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MIPFormats Preview magazine
www.miptv.com/mipformats INSIDE THIS SPECIAL EDITION
T H E
FORMATS KING DICK DE RIJK
ASIA IS TRADING IN FORMATS
Inside, page 4
Inside, page 20
O F F I C I A L
Meet the formats experts • Formats for sale • Formats: the big shows • The changing face of formats • FRAPA on protecting your rights • Fresh formats from The WIT
M I P F O R M A T S
M A G A Z I N E
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2011 CONFERENCES & EVENTS PROGRAMME
Find a fresh focus on formats. MIPFormats is the largest gathering of the world’s leading producers, commissioners, buyers, distributors and aspiring creators of breakthrough formats.
Highlights include C21FormatsLab Annual Report. Fresh Formats Screenings. Interviews with global formats commissioners. Branded entertainment and social TV Case Studies. Matchmaking sessions for producers, buyers and commissioners. Intellectual property seminars with FRAPA & WIPO. Formats business workshop with Entertainment Master Class. The 2nd Annual MIPFormats Talent Pitch.
Conference speakers will include: David Briggs, Boxatricks Julie Bristow, CBC Television John Brunton, Insight Production Company Gonzalo Cilley, Resonantv Juan Pablo Gaviria, Teleset S.A./ Si Hay Ideas Roek Lips, Nederland 3 David Lyle, Fox Look
The Mastermind behind “Deal or No Deal” and Creator of the newly launched gameshow “You Deserve it”.
DICK DE RIJK, Exclusive Development Partner, Red Arrow Entertainment Group
SATURDAY 2 APRIL
Omri Marcus, Prosiebensat.1 Media Beverley McGarvey, Network Ten Jan Salling, Nordic World A/S Douglas Scott, Ogilvy Entertainment Nicola Söderlund, Sparks Network Karoline Spodsberg, Banijay International Annie Wegelius, SVT Andrew Zein, Warner Bros Intl Television Distribution
SUNDAY 3 APRIL AM 8.45
WORKSHOP THE CREATOR’S TOOL KIT In partnership with Entertainment Master Class Auditorium A
FORMATS FUTURES 2011 Grand Auditorium
FOCUS ON LATIN AMERICA Grand Auditorium 4.10 4.20
HOW TO RESOLVE YOUR FORMAT DISPUTE? In partnership with FRAPA & WIPO Auditorium A
FRESH FORMATS REVIEW: FACTUAL ENTERTAINMENT Grand Auditorium
FOCUS ON ASIA Auditorium A
FORMAT PROGRAMMING STRATEGIES
What buyers want? Grand Auditorium
MIPFORMATS NETWORKING LUNCH
From 1.00 pm
BUYERS & COMMISSIONERS MATCHMAKING
Sponsored by SevenOne International Majestic Hotel
LAUGH, SCREAM, LEARN: NORDIC FORMAT SCREENINGS
THE MIPFORMATS INTERVIEWS
KEYNOTE: DICK DE RIJK
Hear from the format experts in branded entertainment, cross-platform and social TV Grand Auditorium
Exclusive Development Partner, Red Arrow Entertainment Group Grand Auditorium
FRESH FORMATS REVIEW: GAME SHOWS
THE FRESH TALENT PITCH
6.30 7.00 7.00
OPENING COCKTAIL Majestic Hotel
Programme as of 17 February. Subject to change.
In association with
BUYERS & COMMISSIONERS MATCHMAKING
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MIPFormats Preview magazine — March 2011 Director of publications: Paul Zilk Editorial Department – Editor in Chief: Julian Newby – Deputy Editor: Debbie Lincoln – Sub Editor: Phil Sommerich, Joanna Stephens – Contributors: Marlene Edmunds, Andy Fry – Technical Editor in Chief: Herve Traisnel – Deputy Technical Editor in Chief: Frederic Beauseigneur – Graphic Designer: Carole Peres – Editorial Management: Boutique Editions Ltd. Production Department – Content Director: Jean-Marc Andre – Publications Production and Development Manager: Martin Screpel – Publishing Product Manager: Chealsy Choquette – Publishing Coordinators: Amrane Lamiri, Bruno Piauger – Production Assistants: Emilie Lambert, David Le Chapelain, Veronica Pirim – Production Assistant, Cannes Office: Eric Laurent – Printer: Riccobono Imprimeurs, Le Muy (France) Management, Marketing & Sales Team – Director of the Television Division: Laurine Garaude – Director of Digital Media: Ted Baracos – Sales Director: Sabine Chemaly – Brand Manager: Dee Perryman – Programme Director: Karine Bouteiller– Managing Director (UK / Australia / New Zealand): Peter Rhodes OBE – Sales Manager: Elizabeth Delaney – Vice President Sales and Business Development, Americas : Robert Marking – Vice President Business Development, North America: JP Bommel – Executive Sales Director, North America : MJ Sorenson – Sales executive : Panayiota Pagoulatos – Sales Managers: Paul Barbaro, Nathalie Gastone – International Sales Manager: Fabienne Germond – Sales Executives: Liliane Dacruz, Cyril Szczerbakow – Sales Manager: Samira Haddi – Digital Media Sales Manager: Nancy Denole – Australia and New Zealand Representative : Natalie Apostolou – China Representative: Anke Redl – CIS Representative: Alexandra Modestova – English speaking Africa representative: Arnaud de Nanteuil – India Representative: Anil Wanvari – Israel Representative: Guy Martinovsky – Japan Representative: Lily Ono – Latin America Representative: Elisa Aquino – Middle-East Representative: Bassil Hajjar – Poland Representative: Monika Bednarek – South Korea Representative: Sunny Kim – Taiwan Representative: Irene Liu – Germany Representative (Digital Media Sector): Renate Radke Adam www.miptv.com/mipformats Published by Reed MIDEM BP 572 – 11, rue du Colonel Pierre Avia – 75726 Paris Cedex 15 – Contents © 2011 Reed MIDEM Market Publications – Publication Registered: 1st quarter 2011 Printed on 100% recycled paper ISSN 2108-4246
Coming Out (Absolutely Independent) DUTCH distributor Absolutely Independent brings to Cannes stories of men and women who are about to tell their families, friends and colleagues that they are gay. In Coming Out from format creator KRO/Skyhigh the series’ host helps them to plan meetings with the most important people in their lives. More MIPFormats product news on page 7
What’s happening at MIPFormats
PRODUCT NEWS Formats for sale FEATURES
The big shows
New trends in formats
MIPFORMATS USEFUL TIPS
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FRESH FORMATS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
The WIT’s Virginia Mouseler
VIRGINIA Mouseler, managing director of global TV research agency The WIT, will give two special MIPFormats presentations, focusing on game-show and factual entertainment formats from around the world. “These represent two big trends at the moment, for private and public broadcasters,” Mouseler said. She describes factual entertainment formats as programmes based on fact but “spiced up” with some realitystyle content. “A good example would be Wife Swap. This new style of programming helps to tackle some social issues that could be observed in documentary but now as it’s difficult to catch the attention of viewers — especially young viewers — with documentary, factual entertainment is a way to highlight serious social issues.” She said that game shows can come from anywhere. “You can’t really say that any territory specialises in game shows any more. What distinguishes game shows is that they are almost exclusively for entertainment, in contrast to factual entertainment formats — and of course scripted formats too. These two genres are broadening the scope of the market.” She added: “The scripted formats market is emerging at the moment and it will be interesting to see how it develops from now on.”
Formats king de Rijk has another hit on his hands DICK de Rijk, creator of hit formats Deal Or No Deal, Show Me The Money and, most recently, You Deserve It, gives the MIPFormats keynote interview on Saturday, April 2. A leading figure in the formats industry, his MIPFormats appearance comes as the ink is still drying on a deal with ABC in the US to acquire new game-show format You Deserve It, distributed internationally by SevenOne International. De Rijk said the slow realisation that formats are intellectual property has created an important sector for the industry. “I once read that in the Fifties and Sixties European producers flew to New York, booked a hotel, watched all the current shows, copied them
one by one and put them on air in their own country. Intellectual properties? Never heard of them. Things are quite different now,” he said. “Formats can bring massive revenues to the IP-owners, and attract attention from hungry investors. Big Brother, as well as Deal Or No Deal, were the immediate causes for Endemol International to be sold twice.” Endemol started out as a Dutch company — and de Rijk, too, is Dutch. And he says there’s a reason why his country has done so well in this field. “I develop formats as an export product, capable of appealing to a variety of viewers in different cultures,” he said. “It probably has to do with my small home country Holland. To sur-
Dick de Rijk
vive we have to think beyond the limited size of our territory.” His new format, You Deserve It (see Product News), is a hit from the outset, having been snapped up by ABC in the US. “Arrogant as we are, we pitched it first to the big four in the US before anywhere else,” he said. “And after a true bidding war, we sold it to ABC. Wow!” During MIPFormats Dick de Rijk will be presented with the C21/FRAPA Formats Gold Award, which is sponsored by MIPFormats, in recognition of his contribution to the genre. Keynote — Dirk de Rijk Saturday, April 2 — 18.30 - 19.00 Grand Auditorium, level 1
Full Conference Programme Inside
Industry should remain vigilant on formats Ute Biernat
FRAPA, the formats protection body, is out in force at MIPFormats, where it is presenting an award to keynote speaker Dick de Rijk — and taking every opportunity to remind the industry of the value of formats and the need to protect them. Ute Biernat, CEO of Grundy Light Entertainment and FRAPA chair said that “while format protection is still our core mission, it is no longer our only concern. Today, FRAPA serves as a global community, a meet-and-greet platform, a networking forum, an advice shop, an information resource and an industry thought leader. And it's where you find the people who make
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the biggest shows on television." Patty Geneste, CEO and president of Absolutely Independent, and FRAPA managing board member said that the launch of MIPFormats last year by Reed MIDEM was a sign that the format business has matured, however “while formats remain vulnerable to copyright infringement, while judges fail to understand that formats are intellectual property, and while FRAPA and WIPO continue to be called upon to mediate in IP cases, we are not yet there,” she said. David Lyle, president of Fox Look and FRAPA steering committee member, added: “From China to
Chile, wherever local broadcasters are trying to improve their position in the market, they seek out cost-efficient, breakthrough programmes. These tend not to be dramas but unscripted entertainment.” He added: “Most of the world’s television markets are now coming out of the economic downturn. Advertising is up, local production is growing and, along with that, we are seeing a growth in formats." How to resolve your format dispute? Saturday, April 2 — 15.10 - 16.10 Auditorium A, level 3
Full Conference Programme Inside
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drama of new reality Featuring real people, inspired by real situations; our new reality shows are proven rating winners for leading broadcasters around the world*… Available as both completed – programmes and cost-efﬁcient formats.
CASES OF DOUBT
Reconstructed reality FAMILIES AT THE CROSSROADS THE ONLY WAY IS ESSEX
Where life is stranger than ﬁction
Reality as soap
NIEDRIG & KUHNT; DETECTIVES INVESTIGATE
Real investigation as daily drama
Intense holiday fun and sun TWO WITH KALWASS; PRACTICAL PSYCHOLOGY *featured shows are ratings winners on the RTL, Sat.1 and ITV networks.
An intelligent approach to emotional problems
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Meet the formats experts
Andrew Zein, senior vice-president, creative, format development and sales, Warner Bros. International Television Distribution, subject of the Format Expert series of interviews
Gonzalo Cilley, president, Resonant, speaking on the Focus On Latin America panel
Jan Salling, COO and sales director, NordicWorld, speaking on the MIPFormats Introductory Session panel
John Brunton, president, executive producer, Insight Production Company, subject of the Format Expert series of interviews
THE RANGE of speakers at this year’s expanded MIPFormats event reflects a formats business has not only grown in size, but also in its reach and its complexity. Andrew Zein at of Warner Bros. International Television Distribution, said that one of his roles is to look back at Warner’s vast catalogue, “because it’s fair to say that it has certainly not been over-exploited”. Warner’s is also looking back to see which of its products satisfy Zein’s definition of a format, which is “a set of elements which when reconstituted will deliver to you something similar to what was originally produced”. For Julie Bristow at Canada’s CBC, in the past five years formats have been a useful tool with which to grow audience figures in a short period of time, based on the fact that they had “proved themselves in other territories”. She said that CBC is also now in the business of format creation as well as acquisition. “We don’t really go into any show now without saying, ‘Well, if we’re making it for this marketplace and we’re on the money in terms of the kind of programming people want to see, or what’s in the overall zeitgeist, chances are it’s going to work somewhere else.’.” John Brunton, of Canada’s Insight Production Company, which has produced formats with the biggest companies around the world, said formats have been a “huge part” of the company’s business in the past few years. “I think that part of the reason for the importance of formats in the current marketplace is that it’s the devil you know rather than the devil you don’t know. Pitching Canadian Idol to advertisers in Canada on the heels of the huge success of American Idol is an easier sell
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than something that doesn’t have a track record.” He added: “The bad thing is that we have to compete with the American versions of these shows so our production values have to be competitive.” Jan Salling, newly-installed sales director and COO at NordicWorld, said: “Everyone is looking for formats that are coming out of the Nordic region.” He added: “Zodiak, Banijay. Fremantle, Endemol, EyeWorks, Shine — they’re all there, and Sony is thinking about going there. All the super-indies are there, investing tons of money there, and you have to ask yourself ‘Why?’ The reason is that we have very well-educated and very critical viewers here. And we have fairly small territories which means fairly small budgets. This combination — of good creative producers, risk-taking broadcasters, combined with critical viewers and fairly low budgets — makes it a really good testing ground for formats.” Another region under the spotlight at MIPFormats is Latin America. On the Focus On Latin America panel is Gonzalo Cilley of Argentina’s Resonant. A comparatively new area of business for Resonant involves adapting European scripted series for the North American market. “We have been doing that for the past four years — for example we have taken four scripted formats from Mediaset in Italy and adapted them for the US.” Crucial in this process, Cilley said, is to identify clearly what is unique about the scripts and ensure that doesn’t get lost in the adaptation process.
Full Conference Programme Inside
Julie Bristow, executive director factual entertainment, CBC Television, speaking on the What Buyers Want panel
Karoline Spodsberg, managing director, Banijay International, speaking on the MIPFormats Introductory Session panel
Juan Pablo Gaviria, vice-president, creative and production, Teleset/Si Hay Ideas, speaking on the Focus on Latin America panel
Beverley McGarvey, network head of programming, Network Ten, speaking on the What Buyers Want panel
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MIPFORMATS: PRODUCT NEWS
Formats for sale MIPFormats Preview highlights some of the formats on sale from around the world at MIPFormats and onwards on the exhibition floors of the Palais des Festivals
Teens battle it out
LAST Date? is a format by ZJJ, a company based in Andalucia, Spain, in which two people undergoing separation meet on set to watch a documentary about the history of their relationship, with contributions from the couple, their friends and relatives who share their views. The show’s psychologist then reflects on the relationship, the purpose being to examine the relationship rather than necessarily instigate a reconciliation. Hayat Sinemasi, the Turkish version of the format, was produced by V-Yapim and broadcast on Kanal D, and now Banijay has optioned Last Date? through its Nordic affiliate Nordisk Films, and plans to produce the show for Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden.
AUSTRALIA’s ABC Commercial brings its new children’s offering What Do You Know? (65 x 26 mins) to MIPTV. The show is a fun and irreverent game show for contestants aged between 12 and15, who battle it out during four rounds of general knowledge questions in the hope of winning the What Do You Know? trophy. The format rights are available for this series for all territories except Australia and New Zealand.
Giving and taking Challenge Ben 10 (Nottingham Forest)
Adding value to brands Cooking under cover NORDIC World, the 50-50 joint venture between TV2 Norway and TV4 Sweden has launched a new format division this year. The first production is The Blind Chef, an original idea by Story Of in Finland, where two celebrities make a gourmet meal under the guidance of a top chef. All three prepare the same three-course dinner in isolation with the same ingredients, guided only by the instructions from the head chef. The guests can ask for help from the chefs, but can’t actually see them — while the audience can see all three tables. The meals are judged by the chefs — and the winner gets to dine with the chefs — while the losers have to be content with their own cooking.
Blind Chef (Nordic World)
The Money Drop (Endemol)
NOTTINGHAM Forest, a Spanish audiovisual branding agency created last year, is currently developing formats for television and other media platforms, involving advertisers, licensees, and other companies interested in developing products. The company has already developed Challenge Ben 10, a 30-minute game show for Boing TV Channel, in which four contestants face physical and skill tests related to the Ben 10 animation series. For Powerpuff Girls Z — also for Boing — Nottingham Forest produced picture cards featuring sequences from the series for girls to create their own Powerpuff Girls Z story.
CREATED by Endemol UK, The Money Drop made its debut on Channel 4 in the UK in 2010, and has been sold to 16 territories including the US, Germany, Russia, Spain and Israel. Contestants are given their prize — a million pounds in cash — at the beginning of the show, and eight questions stand in the way of them taking the cash home. In the studio are four trap doors on which answers are displayed. The contestants put their money on what they think is the right answer, or if they are unsure they can spread the money across the trap doors, but if the answer is wrong their money is lost through the floor.
Powerpuff Girls Z (Nottingham Forest)
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MIPFORMATS: PRODUCT NEWS
Green light for Traffic Light
Traffic Light (Keshet Formats)
KESHET Formats, the formats arm of Israel’s Keshet Media Group, brings a raft of formats to MIPTV. Traffic Light is a sitcom that tells the story of three childhood friends, now in their early thirties, but each at a different stage in their life. Currently in production for its third season for Keshet Broadcasting, the format has been sold to Twentieth Century Fox Television in the US and CTC in Russia, and has interest from12 other territories. Prisoners Of War is a drama series about returning soldiers who are unwilling to share a dark secret. A US adaptation, titled Homeland, is currently being produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television for Showtime Networks. And finally, The A Word, is a relationship-based drama series following the story of parents who discover that their five-year-old son has autism.
Making money for others
Sold! on sale
SEVENONE International’s new game show format You Deserve It will have its world premiere on US network ABC. The show was created by the company’s development partner Dick de Rijk, the creator of Deal Or No Deal. Contestants have to recommend a beneficiary for whom they want to play who doesn’t know what is happening until the finale, when a hopefully life-changing amount of money is presented to them. To achieve that, the contestant has to answer 10 questions, each offering 10 clues. The twist is that the clues cost money. Kinetic Content, Red Arrow's US production company, is making the show for ABC.
BANIJAY International is re-launching Sold! at MIPTV, a format that sees two teams of real estate agents trying to guess the price of houses which have just been sold. Originally created by DR Denmark, Sold! will soon enter its 17th series on the primary broadcaster. In another show from Banijay celebrities come under scrutiny. In the new format, called If, the star guests are given a series of rapid-fire questions and hypothetical scenarios to test their reactions in front of a live studio audience. Originally developed by Nordisk Denmark and adapted by several other international markets, If has recently been seen on TF1 in France.
Completely in the dark
Answering million-dollar questions
Sold! (Banijay International)
ARMOZA Formats is launching Still Standing at MIPTV. The game show format, which debuted on Israel's Channel 10, offers contestants the chance to win $1m by out-guessing 10 opponents, one after another, in fast-paced trivia battles. As the clock winds down, contestants fight to be the last one still standing — if they're left scrambling for the answer, they'll literally be dropped from the game — straight through the floor of the studio.
Total Blackout (FremantleMedia)
TOTAL Blackout is the first format borne of FremantleMedia’s Creative Exchange Alliance forged with Fuji Television Network, which has aired on Fuji in Japan and has sold to Veronica in Holland, VT4 in Belgium, Channel 1 in Russia, 1Plus1 in Ukraine, Kanal 5 in Sweden, Kanal 4 in Denmark and TV Norge in Norway. The game show takes place in complete darkness and sees the contestants perform unusual and daring tasks, often totally unaware of what they’re doing.
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Still Standing (Armoza Formats)
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MIPFORMATS: PRODUCT NEWS
The Kiepski’s World (ATM)
Funny formats POLAND’s ATM is offering format rights to two of its shows at MIPTV. The Kiepski’s World (367 x 30 mins), the longest running sitcom in Poland, follows the ups and downs of Ferdynand, his family and neighbours as they get themselves in and out of trouble. The laughs come his foolishness and ingenuity as he pulls himself through adversity time and time again. Secondly, The Ranch, with five seasons of 13 x 52-minute episodes, is a comedy of manners about a young American named Lucy, who settles into a small village in Eastern Poland. The collision of two completely different mentalities brings unexpected consequences.
Cashpoint challenge THE ATM is a format from Spanish producer Phileas Productions. In the show contestants arrive at an ATM to withdraw money, only to discover that they have had €500,000 transferred into their account. However, in order to withdraw this money, they have to find five different people to pass five challenges. Each challenge is carried out on the streets of the city — a distinct location in each episode — testing both physical and mental qualities. Phileas has already sold the format to Endemol for distribution in France and Belgium. Endemol has acquired another Phileas format The 20 Little Piggy Banks, a daily game show in which 20 contestants compete to reach the final and qualify for the prizes hidden inside the 20 little pigs.
Local food on the menu
Here comes the bride PERFECT Bride is a format where the mother-in-law gets to choose the bride, brought to MIPTV by Turkey's Global Agency. Created specifically to be adaptable around the world, the format has recently been optioned in Indonesia and Serbia, has just been licensed to China and Bulgaria, and is cast in Australia and ready for production.
Secret Supper Club (4Rights)
4RIGHTS, the commercial arm of the UK’s Channel 4 Television, brings Secret Supper Club (10 x 30 mins) to MIPTV. The Secret Supper Club is a new format which follows Olly Smith around the country as he stages a series of one-off dining events with two local food producers who help him plan, prepare and serve a secret supper for 10 mystery guests in an interesting location. Along the way Olly meets with local chefs and chooses wine or other drinks to bring the best out of each course. After supper Olly looks for a guest to accept the challenge to host a secret supper of their own.
Dance Cam Slam (MTVNI)
DANCE Cam Slam is a new show from VH1 that looks for entertaining dancers from across the country to compete online for a chance to win a weekly cash prize. The 360degree format sees individual dancers and groups upload their video auditions to the show’s website, and 10 are chosen to compete live each week via their home web cams. The show’s judges score the performances and declare two winners to square off, with the final decision made by the TV audience, who vote live via text message to determine who wins the week’s show and cash prize. Viewers at home can also comment on the dancers live via Twitter and may see their tweets appear in the show, which is brought to MIPTV by MTVNI.
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MIPFORMATS: THE BIG SHOWS
Family Explorer (Zodiak Rights)
Winning ideas The big beasts of the format world are arguably the most successful shows on the planet. Andy Fry looks at the ideas that have made it big — and the next-generation of superformats waiting in the wings
OU WOULDN’T expect FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) giants like Nestle or Unilever to change their brands every year. Sure, they might tinker with the packaging or add a new ingredient, but to ditch their top brands would be an unthinkable commercial risk that would alienate both customers and retailers. To put this point in perspective, Unilever has 13 brands that make $1bn a year. Out of 400 brands, its top 25 make 70% of its total revenues. This same brand-based analysis applies to primetime entertainment shows. For Fox US (the retailer), there is no earthly reason to drop
American Idol (the brand), because it continues to deliver superb ratings — even without Simon Cowell. And why would ITV UK turn its back on Got Talent, which in June pulled an amazing 12.3 million viewers for its final show. Or The X Factor, which scored 14.3 million viewers for season seven — its highest ever. FremantleMedia president of worldwide entertainment Rob Clark is in the blessed position of working with Idol, Got Talent and The X Factor, which is set to make its debut on Fox US this autumn. "People like what they like," he says. "When the daffodils bloom, they want to know Got Talent is starting a new series.
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As the leaves fall, they want to know the final of Idol is at hand." It's not just FremantleMedia that is the beneficiary of this human trait. In 2010, the 11th season of BBC Worldwide's (BBCW) Dancing With The Stars (Strictly Come Dancing) delivered an average audience of 19 million to ABC US, while over on CBS the 21st season of Castaway's format Survivor racked up 12.5 million viewers. The Amazing Race (CBS), Big Brother (CBS), The Biggest Loser (NBC) and The Bachelor (ABC) are other US stalwarts that continue to deliver 8-12 million audiences despite having been around for most of the last decade.
This is not just a US phenomenon. Look at the data and it becomes clear that there is hardly a market where primetime is not anchored around a global format. "Buyers like reassurance," Clark says, "and there's nothing more reassuring than a show that rated in another territory." BBCW's Dancing With The Stars, for example, is reckoned to hit a global audience of 250 million
People like familiarity, but they also like surprises Rob Clark
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MIPFORMATS: THE BIG SHOWS
across 35 territories. Idol has been spun off into 42 territories including Germany, where season seven on RTL attracted 6.4 million (it is RTL's top show in the 14-49 demographic). Survivor, meanwhile, is as durable in France, Benelux and Scandinavia as it is in the US. In France, it has been running for 10 seasons and continues to pull in audiences of 7-9 million for TF1 (30%-35% share). The thing that allows these formats to hold down key slots in such highly competitive territories is the fact that they have in-built adaptability, Clark says. "People like familiarity, but they also like surprises,” he adds. “In France, a new look for The Price Is Right worked so well that we are using the same makeover in other territories. At 6.3 million viewers, it was the highest rated game show in France during 2010 — remarkable for a 54-year-old format." This ability to evolve has played a key part in Survivor's durability on CBS. In February 2011, the latest season (Survivor: Redemption Island) introduced a narrative twist that gives eliminated contestants the chance to get back into the show. It is also evident in classic CBS game shows such as Wheel Of Fortune and Jeopardy!, says Paul Gilbert, senior vice-president of international formats at CBS Paramount International Television. “Every year there’s some on-screen innovation on Wheel, which is why it has played in the US since 1975. New versions are about to start in Egypt, Georgia and Hungary, which shows how culturally adaptable shows like this can be.”
The Money Drop (Endemol)
Kees Abrahams, president of international production at Sony Pictures Television (SPT), takes a similar line with SPT’s big brands: “We spend a lot of time with top shows like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? We work really hard on creativity and marketing, because it’s such an important franchise. In terms of innovations, we introduced a live version that boosted the show’s ratings significantly.” Endemol’s chief commercial director, Tom Toumazis, agrees that the beauty of such shows is the way they can reinvent themselves season af-
ter season without fundamentally altering the format. "Any cast-based show has an advantage in that the contestants provide renewal,” he says. “But in addition, there is scope for editorial innovations." In the case of Big Brother 12, for example, ABC added a ‘Big Brother saboteur’, whose mission was to disrupt the lives of other contestants in an attempt to win $50,000. Big Brother was recently retired by Channel 4 UK — one of the networks that kick-started the show's success over a decade ago. But Toumazis says this needs to be seen
It’s not uncommon for big formats to be rested Tom Toumazis
The Spanish version of Wheel Of Fortune: “Culturally adaptable”
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in a global context. "It’s not uncommon for big formats to be rested,” he points out. “But BB continues to play to big audiences in Italy, Spain and the US, where season 12 averaged 7.3 million viewers, up from 6.9 million in season 11. It's now back on in Argentina and also on air in Greece and Slovenia — all of which gave us 19 series across 81 countries in 2010." Toumazis' comments are a reminder that there are still plenty of emerging economies for the mega-formats to move into. FremantleMedia’s Idol has just debuted as a Nigerian show, while the first-ever series of The X Factor on RTL Klub Hungary topped the annual ratings with 2.9 million viewers. Meanwhile, Dancing With The Stars’ success has won it friends in Asia. After bedding down in India, China and Japan, the last year has seen the show secure sales to Vietnam (VTV3), Indonesia (IVM) and South Korea (MBC Plus Media). Explaining the format’s appeal, Bum Cho, head of MBC Plus Media’s production centre, reiterated Clark’s point about reassurance: "Dancing With The Stars has proved extremely popular in Asia and around the world, so we expect it to
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MIPFORMATS: THE BIG SHOWS
lessly extendable. “Millionaire doesn’t just work on TV — it also has a life in areas as diverse as gaming and education,” says SPT’s Abrahams. “As for spin-offs, Hotseat is currently one of the most successful shows on Nine Network Australia.” CBS’ Gilbert says of Wheel Of Fortune: “I’ve seen 30-minute, 60-minute and 90-minute versions — even a three-hour show in Turkey. As for ancillary, you can’t walk into a casino in the US without hearing the Wheel Of Fortune theme tune piping out of some machine or other.” As Clark and Toumazis both observe, the creation of multi-seasonal spikes in the schedule is an important consideration for broadcasters. "It's also the case in France," says Jane Millichip, managing director of Zodiak Rights, the commercial arm of the Italian-owned group Zodiak. Millichip is currently in the market with Family Explorer, a new primetime elimination-based adventure show from Zodiak's French subsidiary ALP, best known as producer of Fort Boyard and the French version of Survivor. "TF1 does well with Survivor and wanted a companion for the spring,” Millichip says. “ALP produced Family Explorer and we are showing it to buyers at MIPTV." Millichip adds that the show is different to other adventure competitions: "It's not a classic survival show because of the family element, which gives it a more col-
be ‘must-watch TV’ for viewers in Korea. We are extremely excited to work with BBC Worldwide on one of their most successful brands." The ability of big brands to transform any schedule is well illustrated by various deals. In Asia, Hallmark Channel ordered The Biggest Loser Asia and has been rewarded with strong ratings. On Denmark’s DR1, series three of The X Factor gained a share of 72.2% in the 15-50 demographic — three times above the broadcaster’s primetime average. Colors, the Hindi general-entertainment channel launched by joint-venture Viacom18 group, has a similar story to tell. Rajesh Kamat, CEO of Colors, says: "When we launched the channel, we introduced formats like Bigg Boss [Big Brother] and Fear Factor. It was part of our strategy to reach younger audiences and helped make us one of the top two in India's Hindi generalentertainment sector." Not only that, it has brought Indian popular culture more into alignment with international audience tastes. "An important secondary audience for us are third- and fourth-generation Indians living abroad,” Kamat says. “This kind of entertainment show, with its Bollywood flavour, is more effective at reaching them than the traditional dramas that used to dominate Indian TV." Back at Endemol, Tom Toumazis gives another reason why content creators and broadcasters lavish so much TLC on their big brands: "It's not just their impact across territories but within territories that makes them so important. When they perform well, it creates the opportunity for on-screen and off-screen extensions." In the case of Endemol properties, successful on-screen extensions have included Extreme Makeover: Home
Dancing With The Stars: R&B singer Mario and professional Karina Smirnoff
Nigerian Idol judges Audu Maikori, Yinka Davies and Jeffrey Daniel. (Photo, courtesy Nigerian Idol)
Edition, Celebrity Big Brother and, most recently, ABC US' decision to order a run of Winter Wipeout to complement the existing version of the madcap physical contest. "The debut series of Winter Wipe-
out rated really well, so ABC can now have two ratings peaks a year," Toumazis says. “For us, it means we can extend the time during which we use our set in Argentina." Indeed, great formats seem to be end-
You can’t walk into a casino in the US without hearing the Wheel Of Fortune theme tune piping out of some machine Paul Gilbert
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MIPFORMATS: THE BIG SHOWS
laborative, team-based character. It's also got a factual-entertainment feel driven by documentary narrative." Does the fact that Family Explorer is the first new show to rate a mention in this piece suggest that broadcasters are allowing their schedules to atrophy? FremantleMedia’s Clark does not believe so. "There has been less risk-taking because of the downturn,” he acknowledges. “But I think that's over. Our impression is that broadcasters are ready to start testing new shows again. All of a sudden there is demand for new ideas." For Clark, this cyclical shift is inevitable in a competitive market: "Being risk-averse can be a risk — because while you wait to see if a show works, your rival may step in." At FremantleMedia, new formats include Total Blackout, which has so far sold to three Scandinavian broadcasters and two Eastern European channels. For Clark, Total Blackout (in which contestants perform silly stunts in pitch darkness) is a significant development, because it comes out of a creative alliance that his company has entered into with Fuji TV of Japan. This builds on an existing relationship between FremantleMedia’s commercial arm, FremantleMedia Enterprises, and Fuji based around the hit show Hole In The Wall. Other new and new(ish) shows include Endemol's The Money Drop, in which contestants start with a large sum of money and see it whittled away as they answer questions. After a strong showing in the UK, the show has been picked by in the US, Turkey, Greece, Russia, Germany, Israel,
You have to be willing to take creative risks Kees Abrahams
The German version of Got Talent (FremantleMedia)
The Price Is Right — the highest rated game show in France in 2010
Spain, Ukraine, Albania and Hungary. In Germany, ZDF’s version, Rette die Million!, hit 6.1 million viewers/19.8% share — 39% up on the channel average. The format has also been a success for Channel Russia, with shares of up to 29.5%. In terms of The Money Drop’s innovations, Toumazis cites two. “First, it’s live, which increases the drama. Second, it has an online component, which allows people at home to play along. For series two in the UK, we had 785,000 online players mirroring the decisions faced by contestants.” SPT’s Kees Abrahams is also witnessing a creative resurgence. “We are about to see NBC take on established talent shows with the Dutch
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format The Voice from John De Mol and Mark Burnett,” he says. “And at SPT, we have The Sing Off, which is based around a-cappella groups. You have to be willing to take creative risks.” At times, it can seem like only a handful of big companies run the primetime format business. But outfits such as Eyeworks, Zodiak, Shine, All3Media, Banijay and SevenOne are starting to shake things up. At MIPCOM, Jens Richter, managing director of ProSiebenSat.1 distribution arm SevenOne International, was in town with 50 scripted and unscripted shows, led by entertainment format My Man Can, in
which four female contestants bet against each other that their husbands or boyfriends can perform best in a series of fun, physical challenges. According to Richter, the show was a big hit for Sat.1 and has now started to break out internationally. A local version has aired on the Jiangsu satellite channel in China and there are deals in place across Italy, France, Iberia and Latin America. Shine, which has a format hit on its hands in the shape of MasterChef, has also stepped up a gear in 2011. January saw it enter into a strategic partnership with Japanese group Yoshimoto Kogyo. Under the new alliance, Shine’s US production arm, Reveille, will partner with Yoshimoto to create original unscripted formats for the US or Japan, and reversion them for international. The first project on the slate is a variety/reality hybrid show called Spice Of Life. While Shine International will handle distribution, the deal is a reminder — as with the FremantleMedia/Fuji pact — of the growing importance of Japanese creativity. Aki Yohiro, CEO of Yoshimoto Kogyo subsidiary Yoshimoto Entertainment, says: “As Yoshimoto Kogyo continues its cross-border expansion into the US and Europe, we see our partnership with Shine International as a template for that growth. Designating quality partners and finding properties to produce and distribute together to bring to a global audience is core to our goals in coming years.”
BIG HITS Britain’s Got Talent pulled an amazing 12.3 million viewers for its final show in June 2010. A season seven episode of The X Factor scored 14.3 million viewers — its highest-ever UK audience.
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FORMATS FOR RMATS
PIMP MY CELEBRITY HOME Thereâ€™s no place like the home of a celebrity Factual Entertainment. Produced by Media Circus
IS THIS FUNNY Anyone can get a shot - or be shot at Entertainment. Produced by Monster Entertainment
THE 7 KILLINGS See inside the mind of a murderer Docudrama. Produced by Selskabet Aps
DROP OUT Ten high school drop outs, ten weeks - one chance Factual Entertainment. Produced by Monster Entertainment
Visit us at our stand no no.. R 31.18 Programming Progr amming that matters
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T H E C H A N G I N G FA C E O F F O R M AT S
Models that work everywhere Gone are the days when a format was a purely TV proposition, firmly tethered to a specific slot in the schedule. Today’s formats are at home on any platform, at any time, in any corner of the world. Andy Fry reports
Next Top Model Vietnam (CBS Paramount International Television)
ODAY the word format is as applicable to factual, children’s and drama programming as it is to primetime franchises such as Idol and Survivor. While there is still a strong emphasis on quality, broadcasters are now looking for content that delivers efficient engagement with audiences. Low-cost, high-volume shows that can be employed strategically in every corner of the schedule are today’s top priorities. And if they can pack a punch in primetime or have an extended life span on the internet, so much the better.
A classic example of this model is ITV’s factual entertainment format Come Dine With Me which, by MIPCOM 2010, had been reversioned in 30 countries. Critical to the show’s success, according to Tobi De Graaff, director of global television distribution at ITV Studios Global Entertainment (ITVS GE), is the fact that it combines cost-efficient production with increased audiences. For this reason, it has become “a very popular and trusted format for international broadcasters to commission”, De Graaff says. His claim is backed up by ITVS GE’s
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sales. At one end of the spectrum, the show has worked well for major broadcasters such as Antena 3 Spain, M6 France and RTL Hungary. At the other, it has proved popular with broadcasters that work with tighter budgets. The Cypriot pubcaster CyBC, for example, starts a run of 65 episodes in early 2011. Even more impressive given the cultural considerations involved, Iranian broadcaster Marian TV has committed to 30 episodes. Another interesting aspect of this deal is that it will be shot in the UK, with Iranian diners flown in.
Food formats in general are proving fantastically fertile. Ranking up alongside Come Dine With Me is MasterChef, managed by Shine International. Originated in 1990, this is another show that has proved highly adaptable, both in terms of where it travels and where it airs in schedules. In terms of landmark deals, Shine has seen MasterChef perform strongly on TF1 France (peaking at 5.9 million viewers; 37% share of women under 50) and Fox US, where it secured solid ratings of 56 million. Like Come Dine With Me,
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it has proved popular with markets where budgets are not so big, such as Romania (Pro TV) and Greece (Mega). Finally, it is showing great cultural adaptability. FremantleMedia Asia acquired the show for Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Singapore, while STAR Plus is lining up an Indian version. Even Peru is on board, with America TV due to launch a local edition this year. The man leading the exploitation strategy for MasterChef is Chris Grant, president of Shine International, who explains: “When we first obtained the rights for MasterChef, it had no international footprint, but we saw its potential as an extremely dynamic and adaptable format.” Grant’s strategy is to build flexible 360-degree brands — and there is no better example of this in action than MasterChef Australia. First up, Shine’s production partner, FremantleMedia, gave the show an elimination element to make it right for a commercial channel like Net-
Cookery School (Zodiak Rights)
work Ten. That decision paid off, with series two scoring Australia’s highest ever audience (4 million). Off the back of the main show’s success, Network Ten has aired Junior MasterChef and Celebrity MasterChef. Off screen, there has been an exhibition event called MasterChef Live. This approach has also been taken in the UK. The success of MasterChef has not been lost on Shine’s rivals. At MIPTV, Zodiak Rights is debuting Cookery School, an eliminationbased show with a strong instructional element at its core. Available as a format, Zodiak also plans to build the brand as a digital and off-air franchise. It is not just food-based factual entertainment that has proved itself exportable. Alongside MasterChef, the other big breakout hit of the last year was Undercover Boss, the Studio Lambert format that reached stratospheric heights on CBS last winter (the seventh most-watched
show of the year). After a special that attracted 17 million viewers, CBS ordered a series. Subsequently, localised versions are being made in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Turkey, Belgium, the Netherlands and Israel. SBS Broadcasting’s head of acquisitions, Rozan Hamaker, says she is looking for “a good mix of returning shows with a proven track record and new shows. We like to be recognisable to viewers by using content they already embrace. But at the same time, we want to surprise them with fresh shows. So last year we bought Undercover Boss as a format and we launched it very successfully on Veronica. With MasterChef, we acquired both the format and the ready-made series for Net5.” While the two shows tackle different subjects, they share a common characteristic, which is that they are feel-good formats. "We want to watch TV and feel happy,” Hamaker says. “This can be done by helping people who really need or deserve it [The Fairy Jobmother, for example] or through fly-on-the wall shows such as Net5's Grenzeloos Verliefd, which follows a girl who leaves everything to go and live with the love of her life abroad. Another trend is guilty-pleasure TV, like Jersey Shore and The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills. It’s tacky but entertaining.” One power-brand that has it all — feel-good, guilty pleasure, elimination and self-improvement — is Next Top Model, which is doing the business for Paul Gilbert, senior vicepresident of international formats at CBS Paramount International Television. “America’s Next Top Model was doing such great business as a tape sale that it was a natural progression into local formats,” he says. Not only has the show been reversioned in major markets including Germany, Poland and Australia, but it is also being produced in several
Armoza Format’s Avi Armoza: “Viewers like to see inside people’s homes”
MTV Networks International’s Caroline Beaton: “There is demand for the quirkier content we create”
SBS’s Rozan Hamaker: ”We like to be recognisable to viewers by using content they already embrace”
Another trend is guilty-pleasure TV — tacky but entertaining Rozan Hamaker
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emerging TV markets, including Croatia and Slovenia. “They have done a terrific job, which proves you can make shows like this very efficiently,” Gilbert adds. “Keep in mind also that they are great product-placement opportunities.” Kees Abrahams, president of international production at Sony Pictures Television (SPT), says his company has developed a slate of fact-ent formats that work across schedules. “For us, the goal has been to become a one-stop shop, providing content across genres and dayparts,” he says. “Dragon’s Den continues to be a major hit for us and we have just sold the format for Plain Jane to MTV. We have also had a lot of success with The Dr Oz Show, a US-syndicated medical-advice show that has sold to Russia, the Middle East and China. It’s a longrunning daily strip show, which can make a valuable contribution to the daytime schedule, and it has adfunded elements.” While the US, the UK and the Netherlands tend to dominate the format arena, companies from other territories have made their mark by combining the cost-efficiency outlined above with close attention to editorial trends. A case in point is Israel’s Armoza Formats, whose social networkingthemed game show Connected has now been optioned in 15 markets and produced in six, including Ukraine (on TV network 1+1) and Romania (Kanal D). This year, company founder and president Avi Armoza is at MIPTV with another format that he believes captures the
Formats require a lot of time and energy Caroline Beaton
Try Sleeping In My Bed (Banijay Entertainment)
cultural zeitgeist. “It’s called Upgrade,” he says. “The show is set in people’s home where they are asked questions. Get the answers right and they can upgrade items in their house, like TVs, fridges and sofas. Get them wrong and they lose their existing items.” Armoza believes Upgrade has a number of things to recommend it: “From an editorial perspective, viewers like to see inside people’s homes — and the idea of upgrading domestic objects fits the economic situation. From a production point of view, you don’t need a studio, which makes it cost effective. It’s also a good vehicle for product placement to supplement the budget.” Another company that has identified formats as an emerging opportunity is Banijay Entertainment, the French group that has been busy putting together a production and distribution network through acquisition and organic growth. Spearheading sales is Karoline Spodsberg, managing director of Banijay International, who shares the view that buyers are taking more risks. “There’s no question that ideas from markets like Scandinavia, Israel and Japan are attracting attention,” she says. “At the same time, we are seeing interest from
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buyers in Asia, South America and the Middle East.” Spodsberg sources a lot of ideas from Scandinavia, a creative and efficient TV market that is great for incubating concepts before they are launched globally. “We have a property game-show format called Sold!, which is doing well in Sweden and Norway,” she adds. “It has now established itself enough for us to roll it out at MIPTV.” Banijay will also be showcasing Try Sleeping In My Bed, a Danish format that took a 35% share on TV2, well ahead of the station average. In the show, a group of women swap families as part of a social experiment into the meaning of happiness. It sounds like Wife Swap, but Spodsberg says the editorial goal of the show is very different: “This is about trying to learn from people who have made different lifestyle choices. The tone is very positive, in keeping with the current mood.” This is not to suggest that the established fact-ent formats have lost their appeal, or that they cannot evolve with the times. Zodiak Rights-distributed Wife Swap continues to win new business, clinching format deals with Sony’s SET channel in India and CTC in
Russia. In recent times, it has gone to a third series on 1+1 Ukraine and a fourth series on Keshet Israel. Tele5 Spain has also ordered a new run of eight. MTV Networks International’s (MTVNI) senior vice-president of programme sales, Caroline Beaton, has been placing greater emphasis on formats in the last year or two. She says: “It’s still not as big a business as tape sales for us, because we have some huge international properties. But as the TV sector recovers, there is demand for the quirkier content we create because it’s great for refreshing schedules.” Looking to MIPTV, the properties that Beaton thinks will do well for MTVNI as formats are Slips, a dragcar racing show, and Moving In, which takes a novel look at dating. “Formats require a lot of time and energy,” she adds. “But we like them as part of our slate for two reasons. First, because they can give shows a new lease of life. Second, because sales executives like to work on them, which gives them a motivational value.” Having said this, Beaton says MTVNI is treading carefully: “We have looked at the possibility of formating Jersey Shore, which has been a huge hit for MTV in the US. But the completed property is so strong that you’d need to find a really good reason to do it.”
MASTERFUL FORMAT Shine has seen MasterChef perform strongly on TF1 France peaking at 5.9 million viewers; and on Fox US, where it secured solid ratings of 5-6 million.
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S C R I P T E D F O R M AT S
You can’t beat a good script As the formats business becomes increasingly global and increasingly sophisticated, so the scripted format becomes an increasingly important part of the formats roster. Andy Fry reports Cheers, among classic series identified by CBS as having potential as a scripted format
HE BUSINESS of scripted formats is growing fast. Sony Pictures Television began to move into this space in a big way around five years ago, says Kees Abrahams: “Now, it is about half of our business. We have had a lot of success with local versions of sitcoms such as Everybody Loves Raymond, Married With Children and The Nanny.” The first two shows have been reversioned for Russia, while The Nanny has been re-made for several markets, including Korea, Argentina, Indonesia, Poland and Turkey. “The situation is not that different to nonscripted,” Abrahams adds. “We have hundreds of scripts that can be adapted, which provides reassurance for broadcasters.” At CBS, classics including I Love Lucy and The Odd Couple have been being re-versioned for decades. “But last year we made a major move into this area, identifying more than 30 comedy and drama brands, such as Cheers, Frasier and The Love Boat,” Gilbert says. “Scripted deals take longer than non-scripted, but we have two ver-
sions of Dynasty in production [in Indonesia and the Middle East] and we can see this becoming a big part of our business.” The US is not the only market to sell scripted formats successfully, of course. Mexican broadcaster Televisa has built up a substantial business re-versioning telenovelas in Eastern Europe and Asia. Last year’s highlight was a deal with China Central Television (CCTV) for a localised version of Distilling Love. That deal was sealed after the original version had already been a hit on CCTV-8, the pubcaster’s drama channel. As with non-scripted, Avi Armoza says the pressure to make quality shows on a tight budget has allowed Israeli producers to punch above their weight in the scripted space. “Our police drama The Naked Truth was reversioned by Lionsgate/HBO,” he says. “I think the pressures we operate under force us to be creative and innovative.” Scripted formats tend to militate in favour of high episode/script volumes. This has been a problem for British producers, who are usually
commissioned for short-run series. However, there has been something of a sea change as US cable networks start picking up UK ideas and expanding them. Recent examples are Torchwood (to Starz), Being Human (to Syfy) and Skins (to MTV). This is part of a broader trend towards formats brought about by the US cable networks commissioning more original content. And the Brits are not the only beneficiaries. CBSowned cable channel The CW is to air a pilot of the German legal drama Danni, distributed internationally by SevenOne International. Meanwhile, Oprah Winfrey’s network OWN is re-versioning the Swedish reality format Home Delivery after a deal with the Scandinavian formats house Strix. Strix International director Mia Engstrom says: "This is the first US launch for a Strix format. It is a highly entertaining show, which will give a European flavour to the US audience". Against the backdrop of such developments, there are those who believe the barriers to entry in formats have come right down. Take Jago Lee and
John Farrar, two experienced factual producers who recently set up production company NERD (New Entertainment Research & Design), with backing from Survivor creator and executive producer Charlie Parsons. “I think there’s room for smaller producers to make a mark if they have distinctive ideas,” Lee says. “We are currently working on a game-based project for Discovery called The Maze.” Lee believes the key to the project is its location — an underground city built by the Ministry Of Defence — and the on-screen talent, an expert in covert military operations. He adds: “As long as you have that kind of access and authority, I think there are opportunities out there.”
THE CLASSICS CBS has identified more than 30 comedy and drama brands for Possible re-versioning, including Cheers, Frasier and The Love Boat.
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The Golden Bell Challenge (KBS Media)
NEW TRADING ROUTES
Asia raises its game Japan has blazed a trail in international format sales. Now, as Marlene Edmunds discovers, several other Asian players are on that path to global success
SIA is carving out new global format trading routes, inking creative partnerships and signing new international pacts as never before. Not surprisingly, Japan is the market leader when it comes to the international Asian format trade, but China and Korea are making moves to catch up. Japan’s largest commercial broadcaster, Fuji Television Network Television, is leading the pack when it comes to sheer energy and volume of activity on the format front. FremantleMedia last October unveiled Total Blackout, the first format to come out of the Creative Exchange Alliance that the two companies had forged six months earlier at MIPTV. The alliance is aimed at co-devel-
oping and co-producing new TV formats for the international marketplace. The announcement was a border breaker but no less so than the launch a month earlier of China state broadcaster CCTV’s local version of FremantleMedia game show Hole In The Wall. That format originated in Japan on Fuji TV network in 2006, was picked up by FremantleMedia in 2007 and has since sold to some 40 territories. Fuji is also charging ahead on its own. The company, whose format Iron Chef has also seen success across the globe, last year formed a worldwide production and sales division, headed by Akihiro Arai, a veteran producer responsible for some of Fuji’s biggest hit pro-
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grammes over the last years. . Tokyo Broadcasting System Television (TBS) has been selling formats internationally since 1986, chiefly through a long-standing relationship with Bellon Entertainment. TBS’ success has laid the foundations for the current popularity of Japanese formats and programming with classics such as Waku Waku Animal Land, which has been airing in China and the Netherlands for 13 years, and America’s Funniest Home Videos. That is still airing on the ABC Network in the US after 21 years. More recently, says Makito Sugiyama, chief of international programme sales for TBS, Sasukebased Ninja Warrior and Takeshi’s Castle-based MXC: Most Extreme
Elimination Challenge have established impressive track records. That includes a move to DVD and selling to iTunes, a first for a Japanese game show. TBS has also sold game show Get 100 to the BBC, where it is being aired on CBBC, and Brain Survivor to Nickelodeon in the US,
They come at the business from a point of view to which format dealers and licensors in the West might give some thought David Lyle
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where as BrainSurge it has moved into its third season. Indonesian channel MNCTV in late 2010 began airing Batsu Bidding, a format launched in early 2009 on TBS as Kiriuri and later sold to FremantleMedia. Japan’s TV Asahi has also moved to expand its international-format reach by bringing in veteran outfit Absolutely Independent to represent it internationally. Of six TV Asahi formats, Rank My Boyfriend and Cell Phone Temptation have already sold to the US, Cell Phone Temptation has been optioned to India and Battle of The Exes was optioned to France. Patty Geneste, CEO of Absolutely Independent, believes that Japanese formats have led international sales because Japan is a good test-bed for out-of-the-box, funny game shows. “Japanese people know how to make fun of themselves without losing their dignity, and the world can learn from that.” She admits that Japanese formats are distinctive and do sometimes “need some work. But the themes are quite universal and that makes them suitable for adaptation.” Japanese public broadcaster NHK has been involved with a number of formats including as On-Air Battle, which has been on air for 11 years and was responsible for starting the careers of many comedians in Japan. NHK Enterprises [NEP], the international arm of the pubcaster, plans to become more active in the field of formats, says Shigeru Aoki, cor-
porate officer of NEP’s international business department. He points out that NHK formats are intended to be entertaining but informative as well. “The aim is overall quality, a sense of fairness and morality, but also being entertaining. In On-Air Battle, for example, it is the audience watching the stage who vote and decide which comedian will appear on air.” China’s interest in formats is growing exponentially, with a little help from major format brokers. David Lyle, president of Fox Look, says his recent trip to China highlighted several changes in attitude about formats in Asia. “The large national broadcasters really want internationally successful formats, and they are very competitive. “What is interesting is that they come at the format business from a completely different point of view and it is one to which format dealers and licensors in the West might give some thought. They see the benefit of licensing successful formats from an economic, not
intellectual property point of view.” Lyle says broadcasters in China do understand that it isn’t enough just to emulate a show, but rather that there is an economic benefit to licensing a product that includes the production expertise that comes with that licensing. “That often means experts flying in to make sure that a format launches successfully.” But Lyle detects an important wake-up call for the industry. “Thou shall not steal and the principles of intellectual property are all well and good, but it is not only about that. The licensee should receive real and clear economic benefits and commercial efficiencies with the format of a property.” China wants big shows that stand out, Lyle says, and Fox Look is giving them one in its deal for Big Family Game Night with CCTV. “In the US the show is played with teams of two parents and two children. For China, we have turned what at first blush might have been a negative, the one-child-family policy, into a very big positive and we’ve
Endemol Asia’s Arjen van Mierlo: “Rights issues are still of some concern” brought in the grandparents on this. This is a very interesting turnaround and one that very much respects cultural differences.” Lyle adds that across Asia the Hasbro brand has been a barrier-breaker for Fox Look. “One thing about Asia is that they are far more competitive, and they are looking for ways to break through. So when you go with some of the most beloved brands in
There is no one Asia but there are groups of countries each with their own culture and viewing habits Arjen van Mierlo
A version of Jerry Seinfeld’s The Marriage Ref marks the partnership between Endemol Asia and Jiangsu Broadcasting Corporation
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the world — Hasbro games — attached to the offering, it somehow jet-powers the proposition.” Endemol has made considerable inroads across Asia, including a deal last year for Jerry Seinfeld’s The Marriage Ref, the first partnership between Endemol Asia and Jiangsu Broadcasting Corporation. Endemol has also sold International King Of Sport to Sichuan TV, 1 Vs 100 to Hunan TV, and The Best Years Of Our Lives to Shanghai Media Group’s Dragon TV. Endemol CEO Asia Arjen van Mierlo says rights issues are still of some concern: “China is a territory where protection of rights has been worrisome, and formats are the most vulnerable.” Endemol, like most of others, has faced one or more infringements in China, he says, adding that the situation is getting better. “Chinese companies are more and more operating according international standards and are seeing the advantage of long-term close relationships with international companies.” He believes Chinese home-grown formats becoming internationally successful will help speed up the development of honouring copyrights. Van Mierlo provides some insight into the different tastes for formats on the Asian continent. “There is no one Asia but there are groups of countries each with their own culture and viewing habits. China does not have a lot of game shows compared to some other countries since there is a relatively low cap on prize money to give away. Instead, it has a lot of dating and relationship shows. “In Vietnam we see a decline in game shows in favour of talent shows. South Korea has a taste that is slightly closer to the western culture than the Japanese market is. India has in addition to a growing number of international formats still a lot local ‘song and dance’ programmes. Indonesia, although rather western,
The Indian version of Minute To Win It for Sony India’s AXN network
has certain limitations, such as gambling elements in shows.” Endemol recently sealed deals with Indonesia’s IVM for 20 Little Piggy Banks and Show Me What You’ve Got, the latter a high-octane game show that had already had several successful runs in Vietnam on VTV3. Endemol had previously sold 1 Vs 100 to IVM. Endemol is increasingly working with local producers and broadcasters to create ideas for local
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markets, Van Mierlo says, adding: “We do not want to depend only on our own creativity.” It entered into a deal with Malaysian satellite operator Astro to co-develop original formats. Malaysia, as Astro has demonstrated, is intent on upping its game on the format front. NBC Universal has entered a co-production partnership with Astro to produce its game show format Minute To Win It. The two partners have built a
production-hub model in Kuala Lumpur and plan to produce formats of Minute To Win It for the Asian market. The show has already sold to 32 territories, but the partnership with Astro is NBC Universal’s first co-production for the format. An Indian version for Sony India’s AXN network has also been shot at the hub. Yvonne Pilkington, senior vice-president, formats, NBCU International Television Production, says the deal with Astro is interesting because the Malaysian company has high-quality production talent and facilities, as well as management with an international outlook. Producing its own formats is the priority, but she adds: “We are always open to new ideas, and piloting new concepts at the hub is something we definitely have in our sights.” Endemol’s local rendition of Wipeout in India is changing the perception of what a game show should be. Endemol India managing director Deepak Dhar says until now India has been exposed to conventional game shows but with Wipeout “we have aimed to guarantee an emotional roller-coaster, along with the requisite pressurecooker situations. This is something that really works on Indian telly.” Korea has raised its game when it comes to getting into the format industry, but it has hurdles to overcome. Korea Creative Content
We aimed to guarantee an emotional rollercoaster, along with the requisite pressure-cooker situations. That really works on Indian telly Deepak Dhar
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Big Family Game Night — the CCTV version brings the grandparents into the game
Agency (KOCCA) has lent its support to the format industry, including bringing producers to Cannes so they can observe the latest trends. Jessie KM Jeong, senior manager, KOCCA broadcasting industry promotion team, says the introduction of four cable channels in Korea this year is likely to not only push up demand for new formats but also stimulate more investment in new productions inside the country. Among KOCCA formats being sold internationally are: The Golden Bell Challenge, a quiz show targeting adolescents, from KBS Media; Man & Woman, from CJ Media, a format that looks at how the behaviour of men and women differs. And After Love — Take Care Of My Ex, from
Everyshow is a fresh look at breaking up, with players setting up dates for his or her ex. In 2010, Korea’s Opticon linked up with two European companies, Metmedia International in Amsterdam and Global Baseline in Cologne, to form a TV format production, exploitation and distribution bridge called EurAsia Creative Content Group. The alliance is being billed as a one-stop solution to getting formats out of Asia into Europe and the US, and getting US and European formats into Asia. There are stumbling blocks, Ryan JH Lee, CEO of Seoul-based Opticon, a company that also specialises in interactive content, admits. As a former Endemol international executive looking after
Korea, China, Hong Kong and Japan, he knows the business. The alliance, in fact is a compendium of former Endemol executives, among them Metmedia’s Henk-Jan Rutgers, former Endemol international director of operations. Global Baseline is managed by former Big Brother consulting producer Joost Roset and writer Diana Knezevic. Lee notes that, other than Japan, there is a lack of internationally appealing formats coming from Asia but, as well, there are also intellectual property issues. “The IPR is usually owned by the broadcasters, and they have little incentive to sell internationally.” He adds that there is also a lack of people who understand the format
business in Asia, with its very different content. “There is, outside of Japan, little or no focus on format shows.”
STAR-MAKER The format On-Air Battle has been on air on NHK for 11 years and was responsible for starting the careers of many comedians in Japan.
Focus on Asia Sunday, April 3 — 10.20 - 11.20 Auditorium A, level 3
Full Conference Programme Inside
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WELCOME TO MIPFormats ACCESSING MIPFormats • Registration hours
• Opening hours
Saturday 2 April: …………………………………………………13.00-19.00
Saturday 2 April: …………………………………………………14.00-19.00
Sunday 3 April:
Sunday 3 April:
CONFERENCES & EVENTS NEW THIS YEAR: A lounge area with free Wi-Fi service and coffee will be available to all MIPFormats participants.
Don’t miss MIPFormats official events:
• Format Launch Cocktail, MIPFormats conferences are open to all participants on presentation of their badge. These sessions will be held in the Grand Auditorium and Auditorium A of the Palais des Festivals. Consult the conference & event programme in this Preview Magazine or visit www.mipformats.com for further details.
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Saturday 2 April, from 19.00, Majestic Hotel.
• Networking Lunch,
Sunday 3 April, from 13.00, Majestic Hotel.