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IFA 2020 - Best Returning Format

About this category

Best Returning Format


After devising, developing, pitching and finally getting your format on air, the next biggest challenge is keeping it there. Refreshing a format that has been on air for a while is a fine art, and landing a returning series is the holy grail for many in the production sector.


LegoSome formats have cracked it and remain schedule stalwarts for decades; others come off air after a few seasons, only to resurface years later with a new incarnation or a new host to entertain a new generation. Weaving in new elements or gameplay to reflect the new times, such as interactivity or mobile, is just one part of the art.


So although the International Format Awards are here to mainly celebrate new formats and new creativity, it’s worth raising a glass to the immense creativity involved in keeping a show fresh over the years.


MastchefIn terms of entry criteria, this category awards an existing format that aired a season (domestic or international) during 2019. On the occasion that more than one iteration of the show is eligible, entrants should either choose to enter one specific 2019 season, or the show franchise as a whole.


Something of a returning format themselves, the International Format Awards are this year being presented on, surrounded by a series of digital initiatives that celebrate the best in creativity from all around the world, held
in association with Frapa, EMC and MipFormats on June 25, with finalists in each category being announced daily.


TaskmasterFinalists in the Best Returning Format category this year include six shows from three countries – South Korea, Australia and the UK – encompassing the genres of cookery, singing, challenge and physical game.


The format from South Korea needs no introduction: The Masked Singer. The hottest K-format of the past two years has garnered headlines and commissions alike, including cracking the lucrative US network primetime market, where it airs on Fox. MBC produces and broadcasts the South Korean original and distributes the format internationally.


BakeOffFrom Australia is competition series LEGO Masters, Endemol Shine’s Australian production for Nine Network based on the UK format that Tuesday’s Child produced for Channel 4. Endemol Shine Group distributes the format internationally.

Returning shows from the UK account for the remaining four formats in this category, with one apiece for broadcasters ITV, Channel 4, BBC2 and UKTV-owned Dave.


MaskedThe ITV show is Who Bares Wins, in which celebrities get naked for charity, performing a strip routine in front of a live audience. Indie prodco Spun Gold TV produces the show, while All3Media International distributes it worldwide.

Channel 4, the UK public network behind so many travelling reality formats over the years, has added The Great Bake Off to its list. The show, a talent search to find the country’s best amateur baker, which previously aired on BBC1 and BBC2, is from Love Productions and is distributed internationally by BBC Studios.


BaresThe BBC2 finalist is MasterChef, also in the ever-popular cookery genre. The classic show sets out on a nationwide quest to find the best amateur cook in the country, and is produced by Shine TV and distributed by Endemol Shine Group.


Rounding out the finalists in this category is Taskmaster, a show that airs on Dave but is heading to Channel 4 later this year. From Avalon Television, the show sees the Taskmaster and his assistant set five comedians a series of bizarre, tricky and often ingenious tasks. It is distributed internationally by Avalon Distribution.


Watch out for the finalists in the Best Scripted Format category on Monday on


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