Izzet Pinto, the founder and CEO of Global Agency, talks to TV Formats about the cooking competition format My Wife Rules.
A cash prize of $10,000 is at stake for the winning couple in the cooking competition format My Wife Rules. The show, which Global Agency has placed into a slew of countries already, features a spin: husbands do the cooking while guided by their wives, who are delivering instructions through an earpiece. The wives will later take part in a blind taste test.
The show was inspired by another successful Global Agency format, Blind Taste, which was developed by the same creator as the hits Shopping Monsters and Joker. “Blind Taste received good attention from many countries, including France, but the French broadcaster needed more of a twist in the format,” explains Izzet Pinto, the founder and CEO of Global Agency. “We worked closely with the producers of Shopping Monsters in France together with the creator of Blind Taste. The two companies, Turkish and French, came up with a co-development idea, added some twists, and then we got My Wife Rules. It’s a joint creation of Hervé Hubert Productions and Erdi Yapım.”
My Wife Rules was licensed to France 2, which has now aired almost 100 episodes. The show holds a daily slot Monday to Friday. The series has more than doubled its share since going on air, according to Pinto. “Everybody is really happy with it!”
Last MIPTV, Global Agency put a strong marketing focus on My Wife Rules and closed several deals as a result. The format was recently picked up by Mediacorp in Algeria, SBT in Brazil and Kanal D in Romania. It has been optioned in Finland, Russia, MENA, Spain, Poland, Germany, Greece, Cyprus and Italy, as well as in the U.S. and U.K. “For 2017, it was our best-selling new format,” says Pinto.
It airs daily in access prime time in nearly all the markets where it’s broadcast. The Brazilian version, however, will be a weekly series. Pinto also believes that the U.S. treatment, if given the green light, would be positioned as a weekly.
The various international adaptations have all stuck strictly to the rules of the French original as well, with not much tweaking taking place. The core mechanics are as follows: A chef demonstrates a recipe to the wives in competing couples, who are not allowed to take notes. They then leave the kitchen and their husbands step up to the stove. Communicating only through an earpiece, the wives must get their husbands to cook the exact same dish without any experience or knowledge of what they are preparing. Once the 60 minutes are up, the dishes will be sampled while blindfold and the wives give points for effort. The chef will also judge and comment along the way. The couple with the most points at the end of each show is the winner.
Pinto highlights that My Wife Rules is rather cost-effective to produce. One of the most important elements for ensuring its success, he says, is the casting. “This is a show that could be in any country; it’s a format with great potential.”