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Turkish talent format wins Fox Alternative Entertainment-backed MipFormats Pitch

Talent format Show Must Go On won the MipFormats Pitch session today at MipTV

MIPTV: A talent format from Format Workshop in Turkey that asks viewers at home to scan QR codes to vote for their favourite performers has earned a cash prize from Fox Alternative Entertainment (FAE) here in Cannes.

Allison Wallach

The format, titled Show Must Go On, saw off competition from three other contenders in the MipFormats Pitch session today at MipTV. FAE, Fox Entertainment’s in-house unscripted studio, picked the four projects out of a record 89 submissions from 27 countries.

The winner was then chosen live during a session in Cannes earlier today by a jury consisting of Allison Wallach, president of unscripted programming at Fox Entertainment; Yasmin Rawji, executive VP of unscripted at FAE; John Hesling, executive VP and head of FAE; and Nathalie Wogue, an international format strategist who works as a consultant for FAE.

Wallach and Rawji dialled in from the US by video, while Hesling, who joined the company last month, and Wogue were here in Cannes. The session was moderated by Maria Chiara Duranti, chief editor of Formatbiz.

John Hesling

Show Must Go On, from Format Workshop in Turkey, was pitched by Maya Loiselle, who served as an interpreter on behalf of Format Workshop’s Fatih Ergül and Mustafa Başural.

The format sees contestants receive cash rewards for displaying their talents in any field, with viewers at home scanning a QR code to vote in real-time for performers they want to stay in the show and rewarding them with cash.

Hesling described the format as a “high-tech Gong Show,” referring to the US amateur talent contest from Sony Pictures Television that aired on NBC in the US from the 1970s onwards. It was rebooted by ABC in 2017.

Format Workshop will now receive US$5,000 to take its format to the next stage of development and has the chance to be part of Fox’s US$100 Million International Unscripted Format Fund.

Yasmin Rawji

The fund was unveiled in 2021 and is part of a push at the US media company to find new ideas and IP in international markets by outsourcing the pilot process to other broadcasters and seeing how audiences react.

Wallach, who was promoted to her current role late last year, said FAE is in the market for more talent formats and is keen to test out more format ideas outside of the US.

As part of that strategy, FAE today unveiled two new series created by the company under its international unscripted format fund: the celebrity competition Beat My Mini-Mes (working title) for TF1 in France and the dating programme Marriage Market (working title) for Germany’s ProSieben.

The three other formats being presented during the MipFormats Pitch here today were Weekend Without Parents, from Heroes Creative Studio in Ukraine; and Eyes on the Prize, from The Connected Set in UK; and Gold, from Format Espresso in Italy.

The event marked the second time the MipFormats International Pitch had been held in-person since 2019, when Aussie format Change My Mind won, and the second time it has been sponsored by Fox.

Last year, Cheat on the Glitch, a gameshow format from independent producer Christian G Gamboa in the Philippines, won the prize.

Wallach pointed to the success of shows such as Traitors that proved “the format business is back” and said that the company is still working with Gamboa to develop Cheat on the Glitch.

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