The Traitors Hailed as “Format of the Year”


K7 Media’s Tracking the Giants survey was unveiled at MIPFormats, with Michelle Lin, head of data and analysis at the research firm, highlighting the strengths of the sector, the emerging trend of adventure reality and last year’s most successful rollouts, with All3Media International’s The Traitors taking the crown of “Format of the Year” for its 11 new adaptations in 2023.

There were more than 1,700 active format adaptations around the world in 2023, Lin said. “Year-on-year we have 14 percent growth in format adaptations. The format industry has never been so robust.”

The Traitors launched 11 brand-new adaptations last year, topping the winner for the last four years, The Masked Singer, and up from 7 last year. There are nine new versions coming up in 2024, Lin noted. “The Traitors has pushed a wave of gamified, structured reality shows,” Lin said. Fremantle’s Family Feud had nine launches, and LOL: Last One Laughing had eight.

Family Feud reflects the trend of classic show revivals, Lin noted, as well as the continued demand for game shows. “Buyers now seek track records to avert risk.”

There was a 67 percent gain in revivals last year, Lin said, with other key reboots including Cash Cab, Deal or No Deal and Let’s Make a Deal.

In terms of new brands, the “Rising Format Star” went to Banijay’s Good Luck Guys. The “Streamer Format Star” is LOL: Last One Laughing on Prime Video, which has emerged as the biggest buyer of unscripted formats around the world in 2023, Lin said. The format to watch in 2024 is Talpa Studios’ The Floor.

The K7 study also ranks the shows with the most format adaptations around the world. That list is topped by ITV Studios’ The Voice, which has 40 active adaptations, with another 30 in brand extensions, making it “Franchise of the Year.” The top global formats ranking also includes Dragons’ Den, Got Talent and MasterChef, all with 30-plus adaptations.

For the second year in a row, Banijay is the top distributor with its 163 new launches in 2023. This was an increase of 12 percent on 2022, Lin noted. “They distribute around 30 percent of the global total. Its nearest competitor is Fremantle, with 97 new launches last year. It has 300-plus active versions and almost 20 percent of global format adaptations.”

The top exporting markets remain the U.S., U.K. and the Netherlands, although the U.K. did see a slight decline. The U.S., the Netherlands, Japan and France all saw gains, while South Korea had a decline in its 2023 format exports. The top importers are Germany, Spain and Belgium.

In terms of genres, entertainment dominates with 53 percent of format adaptations. The sub-genres of game shows and talent experienced gains, while adventure reality, with shows like Destination X and Survivor, is picking up steam.