MIPCOM: Celebrity Splash, the somewhat controversial high-diving format from Holland, has been picked up by a broadcaster in the US.
Eyeworks USA (formerly 3 Ball Productions) has sold the format to the ABC network. The show will be produced by Eyeworks USA CEOs and exec producers JD Roth and Todd Nelson plus Brant Pinvidic.
The format is a big hit in the Netherlands, where Eyeworks’ original version airs on SBS6. The show, locally titled Sterren Springen, debuted in August and has peaked at 26.5% market share on Saturday nights.
Celebrity Splash has also been sold by Eyeworks to major but as-yet undisclosed broadcasters in the UK, France, and Australia, with the prodco pushing for further deals at Mipcom next week.
“Eyeworks had been developing the Celebrity Splash format for years, confident that it would resonate in the family entertainment genre with audiences around the world,” said Eyeworks Group founder and CEO, Reinout Oerlemans.
“This US format sale, coming just six weeks after its premiere in Holland and on the heels of sales to the UK, France and Australia, represents the sale of the format into the world’s most important television markets.”
The format is, however, the subject of legal angst between Eyeworks and Banijay International, with the latter looking into whether Celebrity Splash infringes the copyright of one of its own formats, TV Total Turmspringen, from subsidiary Brainpool.
Both formats involve celebrities diving into swimming pools. Banijay has hired copyright infringement experts to assess the legal situation and is considering taking action against Eyeworks. The Dutch firm, in turn, has dismissed the claims.