What formats are set to break big in 2017 and beyond in the factual entertainment and reality genres? At MIPFormats this morning, The Wit CEO Virginia Mouseler showcased some of the new formats that her company has identified, as well as the wider TV trends that they fit within.
The shows she spotlighted follow:
Greetings from the 19XX (Lecter Media) sees a celebrity brought back to the year when they were 12, and during a weekend with the whole family, they live again as they used to live in that year, to prove whether life really was “better back then” or not. “No internet. No smartphones…” as the voiceover put it. The show premiered in January 2017 in Belgium.
In Your Ear (BBC Worldwide) sees experts from all over the world give live advice to people in the UK who need help in various fields: with the coaches watching on a video-link, and providing this advice via a secret earpiece worn by the person they’re helping for a week, as they go about their daily lives – while trying to keep the fact that they’re getting this live advice a secret. The show will soon premiere in the UK.
Yellow Card (Fuji Creative Corp) has more experts watching normal people go about their business, for 24 hours, but this time the experts are trying to spot bad habits, slapping the subject with football-style ‘yellow cards’. One man is pulled up for jogging after drinking alcohol, and another criticised for taking a selfie while dining with a friend. It premiered in Japan in February 2017.
Help! My Parents are Fat! (LineUp Industries) is a weight-loss show, where children worried about their overweight parents seek help from health and fitness professionals, staging an intervention to confront the parents with “a shocking message about the future”. The parents sign a contract: a promise to their children that they’ll make “radical change” to get back on track within seven months, followed by the cameras. It premiered in Germany in February 2017.
Sold! (Perfect Day Media) sees a real-estate professional allow people to self-manage the sale of their properties, teaching them the tricks of the trade. The show is based on a startup that takes inspiration from Uber, cutting out the middleman in house purchases. It premiered in February 2017 in Sweden.
Denmark vs Eastern Europe (LineUp Industries) tackles social issues: fix-rigged cameras follow the work of two teams of craftsmen and workers: one from Denmark and the other from Eastern Europe, to see which team can do the best job, as well as which costs the least, and whether they are treated differently by their boss. It’s a social experiment aiming to dig into controversies around “native versus foreign” workers. It premiered in Denmark in January 2017.
In Solitary (SPTI) is a psychological experiment where a group of people spend five days in solitary confinement, with just three personal items allowed in their isolation pod. The participants are told that when they come out they will know themselves “far better than when you went in” – although from the trailer, it looks like they also find it tough going. It is due to premiere soon in the UK.
Mad About Me (60db) sees a famous TV host spend 48 hours in a mental hospital, taking part in the daily routines, talking to patients and delving into their lives. It aims to “look at the illness from others’ point of view, and telling their stories” – so an attempt to raise awareness rather than a sensationalist approach. It is due to premiere soon in Spain.
Murder or Suicide (ESG) sees a host investigate cases of suicide that are being questioned by the bereaved: “Was it really a suicide, or is there more to it?”. Lawyers and forensic experts reexamine the evidence and try to reopen the case if they are doubtful about the original verdict. The stated aim is to help the families come to terms with their grief, even if the experts ultimately agree with the suicide verdict. It premiered in January 2017 in the Netherlands.
Sins of the Father (Gil Formats) sees sons and daughters of notorious criminals reveal what they have gone through as the result of their parents’ crimes, and confront those parents “sometimes for the first time”. The message is that these children are also victims of their parents’ criminal careers. Sample quote: “No matter who he is, he’s still family!” about one mass-murderer. It is due to premiere soon in Israel.
Saved by the Angels (Banijay Rights) has a famous psychic showing how guardian angels “protected people who survived extreme danger, car crashes, accidents or disasters”, meeting the people and trying to make contact with the spirits in question to explain how their protectee survived. It’s due to premiere soon in Sweden.