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IFA 2020 - Best Reality Format

About this category

Best Reality Format


Reality TV has been one of the biggest drivers of the international format business over the past two decades, with some of the TV industry’s best-known and most-travelled pieces of intellectual property coming from this genre.


KeyIt’s easy now to forget just how revolutionary and impactful the genre was back in the day – one that has brought about much change in TV programming since it exploded onto our screens in the 1990s. It brought with it plenty of headlines, scandal, heroes, villains and more than a little controversy. Reality TV, simultaneously hailed as the saviour of TV and the end of TV as we know it, always delivers the goods.


PlanetFor these reasons, this category in the International Format Awards is always hotly contested and the award is much coveted. Unlike competition reality formats, reality TV doesn’t require any element of competition. Shows entered in this category may be documentary-style, following central characters in their assumed ‘real’ lives.


The category also includes structured reality, where the circumstances surrounding the participants are manipulated for the purpose of the show. This category may also include self-improvement/makeover shows, hidden-camera shows, survival or social experiments


This year the International Format Awards are 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.


WalshThe UK has traditionally been a powerhouse in the reality genre, and that’s no different this year, with the country accounting for no less than four of the six finalists in this category. The other two hail from the Netherlands and Ireland.


From the Netherlands comes The Key, a show in which five homeless people are given the key to an apartment to see if they can turn their lives around. It is produced by Kale Jakhals Producties, the Amsterdam-based prodco of TV host and producer Beau van Erven Dorens, for RTL4, and is being shopped internationally by Kale Jakhals Producties and its agency


SingletownIreland is represented in this category with eco-challenge format What Planet Are You On?. The RTÉ1 show sees three homes monitored closely to measure their impact on the environment in terms of water, waste, diet and energy consumption. The show was developed and produced by Vision Independent Productions and is being distributed internationally by Oble.


Four formats from the UK complete the list of finalists for this category this year, two apiece from ITV and Channel 4.
From Hungry Bear Media for ITV comes Bradley Walsh & Son: Breaking Dad, in which the titular comedian and his son drive
around the US in a Breaking Bad-style RV, undertaking various challenges. The format is distributed by Hat Trick


FlirtySingletown, meanwhile, is a stripped reality show that sees couples putting their relationship on hiatus and each partner given a chance to experience single life over one summer. They then have to decide whether they want to return to the relationship they put on ice. The show is produced by Keshet Productions UK for ITV2 and is being distributed by Keshet International.


Grow UpFlirty Dancing is a dating show that centres on the role dancing used to play in courtship. It is produced for C4 by Second Star Productions, part of Objective Media Group, and is distributed by parent company All3Media International.


Last but not least comes When I Grow Up, a show in which kids take over the running of well-known companies, including a celebrity magazine, an estate agent and a chocolate factory. Optomen produces the show for C4 and parent company All3Media International distributes.


Watch out for the finalists in the Best Returning Format category tomorrow on


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