The CBC YA Digital Originals team is looking for programming geared towards Young Adult (13-18) and New Adult (18-24) audiences.
YA Digital Originals are progressive programs for some of the most discerning and challenging viewers consuming media today: Gen Z (born mid-90s to early 2000s). YA Digital Originals will offer teens and new adults an opportunity to see themselves on screen -- as they are or as they aspire to be -- and help them feel represented, included, and like they better understand the world they live in.
These exciting titles may appear on any platform where viewers are likely to engage with them, including CBC Gem, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, and others. No matter the genre, these programs embrace daring and provocative storytelling for young and diverse audiences.
Strengthening our commitment to this type of programming is a core pillar of CBC’s mandate to serve all Canadians, and our aim is to deliver exceptional content for young, digital native viewers across the country. Here’s how to work with us!
We are interested in seeing pitches across all genres, scripted and unscripted alike, that will attract our target audience while still appealing to existing CBC viewers of all ages. Content and platform should inform the series format, but episodes should be no longer than 20 minutes each.
Whatever the runtime, pitches geared towards CBC Gem should complement the lean-back experience of streaming TV at home while still giving viewers addictive mobile-friendly content that they can easily enjoy on their mobile devices. Likewise, series pitches created primarily for streaming on Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube should reflect the unique features and attributes of the intended platform.In all cases, we are looking for stories that matter to a segment of our target audience, and pitch packages that demonstrate a keen understanding of how and where to reach them.
We are looking for projects that circle a specific passion point, reflect personal identity in all of its forms, and celebrate unconventional heroes. Strong, easily communicated concepts that enlighten as they entertain are central to this strategy.
As stated above, we are looking for programming of all genres, scripted or unscripted, that reflects the interests and concerns of young adults (13-18) and new adults (18-24), be it through the lens of friendships, family relationships, or specific areas of interest and expertise. Preference will be given to proposals that explore ideas and worlds that we have not seen addressed elsewhere, and that have a progressive bent. Identity, as it relates to ethnicity, abilities, gender, sexuality, and regional representation, will also be a key focus.
One thing that most of our successful series have in common is an undeniable hook, and obsessive attention to the specific details of an underexplored world. We gravitate towards content that clearly appeals to an engaged young audience -- one that is diverse, extremely discerning and that has discriminating tastes and attitudes.
To that end, we are interested in content that is, at times, irreverent to the typical expectations of the public broadcaster.
With these attributes in mind, these fundamental questions remain:
Many of our short-form and mid-form series deliver high production value without requiring the traditional budget levels associated with linear television production. On those projects, we frequently work with productions in pursuing other forms of financing (IPF, Bell Fund, Ontario Creates, TELUS, Shaw Rocket Fund, et al).
Longer form series are not expected to conform to those lower budget levels, but fewer higher budget productions will be greenlit in a given year. Consider the format and scale that best suits your proposal.
We are also open to looking at completed short-form series for consideration as acquisitions.
As explained above, our goal is to build a library that will engage Young Adults (13-18) and New Adults (18-24). We are comfortable with some series overlapping those two realms, but are also interested in programs that set out to deliberately attract one or the other.
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