The BBC has announced a new roster of comedy pilots that will broadcast exclusively on its online ‘catch-up’ service iPlayer.

The British broadcaster will showcase eight new comedy pilots on iPlayer, two of which have already been commissioned for a full BBC Three TV series.

This is in addition to its previous online-only efforts, such as BBC Three’s ‘Feed My Funny’, as well as a Doctor Who mini-series called ‘Pond Life’. And it seems these proved popular, with ‘Pond Life’ notching up more than 5 million iPlayer requests alone, leading to the commissioning of six original dramas over the next two years.

Although BBC iPlayer already lets UK viewers watch live linear TV as it’s being broadcast, it is typically used as a catch-up, video-on-demand (VoD) service. But there is a growing shift in the VoD space towards exclusive or original content, as we’re seeing with the likes of Netflix which recently aired its second original series, House of Cards, followed by Hemlock Grove.

The BBC’s new pilots are described as follows:

  • Bamboo – Two posh idiots try and set up their own nightclub. Starring Totally Tom. Written by Harry and Jack Williams. Produced by Roughcut.

  • Kerry – Multi-character sketch show written by and starring Kerry Howard. Produced by Objective.

  • Fuzzbox – A puppet show featuring the voices of real young people. Produced by My Pockets.

  • C Bomb – C Bomb is the godfather of the South Yorkshire dubstep scene. Since ‘Rektal Dysfunction’ he’s been living on former glories. All that is set to change. Starring YouTube’s Rob Madin and written by Rob, Jason Cook and Daniel Peake. From BBC In-House comedy.

  • The Cariad Show – A multi-character sketch show from comedian, writer and improviser Cariad Lloyd. From BBC In-House comedy.

  • Nick Helm’s Heavy Entertainment – Raucous, studio-based comedy show from the star of BBC Three’s Live At The Electric, Nick Helm. From BBC In-House comedy.

  • The Committee Meeting – starring Welsh comics Elis James and Chris Corcoran. We enter the committee meeting of a Welsh social club. Produced by Tiger Aspect. BBC Commissioning Executive is Kristian Smith.

  • Going Native – mock documentary staring Mona Yousefi who plays three different foreign women – a Russian gold digger, a Japanese internet sensation and a Middle Eastern entrepreneur – who have recently moved to the UK to start a new life. Produced by Hat Trick. BBC Commissioning Executive is Sean Hancock.

The BBC has previously intimated that it sees iPlayer as playing a key part of its future strategy, as it looks to embed the service firmly in the livingroom…not just on your laptop or tablet. Indeed, the BBC is looking to take iPlayer beyond the tech-savvy, beyond catch-up and beyond the PC. And original content such as this will go some way towards helping the broadcaster realise this.