UKTV diginet Yesterday has greenlit a string of new factual series for its autumn schedule as it chases a bigger, younger audience.
Three brand new series will launch in October and November, along with a second 12x30′ season of Great British Ghosts, co-produced with Altamar Entertainment.
The first new show is Fight Club: A History of Violence (4x60′), which will use CGI to examine the history of hand-to-hand combat through the ages. The first episode will focus on Victorian bare-knuckle boxing brawls.
The series is co-produced with Like A Shot Entertainment and will premiere on Wednesday, October 10.
Also included on the new slate is Raiders of the Lost Past, a (13x50′) series coproduced with World Media Rights Productions. It follows eccentric people as they hunt for mythical objects like the Holy Grail or Noah’s Ark and will premiere on Wednesday, October 26.
And on Wednesday, November 7, Yesterday will show the first episode of British Gangsters: Faces of the Underworld (6x60′). Produced by Altamar Entertainment and Revelation Films, the series is about some of the masterminds of organised crime in the UK.
Adrian Wills, general manager for factual at UKTV, told C21 the new series plus a brand refresh from July 24, were part of an ongoing effort to skew the channel towards a younger audience.
He said: “There’s a lot of traditional history content out there; authored pieces with tonnes of black and white archive. The difference with this new programming is it’s got more pace and dynamism to it. We want to build pace into the channel with these shows.
“We’ve had a lot of growth in the last year and the pressure is on to sustain that. I’d like in the autumn to see us go up another 10% but we haven’t really put a figure on it even internally.
“The challenge is we’re older-skewing at the moment. I don’t want to overstate it, we’re not going to be a 16-34 channel overnight, but we want to just dial down the age a bit and get our younger people in. That is the challenge.”