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Content Ukraine On Demand C21 Digital Screenings

1 + 1 Media

Programming Profile

1+1 media showcases innovative Ukrainian slate with global appeal

03-09-2021

1+1 media group execs Maksym Kryvytskyi, Olga Slisarenko and Inna Filippova reveal the Ukrainian commercial network’s Content Ukraine On Demand playlist and discuss international trends impacting its programming.

 

Maksym Kryvytskyi, head of TV business and general producer of 1+1 TV channel at Ukraine’s 1+1 media, has seen a marked increase in international interest in 1+1’s programming.

 

“A global trend is demand for local productions,” he says. “There’s wide interest in our formats such as Blind Marriage and Mistress into Maid (Life Swap), which are wildly popular abroad. It’s important for the modern viewer to watch impressive stories and relate to the content.”

 

Inna Filippova, the company’s head of sales for programming rights, joined the 1+1 media team in 2013, growing global relationships with countries from Kazakhstan to Thailand. She believes it is important for 1+1 to have an international-facing strategy.

 

Maksym
Maksym Kryvytskyi,
1+1 TV channel, 1+1 Media

“Our programming mission is to be on the same wavelength as the viewer and create content that changes the perception of the world. Our business is built around successful programming, experimenting and breathing new life into content for Ukrainian audiences, with the aim of also reaching international audiences,” she says.

 

The aforementioned two formats are the first of 1+1 media’s titles on its playlist for C21’s Digital Screenings this week. Mistress into Maid (Life Swap, nine seasons, two of which in coproduction with Polish TTV channel, 20×50’), is from 1+1 media, which has the format rights. The show sees two women from parallel worlds swap lives: one is a wealthy urbanite and the other is from modest means. “It’s a revolutionary project where two completely different worlds converge; an ordinary country girl and a rich city woman try to understand how other people live,” says Kryvytskyi.

 

The series sees the contributors exchange everything for three days – their homes, jobs, interests and even friends – and has travelled internationally. “The finished product has been sold into 10 countries and three more are working on local adaptations,” says Filippova.

 

Filippova
Inna Filippova, 1+1 Media

Blind Marriage (83×90’), produced by 1+1 media and also in its seventh season, is another popular reality format. The programme follows strangers looking for love who get married after a psychologist, astrologist and love coach give advice to the contributors looking for ‘the one.’

 

“It’s the only Ukrainian reality TV project where participants can find happiness in a week,” says Kryvytskyi. “The show’s experts give people the chance to find their soulmate, and after seven seasons it is still very popular among viewers and potential participants.”

 

Filippova points to the series as being another example of 1+1’s global reach. “Blind Marriage and [another reality format] Give Me My Beauty Back have been sold into 10 countries, including TLC channels,” she says.

 

Olga Slisarenko, 1+1’s general producer of entertainment shows including The Voice of Ukraine, Masquerade and Lip Sync Battle, feels maintaining a sense of realism is key when producing reality. “It’s important not to create a fairytale world but to show the reality, which is a little better than we live in but feasible. We call it a ‘Photoshop reality,’” she says.

 

Slisarenko
Olga Slisarenko, 1+1 TV Channel

Slisarenko has seen a shift in the genre. “There has been an increasing trend towards live reality shows. In the spring of 2021, 1+1 TV channel launched a programme in this format, the first infotainment show on Ukrainian TV called Your Day, which lasts five hours. Our audiences enjoy experiencing the sincere emotions of sharing key events with the country.

 

“We are constantly trying to improve existing formats, such as digitising content, adding social media elements and augmented reality. 1+1 TV channel was the first to launch a new ‘news-format series’ that tells the unique stories of Ukrainians from around the world, highlighting important social issues.”

 

Next on the playlist is The World Inside Out (200×50’), now in its 12th season. It is a travel show where a team visit the most mysterious parts of the world, exploring locations off the beaten track.

 

Blind Marriage
Blind Marriage

“The World Inside Out is an amazing travel show with over 10 years of history on 1+1 TV channel,” says Kryvytskyi. “It’s not about popular tourist destinations but unexplored, mysterious and unknown parts of the planet. Host Dmytro Komarov and cameraman Oleksandr Dmitriev aren’t afraid of mountains, jungles or even the deadly customs of wild tribes. They’ve visited places such as Pakistan, China, Brazil, Japan and Nepal.

 

“Each year the series breaks rating records in Ukraine on both TV and YouTube, attracting an insane number of viewers. It has evolved from a weekend show into an iconic primetime product. During the Covid-19 quarantine, 1+1 TV channel launched the Explore Ukraine special project, where Dmytro visited various parts of Ukraine. No one expected it could bring such high ratings, but one of the Explore Ukraine seasons became the most popular travel programme in Ukrainian television history.”

 

Mistress Into Maid (Life Swap)
Mistress Into Maid (Life Swap)

“The series has also seen large international success, with TV rights sold across the globe, into countries including Germany, Thailand, Russia, Israel, Vietnam and the Philippines,” says Filippova.

 

Kryvytskyi points to other international influences that impact across genre. “A trend is series adaptations of well-known formats. This autumn, 1+1 TV channel is airing its own adaptation of the Ugly Betty format, Ugly Nastia, a huge reimagining exploring current issues for contemporaries,” he says.

 

The School (78х50’), a scripted 1+1 original, is the next playlist title. “We’re not afraid of trying something new. The School is a completely new genre for Ukrainian TV,” says Kryvytskyi. “The series, starring young unknown actors, has become a social phenomenon in Ukraine. It’s the first Ukrainian-language series to receive remarkable results in digital, with over a million followers on its Instagram page and more than 350 million views on YouTube alone.”

 

Big Entertainment Shows - The Voice
Big Entertainment Shows – The Voice

The drama, now in its third season, follows a successful businesswoman whose 15-year-old daughter tries to commit suicide. In a bid to help her daughter and to improve their relationship, she applies for work as a schoolteacher and takes her daughter with her to study there.

 

“Despite being a low-budget project, it has unprecedented ratings and is popular among viewers on traditional TV and YouTube. We chose unknown actors that related to the story who made millions of viewers around the world fall in love with them. The series demonstrates how we’re constantly innovating, touching on topics that used to be ignored by TV, such as bullying and self-identification,” says Kryvytskyi.

 

“After the first season, the actors became real stars, attracting huge online audiences. There were fan tours organised with tens of thousands of visitors throughout Ukraine, a branded line of merchandise was created and a book published. The project has received many domestic awards and distinctions, including the Effie Awards,” adds Kryvytskyi.

 

The World Inside Out
The World Inside Out

Filippova points to The School as a good example of cross-platform success. “The broadcasting rights were licensed to Indian streamer MX Player, which has over 280 million users globally. It was also launched on YouTube with versions in English, Spanish and Hindi.”

 

Comedy-drama Sex, Insta & ZNO (12×20-25’) takes the final playlist spot. The teen dramedy is the first Ukrainian series developed specifically for 1+1 media’s online platform, 1+1 Video. The series addresses teenage issues in a bold new way, reflecting the real lives of Ukrainian teenagers by casting actors that young audiences can relate to.

 

“The series raises urgent and important issues around bullying, sex and LGBT,” says Kryvytskyi. “Here and worldwide, there’s a trend of collaborating with streaming services. 1+1 media has several unique collaborations with local online TV platforms. Sex, Insta & ZNO is the first series on Ukrainian TV created exclusively for a digital platform. We’re now working on two more exclusively digital projects due to its success.”

 

School
School

Slisarenko points to another area where 1+1 has seen success: entertainment. “Our big entertainment shows, which impress with their scale and innovations, make 1+1 TV channel stand out from our competitors. We have successfully adapted legendary franchises such as The Voice, Strictly Come Dancing, Lip Sync Battle and many other hits. Foreign producers choose to coproduce with us because of our simple and honest approach, and our high production values.”

 

The 10th season finale of The Voice of Ukraine had to be held online due to Covid-19 restraints. Kryvytskyi points to the pandemic as the cause of another trend being seen across the international business: the reduction in new product available to screen.

 

“Global trend number one is dependence on majors. The pandemic has significantly affected the number of premieres [we can show], while platforms have reached a completely different level in terms of new content. This has caused additional competition due to the lack of required premieres, which our audiences have got used to,” he says.

 

Sex Insta ZNO
Sex Insta ZNO

For Slisarenko, it’s coproductions between broadcasters and platforms that will dominate the market. “A trend that we will see globally is the collaboration between TV channels and platforms,” she says.

 

Despite issues around the supply of content, Kryvytskyi is positive about the year ahead. “The demand for high-quality Ukrainian TV product has been and will remain a positive trend, so we have confidence in the future. Our key strengths are impeccable production, big entertainment shows and popular scripted series. There is a great number of new formats we are working on, including Heart of a Lion, a drama that will appeal locally and on a much larger scale.”