3 Best New Formats from MIPCOM 2014


'The Big Picture', 'Help! I Can't Cook' and 'Stars at Your Service' lead this year's line-up of new quality shows premiering at MIPCOM.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Distributors showed new formats during the international content market, MIPCOM 2014. We reviewed the portfolios of all major distributing companies and picked three up and coming new formats that seemed promising.

Our evaluating criteria consisted of:

  • variability - can it be localized to work in large and small markets, creating ease for acquisition
  • originality of ideas - fresh and intriguing formats enticing new viewers
  • major international relevance - ability to enter different markets, appealing to corporations

Top three choices:

'The Big Picture' by Talpa: New approach to viewers interaction

'The Big Picture' was introduced in April at MIPTV. But there has been a significant step forward since then: while in April it was "just" a project of Israeli media hub A Cappella, now it gains international potential. The reason is simple: Talpa entered into partnerships with A Cappella and has become global distributor of 'The Big Picture'.

And it is game changing; Talpa is not just a seller of 'The Voice' or 'Utopia' with much better position on international markets. The Dutch company has direct experience with similar shows based on viewers' interaction through mobile apps. 'What Do I Know?!' is very recent example. The format worked excellently in Slovakia, but failed in Germany.

Now with the knowledge of channels and markets that might be interested in connected game shows, Talpa is rolling out 'The Big Picture'. The format is even more interactive than 'What Do I Know?!': viewers not only play the game simultaneously through app: they become deeply involved in the game and might win same or even more money than real studio players.

Maybe some broadcasters aren't ready for 'The Big Picture' but this is very progressive step in the game show industry.

'Help! I Can't Cook' by Keshet International: The best of cooking shows

There is a constant demand for cooking shows: whether in daily strips or as prime time formats. 'Help! I Can't Cook' combines elements that work in other shows plus is true to reality. While in other shows celebrities cook as if they were born chefs and viewers are faked, this format clearly states the facts. The show puts together celebrities who can't cook - and teaches them instead. Celebrities learn how to make variety of meals and then compete to make the best.

The format shows celebrities in normal, not shiny super skilled way, and uses "learning" aspect, which is very needed but sometimes forgotten in cooking shows. There is a bit of competition, a bit of reality elements, some humor... and cooking at first place. All this combined makes 'Help! I Can't Cook' a strong cooking format - using the best of the genre but still being unique and fresh.

You can watch full episode of 'Help! I Can't Cook' here (in Hebrew without subtitles)

'Stars at Your Service' by Endemol: Mix emotions and budget at your own level

There is one bad news about Endemol's new format 'Stars at Your Service': ratings. It was launched in UK and numbers are low for Channel 4 as the show crawls under 500k viewership. But it is a good format and might work internationally.

This celebrity-driven entertainment show is strong in interaction: people send their tasks online and celebrities show up by their door to fulfill the best ideas. It is entertaining, appealing to viewers and less emotional than similar celebrity/charity formats like 'Surprise, Surprise'.

We see 'Stars at Your Service' as a variable format with room for creativity: new broadcasters will be able to make it more dynamic than Channel 4. It is also variable in production budget and execution - you can make celebrities face costly challenges as well as small touching challenges sold through positive emotions. And you can also set how to include charity aspect.