Sky One’s latest revamp will act as a showcase for three new big budget shows, which bosses hope will form for the backbone for year-round entertainment, rather than one-off series.
The shows Sing It, Revolution and Carmageddon were announced at a briefing for the Broadcasting Press Guild at Sky’s London HQ.
“We’ve implemented a really simple strategy, which is everything we’ve commissioned, everything we acquire, everything we do on the channels is about television worth paying for,” said Sky’s Director of Programmes Zai Bennett. “We’re trying to make our customers’ favourite shows of the year. They have to be the best or the first of their kind. That’s distinct from where we were before where we had lots of different strategies, trying to maximise volume across lots of different hours in the schedule, and doing different things for lots of different audiences.”
Sing It (working title), is described as the UK’s first authentic a cappella singing contest, and sees the return to the UK of Cat Deeley, who has made a name for herself on a number of US shows. Revolution (working title) is an extreme sport action-entertainment show that will pitch skateboarders, BMXers and skaters against one other, and Carmageddon (working title) is described by Head of Entertainment, Phil Edgar Jones as Mad Max meets Wacky Races.
The high-octane formats easily lend themselves to new formats such as Virtual Reality: “We’re already trying a few things with Revolution and Carmageddon as well as they massively lend themselves to that”. said Edgar Jones. “We’re just at the experimental stage to see what sort of thing we can do, but I think we can also work with mixed reality as there’s some exciting stuff to be done there.”
Edgar Jones confirmed there was already interest in Revolution from Sky Germany, but exporting entertainment shows outside of the UK was not a given. “We don’t set out to make things that are pan-European because there’s a real danger in doing that, but if things automatically lend themselves to working across the three territories, that’s when we start to discuss it.’
The new look from the autumn will include a significant marketing campaign and revamped schedule, though without doubt retaining its position as the home to popular US shows including Modern Family and The Simpsons. Bennett wants to make Sky One more grown up, more edgy and more mischievous.
In addition to Sky One, Sky’s entertainment portfolio also has Sky Atlantic – where the new season of Game of Thrones debuted in the early hours of Monday – female-skewing Sky Living and Sky Arts.