There’s no doubt about it: The Wit’s Fresh TV sessions are some of the biggest draws at MIPCOM, with attendees flooding in to the Grand Auditorium to see CEO Virginia Mouseler outline the latest shows and formats her team has identified around the world. This afternoon, the focus was on formats. “The key word of this fall is ‘together’. What can we do together?” she said.
Here’s our run through the lineup: will you be pursuing any of them at this year’s market? The distributor or producer’s names are in brackets to help seek them out.
Animal Attraction (DRG) from Norway sees a single woman using her animal instincts to choose the perfect husband, with scientific analysis and physical tests determining which potential spouses “go home with their tail between their legs”.
Dance Floor Date (Newen Distribution) is “a blind date on the dancefloor” where 10 singles try to find love by dancing in boxes as silhouettes, to be rated by the opposite sex: first the men, and then the women. Finally, the three remaining men dance with the remaining woman, who is blindfolded.
Sweetheart in your Ear (CJ & EM) from South Korea sees a singleton date four mysterious suitors over the phone: they can talk, text, send videos and photos, but cannot see their face. When the phone battery dies, they have to make a decision.
Crazy Match (Youku Tudou / Vision Media) from China sees “four pretty women looking for a romantic date, but they’re paired with four quite embarrassing partners” according to Mouseler. The men have to complete some outrageous challenges to convince their partners of their worth. They must get along for “an unbearable three days, and two nights”.
Meet The Parents (ITV Studios) is a studio-dating show with a twist: the singleton has to find out about their potential suitor by quizzing their mother and father. The suitor has a panic button if his parents start embarrassing them. “What’s the worst thing you’ve found in your son’s bedroom? A 47 year-old woman from the local pub!” being one such interaction.
The Lie Detective (FremantleMedia) reunites best friends, couples and families to talk about “the things they really want to know but never dared to ask”. “You are good in bed sometimes,” one woman says to her crestfallen partner. “Sometimes it is very bad…” The lie detective of the title stands by to jump in if someone tells an untruth. “It’s not the biggest but it’s not the smallest,” another woman tells her partner. Sex, as you may have guessed, looms large in the questions.
I’ve Got Something to Tell You (Blue Ant) sees ordinary people making extraordinary confessions, meeting up in a charming English country retreat, filmed by fixed cameras. “They say confession is good for the soul. Tonight we’ll find out if that’s true,” suggests the voiceover.
Boxed (Keshet Intl) places people with a serious conflict in a box to resolve their differences, with a mediator standing by outside. Each episode follows the two-way conversation inside the box, while the mediator tries to help them find their way out of the dispute – and the box! At the end, a wall reveals which people are willing to work it out, and which have walked out.
Look Me in the Eye (Red Arrow International) gets two people riven by a long-term conflict to look into one another’s eyes for two minutes, without talking. The aim being to show eye contact is more powerful than words. The participants then have to decide whether they’ll see each other again to resolve the problem, or walk away forever.
Face to Face (Flare Media) uses a similar technique, where two estranged people try to overcome their conflict by looking each other in the eyes without talking. It seems a lot of TV producers are fans of artist Marina Abramovic’s past work. Will the confrontation bring them back together or lead to a final break?
The Letter (ITV Studios) sees a group of friends anonymously writing a “brutally honest letter” to one another, and for one week that person must follow the rules outlined in the letter. Will it strengthen their friendship, or spoil it entirely? At the end of the week, they reveal who wrote each letter.
Families Gone Wild (FremantleMedia) sees dysfunctional families stranded on an island for five days and nights, surviving without food, water or shelter. Struggling parents, awful children and a “short, sharp shock” of being dumped in a remote environment, forced to rely on one another.
The Story of My Life (Talpa Global) turns celebrity couples into their future selves with make-up artists – first 30 years older then 60 years older – and talk about their relationship. “A celebrity talk-show that’s anything but ordinary… Will they still be in love when they’re 90 years old? What would their last words be to their partner?” Bleak.
Fast Forward (ESG) from Israel tries a similar tactic on friends and family members, making them up to be 20, 40 and then 60 years older, to solve current problems, face their fears and see what could happen if they don’t start acting differently in the present.
The Journey of a Lifetime (LineUp Industries) sees someone with a terminal illness taken with their friends and family on one last surprise trip, to a place that has meaning for them all. Emotions duly bubble over, but the show aims to be a celebration of life.
Familiar Taste (FremantleMedia) sees a celebrity cooking dishes for the person who used to cook for them: for example a mother or a nanny. The idea being to repay them for their care, and to talk about some fond memories in the process.
Man Birth (Keshet Intl) sees future fathers experience what it’s like to carry a baby, at the same time as their wives. Sample quote: “Something is leaking in my pants” from an uneasy-looking man in a supermarket. The idea: the men learn to appreciate their partners even more, ahead of the real birth.
Pregnant & Platonic (Gil Formats) sees women and men who are looking to have a child without first falling in love go through an intensive series of parenting lessons. The participants are actually matched up by parenting experts – they don’t know one another before filming begins.
My Wife Rules (Global Agency) sees three couples in a cookery contest, but only the wives know the recipe, and then guide their husbands through an earpiece. If the husbands follow the instructions correctly, they can win – each wife grades the dishes blindfold, including the one her husband made.
Get The F**k Out Of My House (FremantleMedia) is a survival game show in a house: 100 contestants live in a house with only a few beds.They have to learn to live together, but also to survive as contestants are ejected.
Beat the Stack (Eccholine) is set on a massive cargo ship, with 10 celebrities entering the containers in a cargo stack and discover cold, hot, dark and wet challenges. They have to complete the challenges and get out, working their way up the stack.
Trans FC (La Competencia / Televisa) sees 11 transexual women training to be officially accepted in the women’s football league of their country. A celebrity football coach takes control of their training.
Girls Who Eat Well (JTBC) involves “pretty girls eating” massive meals in a competition. According to Mouseler, the show “shocked” viewers in South Korea this summer.