As UK broadcaster Five prepares to extend Milkshake into the weekend and drop its Shake block altogether, head of children’s programming Nick Wilson assures an already reeling UK production community that the shuffle won’t affect the net’s volume of commissions.
‘We are going to maintain our spend,’ he says. ‘There will be no reduction in what Five spends on children’s programming. We will maintain the amount of independent commissioning that we do; there may even be some gentle expansion in the future.’
The plans is to age the Milkshake block a bit to reach kids up to seven, so Wilson may need to invest in some slightly older-skewing content.
Dropping Shake puts the kybosh on commissions for drama and factual programming for over-sevens, although Wilson adds that he’s interested in developing mold-breaking dramas and docs for his new target.
Starting next month, Milkshake content will take over The Shake’s 9 a.m. slot on Saturdays and Sundays. Wilson says the move makes sense because the Milkshake block continues to garner high ratings and its shows offer more possibilities for generating ancillary revenue from licensing deals, which should help compensate for the loss of revenue that Ofcom’s ban on child-targeted food ads is pegged to trigger next year.