Force Four developing Brit format “The Audience” for Canada

The Vancouver-based producer will develop a Canadian version of the series, in which 50 ordinary people give advice to an individual facing a life-changing decision, for W Network.
October 18, 2012

Canadians at a crossroads will soon be able to ask The Audience for help with life-changing decisions.

Corus Entertainment’s W Network has commissioned British format The Audience, created by UK indie The Garden, to be developed by Vancouver-based Force Four Entertainment.

Corus inked the deal for the 6 x 60-minute series with ITV Studios Global Entertainment (ITVS GE), which acquired The Audience as part of a first-look deal with The Garden.

The Audience is another clever and surprising ITV format that we believe will resonate with W Network viewers. And if Come Dine With Me Canada is any indication of the potential success, we will see The Audience become a new network hit as well,” said┬áVibika Bianchi, Corus Entertainment VP of original programming, lifestyle, reality and factual entertainment, in a statement.

“The Garden has devised a fantastic global format with The Audience. This latest deal demonstrates that there is a growing appetite for the format and we look forward to securing further deals worldwide,” added ITVS GE director of global television distribution Tobi de Graaff in his own statement.

Each episode of The Audience features an individual who, in facing a life-changing dilemma, opens his or her life up to The Audience, a group of 50 ordinary people of different ages and backgrounds who follows the person for a week, drawing on their life experiences to help solve the problem.

The series has already found homes in several territories internationally. In April, U.S. network CBS commissioned a pilot of the format, produced by ITV Studios America, while TF1 commissioned the series from ITV Studios France and ITVS GE inked a deal for the format with RTL 4 in the Netherlands.

A Danish version of The Audience (4 x 50 minutes), produced by FremantleMedia prodco Blu, also launched recently. The series was originally commissioned by the UK’s Channel 4.

Force Four Entertainment is also behind The Bachelor Canada, currently airing on Citytv; and produced Million Dollar Neighbourhood, the first original commissioned Canadian show to air on OWN Canada.

The Canadian sale for The Audience format was brokered by ITVS GE VP of format sales Merrily Ross.

Photo via The Garden

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.