All3Media International & TBS Showcase Co-Developed Format


Nick Smith, executive VP of formats at All3Media International, and Shun Fukaya, head of format development at Tokyo Broadcasting System Television (TBS), discussed the new co-developed format Lovers or Liars? in a session at MIPTV moderated by World Screen’s Mansha Daswani.

Lovers or Liars? is the first project to emerge from the co-development pact sealed between All3Media and TBS. All3Media’s North One Productions boarded the development of the studio entertainment format, in which a celebrity panel tries to identify the real married couple out of four pairs of contestants.

“Because we were going to share the rights, we were very clear that if we were going to co-develop, we needed to work with someone we get along with and have the same goals,” Smith said. “Also, they need to bring something to the table. The beauty of us working with TBS is that they bring something that is different from what we bring. So the two cultures coming together has worked really well.”

Discussing the benefits of co-developing this property, Smith noted, “We both brought ideas the other party raised their eyebrows at. There was an idea for a hidden camera. When that was suggested, it came from the TBS side, we thought, Wow, that’s risky! But it works so well. I don’t think it’s something we would have come up with.”

The decision to include dance choreography, meanwhile, came from the All3Media side. “We don’t have a dancing culture,” Fukuya said. “We did not know how to direct the segment, but we decided to try it, and it came out to be very interesting. We could learn from each other’s ways of directing a show.”

On the format’s international appeal, Smith responded: “When we first started working together, we thought about what genres we wanted to work in: dating or social experiment? We haven’t done either, but we kind of have. It’s touching on those areas. And we all love to people-watch. What’s their relationship? Are they dating? Are they related? Do they even know each other? Have they met before tonight? Are they on their first date? The annoying thing about that is you never actually get to find out if you were right. Whereas in this show, you get to watch how people deal with each other, their body language, what they say, and you make your predictions, and at the end of the show you find out, so you get that satisfaction. There’s some singing in the show and some dancing. There are loads of singing and dancing shows out there, but they are always looking at talent. You’re not looking to see who’s a good singer. You’re looking for clues as to who is in relationship.”

As for its ability to be adapted in a diverse array of territories and at different budget levels, Fukuya added: “This format can be adapted in any country; singing, dancing and reading love letters are global themes. As a producer, I can say that this format can be created at a low production budget. Everything can be finished in the studio. You can also create it as a luxury shiny-floor entertainment show. We have a good range of production budgets.”