The application review process
ITVS staff review and evaluate application materials. If your project is recommended for funding, we will schedule a meeting to discuss your project further.
The entire proposal review and recommendation process takes six to eight weeks. The fund is extremely competitive. Series and Special Projects funds are disbursed in installments over the course of the contract period, which varies from project to project.
Timetable for Series and Special Projects Funding
- After submission of materials, applicants will be asked to submit an electronic release form. All applicants will receive notification by email within approximately eight weeks.
- If you are recommended for funding, a meeting will be scheduled to discuss your project in more detail and to begin contract negotiations.
Program funding selection
Programs are selected and funded through a license fee for public television broadcast. The detailed ITVS guidelines for funding explain the process and criteria for program selection. Decisions are based on the merits of a proposed project and at the discretion of ITVS professional staff and peer panels. Decisions on program selection are made solely by ITVS, which is an independent nonprofit corporation and not within the control of any other public or private entity.
Production and distribution for ITVS funded programs
The commissioned development funding is not a grant. Accepted applicants receive funding in the form of a development agreement that assigns ITVS certain important rights over the project during the term of the contract. The independent producer maintains creative, editorial, and financial control of the project, owns the copyright to the program, and delivers all elements within six months of the contract date. ITVS retains the option for U.S television broadcast rights, among others, up to 90 days after the receipt of all deliverables required under the contract.
The commissioned production funding is also not a grant. In exchange for funding and services, the producer grants ITVS the exclusive U.S. television broadcast rights for a determined period of seven years. The producer is required to deliver a completed program that meets U.S. broadcast standards. Other contract points, including theatrical rights and revenue sharing, are negotiated on a case-by-case basis.
Here are some additional things to know about working with ITVS if your program is funded through
Series and Special Projects:
- All ITVS funded programs must adhere to PBS editorial standards. PBS makes their standards public in their
Red Book. The ITVS Production Manual is also available for sale, which contains useful forms and information on producing to PBS standards.
- The goal of commissioned development funding is to help producers create programs that will be competitive in our other funding initiatives and in the public television system at large. Funded programs are encouraged to apply to other ITVS initiatives but development funding is not an automatic guarantee of production funding.
- If you receive commissioned production funding, your path to delivery will more closely resemble Open Call.