Trends: Hey, that’s my idea!

October 1, 2005


Inspiration: Super Size Me
The trickle down: The January finale of Reveille’s The Biggest Loser format – which sees teams of contestants compete for the greatest combined weight lost – scored U.S. net NBC its highest rating in almost three years for the time slot. Last month, the second season debuted with an added focus on adopting a healthy lifestyle. The spin-off book hits shelves this month.

Celador’s You are What You Eat (in the U.K.) first aired on C4 in 2004. Host Gillian McKeith (left) now has licensing deals for cookbooks, a magazine and healthy snacks. The show even inspired a format dispute after 12 Yard Productions introduced Eat Yourself Whole.

In true Morgan Spurlock style, King Corn follows two college graduates who move to Iowa and plant corn to get the behind-the-scenes story of the most significant crop to America’s fast food economy. The feature screened as a work-in-progress at last month’s IFP Market in N.Y. Producers Aaron Woolf, Curt Ellis and Ian Cheney are about two months from a rough cut.

Still more: Tiger Aspect’s Diet Doctors for Five; How to Live Longer for BBC1 by Maverick TV; Granada Media’s Looking Good, Feeling Great for ITV1.


Inspiration: Pirates of the Caribbean
The trickle down: Pirates Attack!!! is to be hosted by Jimmy Cornell, one of today’s most well-known sailors. The 13 x 1-hour investigative HD series will show that piracy on cruising vessels still runs rampant. Produced by Toronto-based High Seas Productions, Attack!!! will use re-enactments of recent pirate raids, and has exclusive access to victims of nautical invasions. The series will be distributed worldwide by Toronto’s re:think Entertainment.

Slated to air in Q1 of 2006 on The History Channel, Bluefield Entertainment’s Return of the Pirates will examine the historical aspect of piracy (it’s more than just eye patches and parrots), and what’s happening today. Alarmingly, attacks against commercial and pleasure ships are rising, and they aren’t performed by your average criminal; modern day pirates use rocket-propelled grenades and assault boats.

Adventure on the high seas continues in other forms as well. Magellan takes a back seat to the slave that accompanied him on his trip around the world in the appropriately titled Magellan’s Slave. Enrique’s story will be told in a big-budget docudrama currently in development.

And then there’s:
Feel-good projects, like the NBC series Three Wishes, which has crooner Amy Grant hosting as experts are dropped into small towns to help make the unlikely dreams of worthy people come to life. Sports fantasies come true, and economic travesties are prevented.

Also in the U.S., ABC has makeover series The Miracle Workers, in which people needing serious health treatments receive unique medical care.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.