Contact: Jackie EdwardsRegion: All UK

Title: Head of Children's Acquisitions and Independent Animation
Genre: Children's, Animation
Region: All UK

About Channel

CBBC is BBC’s popular children’s channel for primary school children aged 6-12 years. As the UK’s clear market leader for youth programming, CBBC want to reflect the lives of their young audience and to give them multi-platform content which is innovative, challenging and infectious. CBBC are always aspiring for creative excellence and pride themselves on the quality and diversity of output.

Programme Interests

To complement its original commissioned content, the BBC aims to bring the best international movies and programmes to its audiences and acquired programming is a significant and highly valued part of our output.

The Programme Acquisitions team buy and manage fiction such as series and feature films while factual programmes are acquired via the Factual Acquisitions team. Storyville acquires a small number of single narrative, character-driven theatrical feature documentaries per year. Entertainment and sport occasionally acquire ad hoc content.

Looking For

To complement our commissioned programming the Children’s Acquisitions team acquires and pre-buys material for CBeebies and CBBC from production companies in the UK and internationally. We have a slightly different buying approach for each channel, but deals are always via a straightforward licence agreement.


CBeebies acquisitions

The CBeebies acquisition budget is utilised to buy animated series. CBeebies does not acquire live action programming. Our live action programmes are commissioned from either our in-house production team or from UK based independent production companies. UK independent production companies with live-action ideas for CBeebies should approach our Independent team via BBC Pitch.

For animation we are always looking for new ways to educate, inform, entertain and inspire our youngest audiences with shows that have something special and nourishing at their core – shows that take first steps towards big ideas. 

Successful animations which reflect these ideas include What’s The Big Idea? (a pre-school philosophy show) Octonauts (an action-adventure show based around teamwork and marine biology) and Messy Goes to OKIDO (introducing complex scientific ideas to a very young audience). 

The CBeebies audience love compelling characters, engaging stories and most of all, fun, so all pitches should have these ingredients too! 

CBeebies rarely buy off the shelf animation. The most common way for CBeebies to buy animation is through the pre-buy model as this ensures that all programmes are tailored to perfectly suit our very youngest viewers. This means we can make sure our programming is tonally right. We want shows that are visually distinctive, yet complement our existing output.

View the latest commissioning priorities for CBeebies content.


CBBC acquisitions

Alongside our commissioned programmes we look to source and acquire the best of the world’s programming. Bottersnikes & GumblesZig and ZagScream StreetThe DeepShaun the SheepNowhere Boys and The Next Step are examples of programmes that have come through our department.

We’re on the lookout for fresh and exciting ideas for animation and live action drama series with superb story-telling at the heart of the concept.

For animation we’re always on the lookout for character-driven comedy for the 6 to 9 age group that has strong, fun, engaging storytelling at its core. We’re particularly interested in a female led ensemble piece that is more smart-funny than pink princess. 

For our slightly older viewers we are looking for a screwball adventure or fantasy adventure with particular appeal for boys.

For live-action we’re looking for well-written comedy aimed at 9 to 12 year-olds as we’re all about having fun with friends but we are also drawn to compelling content with a unique take on contemporary life.

We’re particularly keen to find a soap-style drama with hooks and cliff-hangers to captivate slightly older or more sophisticated viewers, with authentic characters and big rites of passage stories told sensitively and a high-octane action adventure series with public service ethos – controlled physical endeavour and credible heroes that can keep fidgets on the sofa.

We are open to both pre-buys and completed programmes for CBBC.

View the latest commissioning priorities for CBBC content.


Submitting ideas 

All submissions from independent production companies should be submitted via BBC Pitch to Jackie Edwards - Head of BBC Children’s Acquisitions and Independent Animation.

In the first instance a short pitch outlining the concept is ideal – this should contain a clear explanation of the concept, character descriptions, locations and sample storylines along with visual materials. 

We will then need to see proof of concept in the form of script(s). If there is test animation or an animatic available that is also useful but we appreciate this can be costly. All these materials will help in our consideration of an idea submitted to us.

Please note that it is the core idea and execution of that idea that we focus on when we review submissions. We do not judge a top-line submission any differently to one with a bible, scripts and animatic.

If we feel a submission would be better and more relevantly considered in an alternative department of the BBC we will send the materials to that department or signpost applicants to do so themselves.

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Jackie Edwards has been appointed head of BBC Children’s acquisitions and independent animation, broadening her existing role on the CBeebies acquisitions portfolio to include CBBC pre-bought and licensed acquisitions.

Edwards has worked at the channel since 2008, overseeing titles such as Octonauts, Bing, Hey Duggee, Rastamouse, What’s the Big Idea? and The Clangers. She will combine and lead both the CBeebies and CBBC acquisition teams.