Tuvalu Media turning drama series into reality format

Dutch broadcaster SBS has commissioned Sony Pictures Television's Dutch production venture, Tuvalu Media, to produce Stories from the Hospital, a reality format based on a U.S. drama series.
September 25, 2012

Dutch broadcaster SBS has commissioned Sony Pictures Television’s Dutch production venture, Tuvalu Media, to produce Stories from the Hospital, a reality format based on a U.S. drama series.

The broadcaster has ordered 30 x 30-minute episodes of the series, which will be called Dokters locally, for NET5, SBS’s female-skewing channel. It will launch in late October.

Stories From the Hospital will take self-contained storylines from the scripts of the original drama. The scenarios within the scripts will be played out by participants whose real life experiences mirror those of the drama’s characters.

The original scripted series, Strong Medicine, was produced by Sony Pictures Television (SPT), and ran for 130 episodes on Lifetime. The series followed the lives of staff in the women’s health clinic of a fictitious hospital in Philadelphia.

The reality format will combine “carefully plotted storytelling” and “true to life experiences about patients and their doctors,” according to SPT.

The Dutch series developer and producer is Vincent ter Voert.

“They say ‘life imitates art’ and this new format will soon have it imitating television as well,” says Tuvalu Media joint managing director, Duurt Holman. “Drama plots can seem far-fetched but Stories From the Hospital proves this wrong as authentic characters and experiences give a second, and very real, life to what was previously only fiction.”

SPT will also launch the new format to international buyers at MIPCOM.

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Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.