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TF1 joins French-Canadian format incubator

French commercial broadcaster TF1 has boarded the third edition of French-Canadian format incubation project Horsepower.

Phil Kalin-Hajdu

French-Canadian producer and distributor Media Ranch and local channels operator Quebecor Content have announced the third edition of the project, with TF1 involved for the first time.

Horsepower 3.0 aims to create exportable unscripted TV formats from French-speaking Canada following an incubation process starting on 15 March, which will involve four months of intense workshopping.

Candidates are being sought from Québec. Successful applicants will be tasked with developing an original format and will have the opportunity to pitch to Quebecor Content and TF1.

They will be mentored by Phil Kalin-Hajdu, head of content and storytelling at Media Ranch; Tanja van der Goes, senior VP of Media Ranch; and Sophie Ferron, founder, president and exec producer at Media Ranch. Quebecor and TF1 will deliver the workshops.

The winning format will receive co-development funding from Quebecor Content and TF1, while Media Ranch will manage production and global distribution. Formats created by remaining candidates may also be developed and distributed.

Dating show Heartbreak Hotel, the winning Horsepower 2.0 format created by Isabelle Laperrière, was acquired by South Korea’s SBS FormatEast last year.

Julien Degroote

Kalin-Hajdu said: “Media Ranch is known as the go-to company for content creators and producers, attracting and fostering the best talent in the world. Our Horsepower initiative gives the chance to people outside the industry to get in through the door. We gather talent from a wide spectrum of business sectors to ensure fresh concepts and the creation of formats people want to see.”

Julien Degroote, head of content development and international for TF1 Group, added: “In addition to our policy of adapting the best international formats, the TF1 Group’s ambition is also to offer innovative original formats. Over the past three years, we have created or co-developed and aired 24 formats, including District Z, Large Families, Beauty Match, My Best Christmas Ever and The Secret Song.

“We are delighted to collaborate with our counterpart Quebecor Content and to join the jury of L’Écurie, created by a respected producer such as Media Ranch, which has already demonstrated the quality of the formats created in its first two editions.”

To apply, contact Media Ranch directly via mediaranch.tv/horsepower. Submissions are being accepted from now until February 28.

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