MIPFORMATS: Mark Itkin, co-head of TV and a board member at William Morris Endeavor (WME), received the 2014 C21/Frapa Formats Gold Award earlier today.
The award, presented in association with MipFormats, is given in recognition of outstanding achievement and contribution to the formats business, and previous recipients include Merv Griffin, Peter Bazalgette, Dick de Rijk, David Lyle and Stephen Lambert.
The award was handed to Itkin after a keynote in which he looked back on a long career putting together deals for some of the biggest TV hits in the industry’s history, such as Big Brother, Deal or No Deal, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Real World.
During the keynote, Itkin said he felt there is enough singing and dancing competitions on air and it’s time for producers to “push the envelope and figure out the next thing that hasn’t been done… It’s time for a big event gameshow, there hasn’t been one that’s worked since Deal Or No Deal.
“Everybody right now is looking for the next big unscripted hit but they come few and far between,” he told delegates. “It’s important to try to evolve the genre: looking at the world and seeing what’s not being reflected on TV. There are probably some good formats that could be contemporised and brought back.”
When C21 announced Itkin was to receive the award earlier this year, David Jenkinson, C21’s editor-in-chief & managing director, noted Itkin’s “relentless passion for the international formats business” and said it “has spawned more successes than just about any other executive in the business.”
Jenkinson added: “He represents the heart and soul of the business and has a reputation for making things happen when nobody else thinks they can.” The award is decided annually by the C21 editorial team and the Frapa board.