Unscripted

ITV takes the leap with Eyeworks’ “Splash!”

UK terrestrial ITV1 is set to air a British version of Dutch format Celebrity Splash!, fronted by Olympic bronze medal-winning Brit diver Tom Daley (pictured).
October 31, 2012

UK terrestrial ITV1 is set to air a British version of Dutch format Celebrity Splash!, fronted by Olympic bronze medal-winning Brit diver Tom Daley (pictured).

The British version of the Eyeworks-owned format, which aired in Holland under the title Sterren Springen, has a working title of Splash! and will be produced for ITV by Twofour Television.

The series will see “celebrity names mix determination, drive and daredevil stunts as they don their swimwear and take to the water,” according to ITV, which added that a team of professional coaches will train the celebrities as they attempt to master “the grace, skill, athleticism and accuracy” needed to perform dives from a high board.

In a statement, Eyeworks Distribution co-MD Jeff Goldman said: “We were thrilled about the success of our family-fun entertainment format, Celebrity Splash!, in Holland, and more so when it was the hottest format of this year’s television market, MIPCOM.

“We look forward to now bringing it to UK, and especially with ITV and Tom, where we think it is the best home for audiences to enjoy its mix of fun, suspense, dar devil stunts and touch of humor, all centered around the beauty of diving and inevitably making Splash! a hit in the UK.”

Daley added: “I’ll be helping the celebrities as they master a dangerous and exciting sport and I can’t wait to get started.”

The show was commissioned by ITV’s director of entertainment and comedy Elaine Bedell and commissioning editor Asif Zubairy, and will be executive produced for Two Four by Shirley Jones.

The news comes after ABC in the U.S. recently signed on for an American version of Celebrity Splash, to be produced by Eyeworks USA (formerly 3 Ball Productions).

Eyeworks’ Celebrity Splash! is one of two celebrity diving formats winning international broadcasters at present. Distributor Banijay International recently penned a deal with U.S. broadcaster Fox for its format TV Total Turmspringen, which has aired in Germany since 2004 as part of the Stars in Danger franchise.

Fox will air a two-hour special American version, tentatively titled Stars in Danger: High Diving, in winter 2013, made by Banijay-owned Bunim/Murray Productions.

The similarities between the two formats has already caused contention, with Banijay issuing a statement earlier this month saying it would be seeking legal advice over the matter.

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.

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