Channel 5 has announced two new commissions to come out of its diverse led Indie Initiative.

Titles include an extended second run of Sally Lindsay’s Posh Sleepover, in addition to a new strand of Greatest Toys…with three specials looking back at decade-defining toys.

The initiative, set up in conjunction with The TV Collective in September 2019, supports diverse suppliers’ delivery of mainstream, primetime programmes for the channel.

The Initiative has now given rise to twelve commissions including Adrian Dunbar’s Coastal Ireland, Sally Lindsay’s Posh Sleepover and Clockwork Films and Daisybeck’s co-production The Yorkshire Ripper’s New Victims.

From Chatterbox, the second series of Sally Lindsay’s Posh Sleepover (6 x 60’) follows the host as she becomes a 48-hour house guest in some of the world’s most luxurious homes. In the new series Sally visits properties beyond the UK for the first time, with locations to be revealed soon. In each location, Sally will road-test facilities such as tennis courts and private jets whilst getting to know her hosts and the stories behind their homes.

In three one-hour instalments, Big Deal Films’ Greatest Toys… strand goes back in time to explore toys through the ages. Beginning with the 1970s and ending with the 1990s, the episodes take viewers on a trip down memory lane, reminiscing about the iconic toys and games that were all the rage in each decade. Big Deal Films’ initial commission, The Toys That Made Christmas Great attracted an audience of 1.2m last year.

“This is an important initiative and we’re delighted that it’s continuing to enable talented diverse-led indies to flourish in Channel 5’s primetime,” Ben Frow, Chief Content Officer, ViacomCBS Networks UK said. “Curating a varied supply chain that incorporates UK indies of all sizes, backgrounds and geographies is absolutely crucial if we’re to keep reflecting the audiences we serve at Channel 5.”

Simone Pennant, Founder and Director, The TV Collective said: “I applaud all the talent of the indies who have knocked our expectations for the Diverse led Indie Initiative out of the ballpark. With Channel 5’s belief and commitment, these producers have demonstrated how to diversify a broadcaster’s supply chain, with mainstream content from black and Asian run production companies. As other broadcasters start to follow suit my hope is that they will match Ben Frow’s level of decisiveness, commitment and trust to create outstanding results for their audiences.”

As a result of the initiative, Channel 5 also recently commissioned Nick Knowles’ Home Improvements (w/t), a three-part home organisation series from Ten66, which marked the second for the production company, whose initial 60-minute special How to Add 20K to Your Home averaged 1m/5.3% share.

Programmes to have already aired as a result of Channel 5’s Diverse led Indie initiative include The Yorkshire Ripper’s New Victims from Clockwork Films, George Michael’s Last Christmas and Cliff Richard: King of Christmas from King of Sunshine Productions, as well as the aforementioned How to Add 20K to Your House, The Toys that Made Christmas Great, Adrian Dunbar’s Coastal Ireland and Sally Lindsay’s Posh Sleepover. Still to air are Living with Chronic Pain from Doc Hearts, Most Expensive Celebrity Break Ups from King of Sunshine Productions, Nick Knowles’ Home Improvements, and today’s titles.

Jon Creamer

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