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1+1 Media searches for international partners for war-themed reality series

NATPE BUDAPEST: 1+1 Media in Ukraine is looking for copro partners for a reality TV show that has been developed to help viewers prepare for war.

Olga Slisarenko

The Last Man on Earth is being pitched here at Natpe Budapest International by 1+1 Media’s Olga Slisarenko, head of the broadcaster’s formats department, and Mariia Bielaia, a creative producer at its entertainment arm.

The paper competition format is designed to be entertaining while also sharing knowledge that could save viewers’ lives, the execs said during the event’s Pitch & Play Live session today.

This will be done by putting people of different ages and social status into two groups, which must then compete to ‘save’ as many lives as possible during challenges that depict various war situations, with the assistance of military experts.

Slisarenko said she believes the format, which has been developed at 1+1 following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, is part of a new trend for reality shows aimed at Generation Z viewers, whom she believes want realistic series to prepare them for all eventualities, given the precarious global situation.

Slisarenko and Bielaia admitted that the extreme nature of the show could prove controversial and even off-putting to buyers. However, they added that the threat of nuclear war that hangs over the world means the issue of preparing citizens for the worst-case scenario needs to be addressed, particularly after they felt so underprepared for the events of February 24, when Russia commenced its invasion.

“No one is safe after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” said Slisarenko, while Bielaia added that the show “could mean the difference between life and death” for viewers.

1+1 Media is here as part of a Ukrainian delegation at Natpe Budapest International this week drumming up support for their country’s TV industry and seeking pre-buys via the Ukraine Content Club.

Discussing finished programming on 1+1’s slate that could also work as a scripted format, Slisarenko pointed to 1+1’s hit comedy Romeo & Juliet From Cherkasy, which follows a couple who fall in love and are about marry but find out their fathers are long-standing, bitter enemies.

“A second season is in development. We hope after the war we will see continuation of the story,” said Slisarenko, who added that 1+1 has also commissioned second and third seasons of Ukrainian chess master and journalist Dmytro Komarov’s travel show prior to the war starting. Slisarenko said the harsh reality is that some of the places Komarov was due to visit have been destroyed by Russian forces.

“This is a truly unique show the depicts the history and beauty of this country we love and fight for. I’m sure we will rebuild it and we will make it even better,” said Slisarenko.

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