TV FORMATS SCREENINGS FESTIVAL (SPRING 2023)
With the prospects of a looming writers’ strike in the U.S. and broadcasters and platforms across the globe looking for more cost-effective ways to entertain audiences, format distributors have reason to feel upbeat about the year ahead. Our latest TV Formats Screenings Festival spotlights some of the most compelling new and returning unscripted brands available today.
Clicking on each show title below will take you directly to the trailer.
With a track record of success in its home market of Germany, Wanna Bet? is a key format offering from ZDF Studios. “Wanna Bet? once stood as the most successful Saturday evening show in Europe, entertaining millions of viewers,” says Sylvia Brucker, director, entertainment, Unscripted, at ZDF Studios. “The format has been sold around the world and works well in the most diverse territories: in nations close to Germany either geographically or emotionally, such as the Netherlands, Great Britain, Poland and Turkey, as well as in far-away Russia and even China.” Brucker is also optimistic about the prospects for Quiz Hunt, a game show that has similarly fared well in Germany. “The simple and clear game principles of the game show, coupled with the thrill of the chase, make Quiz Hunt so captivating,” Brucker adds. “Quiz Hunt is the ideal format for every afternoon or access prime slot on any channel worldwide.”
All3Media International is showcasing a diverse lineup across reality, lifestyle and factual entertainment, including The Traitors, which continues its global march with 20 local versions commissioned worldwide. The “intelligent reality” format features “psychological gameplay that creates incredibly tense, must-watch moments for global audiences, making it as compelling as the most addictive dramas on our TV screens,” says Nick Smith, executive VP of formats. On the fact-ent front, Smith spotlights The Last Resort, which “balances personal drama and lighthearted humor as it offers young people at a crossroads in their lives an opportunity in the highly demanding world of high-end hotel hospitality,” while Reunion Hotel brings individuals together with someone from their past in a lush location. There’s also Future Food Stars in the mix, focused on food and drink entrepreneurs, which has been renewed in the U.K. and commissioned in the U.S. Rounding out the offerings are the feel-good Sort Your Life Out and the reality game show/social experiment Rise and Fall. “The format creates drama, treachery, twists and an almighty struggle for power, creating compelling viewing and must-watch moments,” Smith says of the latter.
Korean broadcaster MBC, which originated the megahit The Masked Singer, is bringing to the market the competition/game-show format Keep Talking, I Love It. “Keep Talking, I Love It is a storytelling battle among eight contestants: the ‘tongues fighters,’” explains Jean Hur, director of format sales. “They go into an MMA fighting ring and unfold their original stories. Each story is halted at its climax, and the 100-member audience votes for a story they wish to listen to further.”
On offer from Passion Distribution are two factual-entertainment formats that deliver new spins on the well-worn dating and relationship genre. Better Date Than Never, per Agnes Mbye, senior sales manager for formats, “is a celebration of love being open to everyone, especially those seen by society as a little bit different from the ‘norm.’ It’s heartwarming and authentic and a real point of difference in the dating genre.” One Night Stand, meanwhile, “follows singles who shared one night of passion in the past as they meet again on a surprise date to find out if their romance can be rekindled,” Mbye says. “The show brings honesty and good laughs and was hugely successful with the young audience of E4.”
Out of its extensive formats slate, BBC Studios is spotlighting the game show The 1% Club and the celebrity property/lifestyle show Amanda & Alan’s Italian Job. The 1% Club premiered in the U.K. less than a year ago and has “won multiple awards and had commissions around the world,” says Andre Renaud, senior VP of global format sales. “All they have to do is answer a series of brain teasers that don’t test what you know—only how your brain works.” Amanda & Alan’s Italian Job “sees celebs attempt everything from plumbing to plastering, with some sight-seeing and soul-searching along the way. As they live out their dream holiday renovation, viewers get a unique window into their friendship and learn about the local community, too.”
The TV Formats Screenings Festival also includes a slate of titles from Korea’s CJ ENM, including the survival reality/game show hybrid The Genius Game. “Since the launch of The Genius Game through NPO in the Netherlands, it continues to garner international attention,” says Diane Min, head of format sales. “It is being developed by Remarkable, a subsidiary of Banijay, in the U.K., as well as in several other countries such as the U.S., Norway and Denmark.” Also on offer are the game shows The Time Hotel and Zero Sum Game.