Goshu Segawa, manager of the global business department at Tokyo Broadcasting System Television (TBS), tells TV Formats about the independent format pitch event THE TALK OF TOKYO, set for MIPTV.

THE TALK OF TOKYO will put the spotlight on three formats, two of which are brand-new non-scripted entertainment shows and one a standout scripted title. They are the cash-prize competitions Kamiwaza: The Superhuman Skill Show and OUTSING the CHOIR! and the scripted thriller My Family, which is currently streaming worldwide on Disney+.

“The event is a showcase of both non-scripted and scripted formats that literally became ‘THE TALK OF TOKYO,’” says Segawa. “Therefore, the event not only introduces the most appealing formats offered by TBS, but also gives a chance for buyers to understand the latest trends in the Japanese market through the titles.”

Kamiwaza: The Superhuman Skill Show debuted in May 2021, gaining the highest share among viewers in the 13-to-49 age group. Eight episodes have aired in total, the most recent in January 2023 becoming a smash hit with youth audiences with 31.9 percent share of the hard-to-reach demographic of children 4 to 9, plus scoring a number one spot for the teens and male viewers 20 to 34, proving a clear success for young viewers. The show has now been commissioned and is scheduled to air in a regular prime-time slot slated from this April.

Inspired by stunts found on social media, the mischievous producers of Kamiwaza create notoriously difficult challenges for a mixed group of celebrity and civilian contestants to compete on the show. Each one-hour episode can be produced flexibly in terms of structure and timing but typically features three challenges that can be localized to the territory’s audience.

“For Kamiwaza, the unique point is that in this show, contestants attempt to pull off unbelievable challenges mainly [from] viral videos that emphasize activities found in our everyday lives,” says Segawa. “The challenges in the show are still difficult, but its casual setting makes it somewhat imaginable for contestants to succeed.”

OUTSING the CHOIR! began airing in prime time on TBS as a segment of another popular program, Banana Sand, and saw a 35 percent increase in ratings among both males and females 13 to 49 since it started airing. The OUTSING the CHOIR! “Best Selections Special” was rated number one in the 20-to-34 age group for both male and female viewers.

The musical game show features two teams of contestants facing off in a singing showdown. Each contestant must sing their chosen song perfectly while not getting thrown off by the live, in-studio choir. While this may seem like any singer’s dream, in reality, it’s every singer’s nightmare. At first, the choir accompanies each contestant with a beautiful harmony, but as the song approaches the chorus, the choir shifts into a specially created melody that distracts even the best singers, making it almost impossible to continue singing in the correct key.

OUTSING the CHOIR! is truly unique in the way that it is the only existing singing-with-distraction game show that distracts the singing musically, utilizing a choir,” Segawa says. “In the original show, the celebrity contestants enjoyed the game so much, especially when they failed to sing correctly with a good laugh, that most of them returned to the show repeatedly.”

Meanwhile, the scripted format My Family has won numerous awards in its home territory and is TBS’s most promoted drama of 2023. The scripted series is about familial bonds under the most terrifying circumstances. Lead character Haruto is a husband and father who lives a seemingly ideal life in a gorgeous suburban home with his beautiful wife and young daughter—until everything gets turned upside down when his daughter is taken in a serial kidnapping. This is when Haruto and his wife are forced to seriously reassess their priorities and choose not to get help from the police.

My Family stands out from other crime thrillers, as the drama series follows the struggle of a married couple attempting to find and recover their kidnapped daughter, but doing so without any police involvement whatsoever,” Segawa says. “The viewers will enjoy a roller coaster of thrills as the story goes through numerous twists and turns and as their understanding of the characters are deceived multiple times.”

THE TALK OF TOKYO showcase will take place in Auditorium K at the Palais des Festivals starting on Monday, April 17, at 11:30 a.m.

“TBS’s formats stand out in both originality and affinity for the worldwide content market, due to the process of selecting and developing formats from shows aired on our terrestrial channel,” Segawa says. “This process is based on the knowledge of producing and distributing globally successful formats such as Ninja Warrior with partners Bellon Entertainment and TBS GLOWDIA, and the close study of successful formats from all over the world.”