Top 100 UK Documentaries in 2020: The Land & Country theme comforts viewers in a troubled year

This week’s post covers the UK’s highest-rated documentary and unscripted programs for the year in which COVID struck. My ratings snapshot for 2020 is comprised of: The Top 50 in the combined Documentary and Lifestyle / Hobbies categories. My Takeaways. Then #51-100. The challenging landscape The wonderfully inventive UK Factual industry is enduring the triple disruptions of: COVID, …


Who are the documentary buyers? What do they want? How many? Deal highlights and more

Twelve documentary buyers and producers reveal what drives their decisions. Each commissioner is driven by a particular strategy, pipeline and budget ‘sweet spot’. Each producer describes a unique path from concept through funding and production to distribution. Since 2010, the mission of my Documentary Business newsletter has been to reveal how these individual production pathways …

Selling Your Documentary to Netflix course

BBC STORYVILLE: Mandy Chang guides her legendary documentary strand through COVID turbulence. Our panel at virtual CCDF-CNEX

Mandy Chang, commissioning editor BBC-STORYVILLE recently joined my panel at Taiwan’s virtual CCDF-CNEX Documentary Conference. In this post, we recap Mandy’s valuable insights into the legendary STORYVILLE stand, and the impact of COVID on the BBC’s documentary commissioning process. Our fellow expert panelists were: Hong Kong-based, Phoenix TV exec Haibo Huang And from Washington DC, veteran …

Humboldt: Epic Explorer – A €600,000 Drama Doc from ZDFE, Spiegel TV, Arte and Smithsonian Networks. A Case Study

Humboldt: Epic Explorer is a historical dramatized documentary about the scientist Alexander von Humboldt and his pioneering work in South America. The project was sparked by Andrea Wulf’s best-selling biography, and developed by veteran producer Tilman Remme. It was successfully pitched to European and American commissioning editors at the Science Producers’ Congress 2018 in Stockholm. by …

UK History Programs: Top 25 in the Year of COVID (1st Half 2020)

Here is a breakout of the Top 25-rated UK History programs in 1H 2020. Read my interview notes with BBC History buyer Simon Young at Sunny Side, including his insights concerning A House Through Time And see my post capturing the Top 100 UK Factual in the COVID Era. Channel 4’s VE Day in Colour …