BBC Studios, Wingspan Productions and Windfall Films are to produce films for the BBC’s flagship science strand Horizon following a competitive tender which opened up the strand to pitches from all producers.
BBC Studios have secured 16 films over the next two years, with Wingspan Productions and Windfall Films producing three films each.
The BBC has also placed a number of single films into development with a range of independent producers.
The BBC said Horizon will continue to deliver across the spectrum of science, offering films on subjects like engineering, technology, medicine, geology, physics, human biology, chemistry, the solar system, psychology and mental health. Horizon will feature a range of films from presenter-led authored films and access driven documentaries to innovative factual theatre pieces and hybrid factual dramas – bringing the latest science stories to the audience from both the UK and around the world.
BBC Studios’ Science Unit has credits including Forces of Nature, Stargazing Live and Trust Me I’m a Doctor.
Wingspan Productions’ science credits include The Joy of Data, The Joy of Stats and Tails You Win: The Science of Chance for BBC Four and Computer Says Show for Sky.
Windfall Films, part of Argonon Group, is one of the leading producers of science and technology programmes in the UK – most recently the successful The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway for BBC Two. The company also produced Inside Chernobyl’s Mega Tomb and Inside Einstein’s Mind for the BBC and Inside Nature’s Giants for Channel 4.
The tender process is the latest part of the BBCs move to put all existing BBC Studios network television programming out to competition over the next 11 years, except where there is a value for money case not to.
The BBC invited pitches for the Horizon films from all producers, including BBC Studios.
Tom McDonald, Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual said: "BBC Studios, Wingspan Productions and Windfall Films are three of the best Science suppliers currently operating in the UK. Their ideas are original, exciting and bold. We look forward to working with them and other suppliers over the next two years to build on Horizon’s reputation for the cutting edge, and would like to thank all producers who submitted proposals into what has been an extremely competitive process."
Craig Hunter, Commissioning Editor, Science says: "This is an exciting chapter in Horizon’s story and I’m thrilled to be working with these suppliers to create a science strand of the most creative ideas, delivering scientific revelation and impact."
Lisa Opie, Director Factual, BBC Studios said: “We are pleased with the outcome, that recognises BBC Studios’ Science Unit’s unique expertise and storytelling skills. We employ a globally renowned team of science specialists, unparalled by any other production company in the world, enabling us to bring an exceptional understanding to specialist subjects and fulfil our public service mission to educate, as well as inform and entertain audiences.”
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