Raunchy British dating format Love Island dominated the global formats business in 2018, culminating in the news that the breakout reality series is being adapted in the U.S. by CBS.
Now that the ITV format is coupled up, U.S. broadcasters are looking elsewhere for their own sexy singleton series as well as international non-scripted formats that can shuffle through the clutter and make a dent in the golden age of drama.
Netflix made an audacious entrance into the formats space this year, causing a stir by picking up the U.S. and global rights to Studio Lambert’s Catfish-meets-Big Brother series The Circle ahead of a number of traditional rivals. Linear networks have been warned that they will need to be quick to secure the rights to foreign shows that pop or else start to look towards territories that they may not have explored before.
ABC is cooking up a U.S. version of Australian food format Family Food Fight with Ayesha Curry, while producers are pitching a variety of feasts from unfamiliar markets; Keeping Up With The Kardashians indie Bunim/Murray and NFL star Russell Wilson are shopping remake rights to French celebrity adventure format L’Aventure Robinson, and The Late Late Show with James Corden co-producer Fulwell 73 and opera singer Plácido Domingo recently took the U.S. rights to Hungarian classical music format Virtuosos.
But what’s next? What are some of the global formats that buyers will be bidding for in 2019 that could make a dent on a U.S. network, or indeed, streaming service.
Mums Make Porn (UK)
Porn has gone mainstream, particularly with the prevalence of a certain Stormy Daniels in the news. British producer Firecracker Films is to explore this phenomenon in three-part series Mums Make Porn that will see a group of ordinary mothers of teenage children research the world of modern pornography and then produce their own film. The parents will write, cast, direct and edit their mum-approved pornographic film in the show, which will air on Channel 4. ICM, which reps Firecracker is expected to shop a U.S. remake in the new year after the Tinopolis-backed producer delivers some tape. Similarly for Channel 4, Firecracker is making Postcode Playdates, a factual entertainment format that will see families with children from the same neighbourhood but across cultural, ethnic and economic divides open their doors to their neighbours’ offspring for a playdate for the very first time. Firecracker chief creative officer Jes Wilkins said that the format “explores big questions about the social divides that dominate the news agenda in such a playful, accessible and very entertaining way for a family audience”.
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