The Non-Fiction Pitch Guide: TVO

Looking to get a commission from TVO? Start here first.

JANE JANKOVIC, COMMISSIONING EDITOR

OPPORTUNITIES FOR DOCS ON TVO:
The View from Here is TVO’s singular series for which it commissions original documentaries. For this POV doc strand, Jane Jankovic’s team tries to commission anywhere from eight to 10 original hours per year.

There are also acquisition and pre-buy opportunities for docs in slots such as social issue strand Human Edge, artistic documentary strand Masterworks and historical doc strand History.

The ratio of acquisitions to commissions in primetime is about 14:1.

WHAT SHE’S LOOKING FOR:
TVO’s tagline “Makes you think” is a good indication of its favored programming.

“Our audience is educated and very eclectic,” says Jankovic. “We know our viewers are smart, well-read, and looking for an alternative to mainstream television.”

The channel commissions one-off docs and acquires series, and when it comes to both, what resonates with the audience is “something different and insightful on issues that matter to Canadians.”

Specifically for commissioned docs, Jankovic is looking for POV, character-driven stories. While she does take on international stories, they must have Canadian content and resonate with Canadian audiences.

WHAT SHE PAYS:
Jankovic says she pays roughly $50,000 to $80,000 per hour.

HOW TO PITCH:
When pitching to Jankovic, she says a demo or footage of key characters always helps. Proposals should be up to 10 pages in length, and should include information such as the proposed production schedule, a realistic financing plan, a concise treatment and the resumes of the key creative personnel on the project.

More pitching information and contacts can be found at the TV site.

From realscreen magazine.