Melanie Leach, chief executive of the Twofour Group, talks to TV Formats about the competition format Take the Tower.
Adrenaline abounds in Take the Tower, which draws inspiration from classic Hollywood action movies to create a challenge show like no other. Twofour is producing the 6×1-hour series for ITV4.
“We knew ITV4 was interested in finding an entertainment format that had the potential to connect with a male-skewing audience, so the world of action movies felt like a good place to start,” says Melanie Leach, chief executive of the Twofour Group. “Take the Tower is a physical game show that tests contestants’ film knowledge while also challenging them to complete movie-related physical challenges in order to win a dream holiday for the group. But getting a seat on the plane isn’t easy. Every time they fail a mission, one of them gets thrown off the top of the tower.”
The series is hosted by Hollywood action hero Dolph Lundgren, known to audiences around the world from Rocky IV, Universal Soldier and The Expendables blockbusters, as well as the upcoming films Aquaman and Creed II. Lundgren will challenge some of the toughest members of the public to a combination of physical trials and quiz questions. “Dolph is one of the world’s most iconic action-movie stars and will no doubt drive interest in the show internationally,” says Leach. “We’re confident that every non-English-speaking country also has their own suite of movie stars that they’ll draw on to fulfill the role of Take the Tower’s ‘baddie’.”
The set has been designed to feel exactly like a tower; each level in the building reveals a different physical challenge and the lift transports the contestants via a lobby, where they engage in film-related quiz questions. When a team fails to win a challenge, one of the members is sent to the Penthouse, where Dolph is waiting for them.
“Contestants must be quick, adaptable and up for an adventure,” says Leach. “Movie knowledge is an advantage but ingenuity and an ability to think on your feet are just as important. The show is very inclusive and should hopefully appeal to a wide audience regardless of age, gender or physical fitness.”
She adds that the format will be easy to adapt in many markets around the world. “Movies have a strong universal appeal, so the games have a familiarity that we hope will appeal worldwide,” Leach says. “The series also lends itself to a hub production model, where a number of territories make use of the same set builds.”
While the show skews slightly male, in line with the ITV4 audience, Twofour believes the series will appeal to “anybody who enjoys entertaining physical game shows,” says Leach. “Take the Tower doesn’t take itself too seriously. A comedy script and the sheer absurdity of the concept ensure that there’s plenty of entertainment for audiences who may not be film buffs.”
Take the Tower fits in with the type of shows that Twofour hopes to offer global buyers, Leach says. “Twofour constantly strives to deliver unique, arresting and bold formats to our broadcast partners. From groundbreaking factual to form-busting factual entertainment, our ethos is to try and create ideas that sound unlike anything else in the market. So with that in mind, the idea of getting a Hollywood movie star to push contestants off the top of his tower is really just a natural progression.”