MIPTV: The Week in Formats

With a looming writers’ strike in the U.S. and broadcasters and platforms eager to deliver cost-effective programming amid financial concerns, the global formats business is gearing up for a potential new boom, borne out by the wealth of news that emerged from MIPTV and MIPFormats last week.

Ahead of the market’s official opening, ZDF Studios revealed it has teamed up with Tom Gamlich and Jan Fritzowsky to launch CONTENT LADEN, which will focus on the development and production of factual entertainment formats. “The foundation of CONTENT LADEN is an investment in creativity and innovation,” said Dr. Markus Schäfer, president and CEO of ZDF Studios. “We want to create outstanding formats and, in doing so, achieve long-term, sustainable growth.”

Ruth Berry, managing director of ITV Studios’ global commercial division, used her Media Mastermind keynote on Tuesday to showcase some of the company’s new offerings and highlight the strengths of its megaformat brands, which include Love Island and The Voice. “What’s important about having these brands is they are sustainable and they keep growing and we can refresh them, grow them, expand them,” Berry told delegates. “We’re doing that. Some of the brands are evolving into new evolutions. They are also delivering year on year. Looking at how we extend those brands, how we reach into different audiences. We’ve learned an enormous amount from Love Island. It sits largely in that 16-to-34 bracket. Where those audiences are finding their content is not through EPGs, it’s through social media and other things. How we extend those brands into those mediums is really important. We’ve created an experience for The Voice in the metaverse. You’ll see Hell’s Kitchen content going into the metaverse. We’re starting to look at how those brands live and breathe beyond the TV screen.”

And speaking of Love Island, that buzzy hit was back in the news with Peacock unveiling a first-ever spin-off, Love Island Games, bringing together previous contestants from the U.S., U.K., Australia and beyond.

The market last week featured a case study on one of the landscape’s newest megaformats, with the team behind All3Media International’s The Traitorsdiscussing what has turned that property into one of the best-selling brands today. The company announced last week six new deals on idtv’s “intelligent reality” show, taking the total number of local versions to 20. “idtv’s highly adaptable format has not only notched up an impressive number of international versions in just two years, it has also succeeded in truly capturing the public’s attention wherever it airs, leading to most broadcasters already commissioning second seasons,” said Nick Smith, executive VP of formats at All3Media International. “Many viewers are looking for more depth and substance in their reality shows, and The Traitors really taps into that ‘intelligent reality’ trend, delivering an addictive game of deception, skill and trust that keeps the audience guessing until the very last episode.”

Meanwhile, the brand-new Belgian adventure reality competition format Destination X, showcased in a large bus outside the Palais, notched up a co-commission with the BBC and NBCUniversal following its success on VTM in Belgium. Kate Phillips, director of unscripted at the BBC, noted: “Following the must-see success of The Traitors, I’m delighted that once again we’re partnering with NBCUniversal on another very smart, very addictive and very innovative competition show. With countless red herrings and brain-teasing clues, we were gripped from the start. It promises to be a hugely challenging adventure for our ten brave contestants, with plenty of play-along for all BBC viewers, as everyone hopes they’ve got the X that marks the spot!”

FOX Alternative Entertainment (FAE) has high hopes for the two new series unveiled last week created under its International Unscripted Format Fund: Beat My Mini-Mes (w.t.) for France’s TF1 and Marriage Market (w.t.) for Germany’s ProSieben. “We specifically designed this Format Fund to partner with international buyers to identify, develop and introduce new programs that expand FAE’s slate of owned content and, in success, serve as a platform for future success on FOX in the U.S.,” said Allison Wallach, president of unscripted programming at FOX Entertainment. “In Beat My Mini-Mes and TF1, and Marriage Market and ProSieben, we have the perfect combination of what we’re striving for with this initiative—unique formats with unlimited potential on a global scale and great partners with an impressive track record of innovation.”

FAE also served as a partner on the MIPFormats Pitch, which was won by Show Must Go On. The Turkish company formatworkshop was presented with a prize of $5,000 for development and has the opportunity for Show Must Go On to be pitched to global buyers as part of FOX’s $100 million International Unscripted Format Fund.

Last week also saw Japan’s Tokyo Broadcasting System Television (TBS) host an independent format pitch event, THE TALK OF TOKYO, showcasing three new properties it believes have international potential. Orange Smarty arrived at MIPTV with three new formats, including the BBC One show Scarlett’s Driving School. And Global Agency announced a Vietnamese slot for its prime-time entertainment show Blind Duets.

Returning brands that made headlines last week included BBC Studios’ The 1% Club, created by Magnum Media, which landed additional seasons in Israel, France and Germany; Banijay’s competition format Star Academy, which is being adapted by Endemol Shine Israel for Reshet 13; and the Red Arrow Studios International format Stranded on Honeymoon Island, with Seven Network in Australia ordering a local version.

Catch up on these stories and more on TVFormats.ws, screen trailers of hot new and returning brands on TVFormatsScreenings.com and visit our recent TV Formats Screenings Festival to learn more about the best concepts available on the market today.