The success of The Masked Singer in the U.S. was the subject of much discussion among professionals in the format industry at MIPFormats and MIPTV. Could the bizarre celebrity singing competition be the Next Big Thing the industry is clamoring for? Is Korea the hot new format exporter? The MBC-originated format did make headlines during the week as Televisa Studios and Endemol Shine Boomdog revealed they are partnering to bring the show to Mexico. Meanwhile, Korean content giant CJ ENM secured an option with Tresor TV in Germany for its music competition format 300: War of United Voices following a deal with Endemol Shine in France. Smart Dog Media’s Craig Plestis—who brought The Masked Singer to the U.S.—is working on a U.S. adaptation.
Korea wasn’t the only Asian market in the spotlight. Endemol Shine China and Hunan TV—which made a big promotional push on Super-Vocal at the market—unveiled Acting Up, the first project to emerge from their co-pro pact. Japan’s Nippon TV announced a Thai deal on the game-show format Block Out, and unveiled an alliance with Incognita to bring the scripted formats Mother and Woman–My Life for My Children– to France. ABS-CBN Corporation also had some scripted format news to announce with A Mother’s Guilt heading to Turkey.
It was entertainment format news that dominated the week though. Marco Bassetti, CEO of Banijay Group, used his MIPTV keynote to announce that ABC had picked up Don’t, a new original game show created by Banijay Studios North America with Ryan Reynolds on board as executive producer. “Our goal is to create formats; that is the base of our business model—creating formats that can be successful in other countries and distributed and produced in other countries,” Bassetti said in his keynote, which was moderated by World Screen’s Anna Carugati.
That session also featured Banijay France CEO François de Brugada, who weighed in on the challenges of keeping returning brands fresh. “Keeping your big brands as successful as they were in the past and making them progress is a tough job,” de Brugada said. “You need teams that are able to polish your diamonds daily. From one season to the next, each of these shows has been transformed.”
How to build new concepts into successful, returning formats dominated many of the panels at MIPFormats. Among the shows in the spotlight was Million Dollar Mile, airing on CBS and headed to France 2, with World Screen’s Anna Carugati moderating a session with Warner Bros.’ Andrew Zein and Fly on the Wall Entertainment’s Jeff Anderson. Carugati also sat down with Revital Basel, managing director of networks at Keshet International, about the company’s near-future reality show 2025. In another MIPFormats session, Global Agency’s Izzet Pinto, BBC Studios’ Sumi Connock, The Story Lab’s Fotini Paraskakis and Ascendo TV’s Nathalie Wogue discussed their experiences working with paper formats and spoke about commissioners being more open to taking risks.
Emerging opportunities with digital players was also a key theme across MIPFormats sessions, including the one on live shows moderated by World Screen’s Kristin Brzoznowski. MTV International’s Matt Risley discussed the Facebook Watch game show MTV Stax and noted how it engages with fans. The two other panelists, ITV Studios Global Entertainment’s Cecilie Olsen and A&E’s Elaine Frontain Bryant, discussed Operation Live and Live PD, respectively, two shows made for linear networks that have found huge traction on social media.
Live formats have not yet emerged as a major force in the global entertainment landscape, one that remains dominated by game shows, talent and factual entertainment. Game show deals unveiled last week include Dori Media Group selling Power Couple into Mexico and the U.S. Hispanic markets, and Dream Houses, distributed by Global Agency, being optioned by Critical Content for the U.S. and U.K. markets. Fremantle’s sports-reality format Match Fit is heading to Denmark on TV2, while Vivendi Entertainment’s factual-entertainment format Facing the Classroom will be adapted in Poland and the Middle East. Armoza Formats secured a commission for Dance Revolution in Lithuania with LNK. Banijay’s reality adventure show Shipwrecked is headed to RTL2 in Germany. BBC Studios announced a new market for The Great Bake Off, Kenya, and its first deal on Pressure Cooker, which was picked up by HRT 2 in Croatia.
Partnerships was another key theme of the week, with Keshet International and Russian broadcaster NTV aligning for the entertainment talent-show format Drive Master and Fremantle and Mediaset Spain teaming up on the entertainment format Game of Talents.
Catch up on all these stories and more on TVFormats.ws.