Distributor Mentorn International is in talks to sell the format for ratings-winning Sky1 and Science series An Idiot Abroad, with a number of broadcasters looking to make local versions starring their own Karl Pilkington (pictured).
The comedy travelog, an original Sky1 commission, sees Pilkington – friend of comics Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant – traveling to see the Seven Wonders of the World.
It has already been sold as finished tape to a number of international broadcasters, including Science in the U.S., Discovery Channel in Canada, SVT in Sweden, TV3 in Denmark, YLE in Finland, NRK in Norway and Network Ten in Australia.
However, talking at realscreen‘s Factual Entertainment Forum in Santa Monica, Mentorn International MD David Leach said the distributor was now in talks with nets over the format as well.
“We’re selling it as readymade but we have interestingly had talks with half a dozen networks around Europe about reformatting it,” he told delegates during the ‘Crossing Borders: Intel from International Buyers’ session, adding that many broadcasters were keen to “have their own Karl Pilkington.”
He added that the distributor – which is part of UK group Tinopolis – was continuing to enjoy success with its Paradise Hotel format, revealing that a deal had recently been struck to make a Czech version of the show.
The panel, which was hosted by Kinetic Content CEO Chris Coelen, also saw Viasat Broadcasting’s VP of formats and entertainment, Beata Hegedus, outline her buying needs. Hegedus said Viasat was looking for reality and doc programming predominantly, and was not particularly keen on gameshows or quizzes.
“We are not so big on celebrity,” she added. “It has to be accessible to the public. Good reality shows and good fact ent.” She cited the success of Come Dine With Me as an example. “I’m looking for the next Come Dine With Me, but which is not in the area of cooking.”
Elsewhere, SevenOne International’s North America director, Caroline Kusser, told attendees: “Those big gameshows are still working well in Europe, Million Pound Drop, and [Who Wants To Be A] Millionaire? is still big after all these years.”
The news comes as An Idiot Abroad‘s Karl Pilkington was named Best Presenter at the second annual Factual Entertainment Awards.