Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Find My Past - the TV series

Today's Media Guardian is reporting that Lion Television is to make a ten part television series for digital channel Yesterday, part of UKTV, entitled Find My Past. From the Guardian article:

"Each week the show, which is being made by independent producer Lion Television, will use the findmypast.co.uk website to focus on a famous moment – such as Dunkirk or the Jack the Ripper attacks – to connect "three seemingly unrelated members of the public".

The show will be the UK's first series to feature product placement, and is sponsored by Brightsolid, FindmyPast.co.uk's parent company.

For more on the story visit http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jun/07/uktv-product-placement-deal

(With thanks to @GuildOneName on twitter)

UPDATE: here's the press release!

UKTV signs first ever product placement deal with Brightsolid for Yesterday

• PP deal involves interactive placement for findmypast.co.uk
• Carrying it’s sponsor’s name, Find My Past is UKTV’s biggest co-funded AFP
• 10x60” series is Yesterday’s highest volume commission to date

Award winning broadcaster, UKTV, has inked its first product placement (PP) deal with brightsolid for its free to air factual channel, Yesterday. This agreement will see the online publisher’s genealogy sites receive interactive placement within a brand new 10x60” history series commissioned exclusively by Yesterday.

Produced by Lion Television, Find My Past is Yesterday’s highest volume commission to date. It will be co-funded by the brightsolid-owned family history site findmypast.co.uk and Britain’s most popular history channel in what is UKTV’s biggest advertiser funded programme (AFP) deal ever. Premiering in Q4 2011 exclusively on Yesterday, each of the ten hour long episodes of Find My Past will focus on a well-known moment in British history and use genealogy to connect three seemingly unrelated members of the public to that very familiar event, be it the evacuation of Dunkirk, the sinking of the Titantic or the Jack the Ripper attacks in Victorian London.

This high-profile PP and AFP deal has been put together by UKTV’s Head of Commercial Partnerships, Sally Quick, with brightsolid online publishing’s Marketing Director, John Robertson, alongside Zenith Optimedia’s Managing Partner, Tim Brady. The ten part series has been commissioned by UKTV’s Director of Commissioning, Jane Rogerson, and UKTV’s Commissioning Editor, Catherine Catton, who will also be executively producing the series with Lion TV’s David Upshal.

UKTV’s Sally Quick says, “Findmypast.co.uk already has a strong commercial association with us as Yesterday’s main sponsor, so finding and developing a fresh genealogy TV format to co-fund has been a natural next step.”

Quick continues, “Born out of what was originally an AFP deal, Yesterday’s Find My Past offers brightsolid the perfect product placement opportunity as we’re able to seamlessly integrate its websites into the content via interactive exposure by the contributors themselves.”

Brightsolid’s John Robertson comments, “Connecting people and places is at the heart of our business, so this investigative, historical format with a gripping human interest storyline is a natural fit with findmypast.co.uk. As a company with pioneering family history brands, we’re very exciting to be leading the way in advertising funded programming.”

UKTV’s deal with brightsolid will incorporate findmypast.co.uk integrated sponsor titles and end credits, branded beginning and end of parts (a total of eight BOPs and EOPs per episode), front of screen exposure in every show, alongside branding on all online activity and marketing materials associated with the brand new Yesterday series.

In each of the ten episodes of Find My Past, three members of the public are brought to a particular location and told that they have an ancestral link with that place and to each other, before they are tasked with researching their family trees and discovering their shared connections ahead of the final reveal. For instance, Yesterday’s Dunkirk episode - much filmed on and around the beach itself - will focus on one of the 850 vessels hastily assembled to evacuate the 338,226 troops stranded at Dunkirk, and will re-connect descendants of that particular boat’s owner, a rescued soldier and a soldier from the same platoon who perished on the beach before being rescued.

UKTV’s Catherine Catton adds, “The wonderful thing about Lion’s brilliant new genealogy format is that it makes familiar historical moments three dimensional. By selecting one moment and finding three real, personal perspectives on the same story, this series will bring key events from Britain’s past to life in a way that Yesterday viewers will love.”

Since launching in March 2009, Yesterday has grown to become the UK's favourite factual channel, three times the size of Discovery Channel and with a weekly reach of 7.8million viewers. Yesterday has increased its viewing share by +75% year on year (2010 vs 2009) and climbed ten places up the channel ranks to assume a top 20 channel position, beating BBC4, Quest and The History Channel. Some of Yesterday's highest rating programmes are its commissions. First Day of the Blitz peaked at 389,000 viewers while Battlefield Britain attracted a particularly upmarket audience with a 59% ABC1 profile.

(With thanks to Amy Sell and Katie Hayward)

Chris

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