Your Questions: A series of fortunate events

I chased down Ben Nguyen, SBS's Senior Assessor, Documentary and Factual, to get an answer to this, and it turns out that answer is pretty easy.

"Usually it's a no brainer," Ben says -- if a series met SBS's criteria for acquisition, it's more than likely that we'll also pick up subsequent series. "Off the top of my head, I can't think of any time where we haven't bought a follow up."

What are those criteria? "Whenever we buy a program it's something that we're very passionate about and we really want it to connect with the SBS audience," Nguyen says. "It would only be in the event where we totally misjudged that and a program doesn't connect at all that we would decide not to go ahead with a second season.

"Actually, it often happens the other way - that we wish there was more but there isn't."

The question that follows from this is about scheduling. SBS has acquired the next season -- so when does it go on the air?

That decision is up to Jane Roscoe, the Network Programmer, and Carrie Henry, the Scheduler. In general, says Nguyen, "we try and ensure that a program reaches the largest audience it can. That can mean holding something until summer, which is when we get our biggest audiences. Or scheduling around a significant anniversary when people will be thinking about a particular event."

In the case of One Born Every Minute, the second season has been acquired -- audiences seemed to agree that the first season was compelling and innovative -- and it's currently slotted for springtime.

Got a question about SBS Documentary? Ask in the comments below. We'll answer the the good ones in a future edition of the SBS Documentary newsletter.

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About this Blog

This occasional feature exists to provide our audiences with an idea about how things work at SBS, especially with respect to documentaries. This isn't a service to answer specific scheduling or DVD queries, but rather to explain bigger picture decisions and issues. Ask us something!

The next question we're going to answer is this one: How does SBS decide if it's going to get another season of a series (and will the next season of One Born Every Minute be on SBS)?