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IFA 2020 - Best Competition Reality Format

About this category

Best Competition Reality Format


TitanCompetition reality formats are central to the international format industry and the genre has supplied some of the best-known and best-selling pieces of intellectual property in the television business. The ‘golden age’ of formats in the late 1990s and early 2000s was when some of the classic competition reality formats were born, and if you look at primetime around the world nowadays, many of those formats are still on air.


Nevertheless, new ideas in the genre are much sought-after as networks and more recently SVoD platforms are always in
need for the Next Big Thing. Furthermore, production companies around world have high ambitions in this genre, knowing
that one hit can transform a company’s fortunes overnight.


HoleyThat’s why the competition reality category is always one of the highlights of the International Format Awards, which is organised by C21Media in association with FRAPA, EMC and MipFormats. This year, instead of the usual sunset beach party in Cannes, the awards will be presented online this month, surrounded by a series of digital initiatives that celebrate the best in creativity from all around the world.


BeeThis category encompasses everything from survival and adventure formats to talent searches. At its core, there is a winner. Participants (celebrities or members of the public) are playing to win – whether that’s a job, cash prizes or even a relationship. Even though some of the competition takes place in a studio, nowadays nearly all have out-of-studio elements, not least of which is public voting.


Finalists in the category this year include six formats hailing from the US, the UK and Australia, spanning everything from
the adventure challenge genre and ‘big twist’ dating shows to dance-offs, eco-challenges and sports reality competitions, a
genre that has boomed in recent months as live sport was put on hiatus.


DirtyDancingFrom the US comes NBC’s physical challenge show The Titan Games, created and produced by NBCUniversal Television Alternative Studio, Seven Bucks Productions and A Smith & Co Productions. Hosted by Dwayne Johnson, the show debuted on the US network in January 2019 and last month launched its second season. The format is distributed by NBCUniversal Formats Distribution.


Also from the US is Holey Moley, another show in the physical challenge space. Produced for ABC by Eureka
Productions and Unanimous Media, the golf-themed show premiered stateside in June last year and was renewed last fall,
with the second season teeing off last month. The format is being distributed internationally by Disney/ABC.


TwinsThe finalists in the competition reality category also include two formats from Australia: The Great Bee Challenge and The Real Dirty Dancing. Produced and broadcast by pubcaster ABC in January last year, The Great Bee Challenge has four families keeping a honeybee hive, bringing audiences up close to the science about bees. ABC Commercial shops the show worldwide.


The Real Dirty Dancing, meanwhile, is a celebrity dance show that revisits the movie’s most memorable moves and
moments. It premiered on Seven Network in September, produced by Eureka Productions, and the format is being distributed by
LA-based Lionsgate.


RaceRounding out the finalists in the category are UK formats Undercover Twins from The Story Lab and Race Across The World from All3Media International. Produced by Voltage TV for ViacomCBS-owned 5Star, Undercover Twins is a dating show with a big twist that debuted last September. Race Across The World, meanwhile, is a real-world adventure format in which five teams of two are racing from point A to B for a cash prize, which All3Media-owned Studio Lambert produced for BBC2 last year.


Watch out for the finalists in the Best Factual Format on Monday on


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