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Fox preps political puppet programme

Let’s Be Real will feature puppet versions of Donald Trump and Joe Biden

US broadcast network Fox has commissioned a one-off election-themed puppet show based on long-running French format Les Guignols.

Let’s Be Real will air on Thursday October 1 at 21.00 (ET/PT) on Fox, covering politics, pop culture and November’s US election through sketches featuring puppets and celebrity cameos.

The half-hour special marks the first ever collaboration between Fox Entertainment’s scripted and unscripted departments and will be produced by US outfit Propagate.

Can’t Stop Media distributes the format, which originated on French pay TV operator Canal+, and will also shop the US special globally.

Robert Smigel (Triumph the Insult Comic Dog) will write and exec produce the series. Ben Silverman, Howard Owens and Kevin Healy are executive producers on behalf of Propagate, while Gerald-Brice Viret exec produces for Canal+ and Arnaud Renard and Matthieu Porte do the same for Can’t Stop Media.

Michael Thorn, president of entertainment at Fox Entertainment, and Rob Wade, the company’s president of alternative entertainment and specials, said in a joint statement: “Robert Smigel is a uniquely gifted creator and, as the election approaches, we are so excited to be working with him on bringing a new take on the current discourse taking place across the political spectrum.

“This project also marks an important partnership for our scripted and unscripted departments, and we hope this is but the first in a long line of collaborations between our two teams.”

Les Guignols has been on air in France for more than 30 years. In 2016 the show became the subject of a row and a spate of resignations at Canal+ when Vincent Bollore, chairman of Canal+ parent Vivendi, tried to axe it, in part because he was said to hate the puppet portraying him.

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