does a supertanker morph into the world's most advanced oil production vessel on Mighty Ships. How do a group of hot shots get a spark for their fireworks when surrounded by mist (Pyros). Experience how heavy rescue workers under pressure find in-the-moment solutions to clear multi vehicle pile ups and keep the Coq highway open (Highway Thru Hell). How did people move ninety multi-ton stones two hundred miles across land and sea to the ancient stone circle that has stood for over 4500 years? (Curiosity: Stonehenge).
Mysteries: Including everything from conspiracies to prophecies to historic puzzles revisited through modern forensics. What's the surprise? The twist? The unexpected pay off?
Innovative Yet Accessible Approaches to Hard Science: Find out what the physics principle 'The Inclined Plane' has to do with the 'Last Car Standing', motion capture technology reveals what really happens when a plane crashes or the flex of a hockey stick mid-slapshot..
Relatable analogies or simple devices to explain scientific principles for example; How does a thin film of plastic make glass bullet resistant?
We can truly appreciate the properties of gravity by being tackled by a linebacker, or how to survive in an avalanche by being buried alive.
Innovative ways of solving a challenge; which is the best way to get a drilling rig to Canada's frozen north when the roads are impassable? Floating it up the mighty Mackenzie River or flying it in on the MI-26T, the world's biggest helicopter?STORYTELLING:
A strong story arc is the key to every commission. We are looking for contemporary and original approaches to tell stories about our core themes.
Our viewers are a discerning audience; they expect riveting programs that entertain and inform where the science is embedded in the action. Watch those who would give MacGyver a run for his money compete to become 'Canada's Greatest Know It All'. Watch sea bearing ships make fresh water by traversing the Atlantic on the world's biggest luxury liner. Be there as investigators link tiny metal fragments found at the very bottom of the sea to the Air India disaster (MayDay). Find out what it takes to ferry a plane across distances they were never meant to fly (Dangerous Flights).
Our viewer expects a high level of engagement while learning something, may it be in a high concept format, a stylish documentary special or a playful, hosted series.PITCHING PROCESS:
All submissions MUST be accompanied by a Bell Media SUBMISSION FORM
We require proposals (3-5 pages) that clearly outline how you plan to tell a Discovery story. If you're pitching a show about building the biggest bridge in the world, please do not submit pages of research data or a list of 'talking head' experts you plan to interview. Instead, tell us a great story.
We need to Know:
- What's the hook/premise?
- Who will be in it?
- What will be the unfolding action and what's at stake?
- How is the science extraordinary or unique?
- What's the setting and location?
- In what style will it be shot, written and edited?
- Who will be your creative team?
- The proposal also needs to include basic information such as: a series or one-off, number and length of episodes, what is your production timeframe and a financing plan top-sheet.
All submissions will be acknowledged. The proposals will be reviewed by our programming team. Then the project could be declined with our regrets. Or the project will be placed into development where we will require you to further to flesh out the idea. The initial review process takes between four to six weeks from receipt of your proposal. We can only accept proposals for Discovery Channel Canada, to pitch to Discovery Channel US please go to www.discovery.com.Please send written submissions to Heather Williamson
(contact information below).
Manager, Program Development, Discovery Networks: Heather Williamsonheather.firstname.lastname@example.org
Or by regular mail to:
9 Channel Nine Court
Scarborough, Ontario M1S 4B5
Hosted by Ziya Tong and Dan Riskin, this hour-long daily series opens the door wide to the world of science. Whether it's space, sports, movies or microbiology, the message is clear: science is everywhere. As well as producing phenomenal content internally, this series commissions outside projects, ranging in length from about two to ten minute segments. Your idea may be better suited to this format. If that is the case, please contact Senior Producer Cindy Bahadur.
For information regarding other channel enquiries and benefit funding, Please visit the Bell Media site