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 about science, technology, adventure and nature for our rapidly expanding audiences. Whether it's Canada's Worst Driver or Journey to the Edge of the Universe, 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:
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. He won't sit through a prosaic science lecture; he wants to be brought into the story as a part of the action. His science must be visceral and experiential. 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.WHAT'S WORKING:
Series like MythBusters, Deadliest Catch, How It's Made, Canada's Worst Driver, Mayday, Destroyed in Seconds and Licence to Drill; as well as big international events like Journey to the Edge of the Universe, Drain the Ocean, Stephen Hawking's Theory of Everything, Apocalypse How, and Last Day of the Dinosaur. Stories where the stakes are high, the setting high octane and the discoveries unforgettable.
Forms you may need: WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR:
series and two hour specials in 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? If cockroaches can survive a nuclear blast how de we exterminate them? (Verminators)
Science, Technology and Engineering: The cutting edge of science's biggest, best and greatest stories. Hop on board the world's largest cruise ship, "Oasis of the Sea" as it sets sail on its maiden voyage, on Mighty Ships. Find out how to steer an M60 tank (I Could Do That). See the new technologies investigators are using to scan our bodies as they look for tell tale signs of deception as seen in the Science of Interrogation.
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 is at the bottom of the Sea when you are allowed to pull the plug and Drain the Ocean, motion capture technology reveals the physics required for our Guinea Pig to balance a running chainsaw in his teeth or what is really going on when your dog takes a drink (Time Warp).
Relatable analogies or simple devices to explain scientific principles for example; How does a thin film of plastic make glass bullet resistant? (Breaking Point)
We can truly appreciate the properties of gravity by being tackled by a linebacker (Guinea Pig), or how to survive in an avalanche by being buried alive (Out In the Cold). 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? (Licence to Drill)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 sea bearing ships make fresh water by traversing the Atlantic on the world's biggest luxury liner (Mighty Ships). Be there as investigators link tiny metal fragments found at the very bottom of the sea to the Air India disaster (MayDay). Join the biggest junk experiment in Canadian history as 7 complete strangers are given the challenge of converting an abandoned factory space into a completely furnished and livable loft using only consumer castaways! (Junk Raiders). Find out who says the world will end in 2012?
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