Global content creator, producer and distributor Endemol Shine Group last week announced their line-up of international formats heading to 32nd annual MIPCOM market in Cannes, running Monday (Oct. 17) and runs to Oct. 20.
The firm is showcasing a diverse global library through social experiments, entertainment and game shows that are hoping to entice and inspire international broadcasters and digital platforms. Formats headed to market include Shine France’s Big Music Quiz, Israeli game show Locked, Endemol Shine Australia’s Spelling Star and social experiment The Society Game, developed in partnership with South Korea’s CJ E&M and Endemol Shine Asia.
Endemol Shine Group’s Lisa Perrin, CEO of its Creative Networks division, spoke to realscreen to discuss the firm’s strategy on the Croisette, and the company’s plans following a recent restructuring that saw the departure of long-time exec Ana Langenberg.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.
What is Endemol Shine’s strategy heading to Cannes next week?
As well as our long runners – our big shows MasterChef, MasterChef Junior and Big Brother – we have The Society Game, which is a product of our co-development deal with CJ E&M in South Korea, which is a very big reality format. We’re pushing that heavily as it’s experimenting with political systems which actually feel very timely and zeitgeisty with what’s going on in politics all over the world, certainly in Europe with Brexit, in Latin America and what’s happening in America with Trump and Clinton.
The other one is Locked, which is a game show that’s a real group effort from a third party but also commissioned and aired on Reshet in Israel but we made it in Holland and we’re pushing that as well. It had a massive launch and really good numbers in Israel, so it feels like game shows are also quite interesting.
Locked was recently recommissioned in Israel with the first season acquiring a 35.7% share in its summer slot. Do you believe the physical game show would be able to repeat that success abroad?
Game shows go in and out of fashion. However, when game shows work, they’re always, always recommissioned. In primetime, particularly in the UK and the U.S., they’re very hard to launch and what we’re trying to do with Locked is having the hub – because it’s a big, impressive set – in Holland is to make it affordable for countries that [want] a primetime show but on a prime-access budget. Why wouldn’t you want to try out a proven game show on prime access and grow it and move it to primetime? That was sort of our idea behind it.
Do I think [Locked] will travel? Yes, I do think it will travel because of the fact that you can have a very impressive game show that works on a very affordable budget.
Are there plans for Endemol Shine to further explore partnerships like the CJ E&M agreement going forward?
We’re always open to work with great producers and we’re always looking to work with forward thinking broadcasters who want to work with us. CJ E&M came from a very personal relationship that our MD in Asia had with one of their executives, so they knew each other and trusted each other and it was something they mutually wanted to do that we backed and got involved [in]. For those kind of relationships to work, there always has to be a mutual respect, and it’s worked very well for us.
South Korea is a very interesting market, they have really great creatives there and really high production values. It’s a very interesting territory, look at Better Late Than Never on NBC [an adaptation of the popular South Korean Grandpas Over Flowers series], so it feels like they’ve got a little moment in the sun where people are looking at them to see how to move their formats around. That’s not necessarily why we did it, we did it because of the relationship, but I think it’s timely.
Big Music Quiz has now landed in five territories, and it looks to be spreading. What do you think it is it about this format that has gripped international broadcasters?
It’s just really fun, and there aren’t many formats that let celebrities and unexpected celebrities show off about their music prowess in a really safe environment. It feels like a shared viewing experience, which I think is really important. There aren’t enough shared viewing experiences and certainly on UK television, it feels like those gems that can be shared viewing experiences really pop through and there simply isn’t enough of them.
What plans do you have for the Creative Networks division following Ana Langenberg’s exit from Endemol last month?
Ana and I talked about it, and she was very much on the formats and I feel that where we’re going as a company we were very much on brands – she’s been with the company 18 years and felt that’s not something necessarily that she wanted to be involved in, so it was a very amicable parting of the ways. For us, we are expanding because now Creative Networks looks after non-scripted, scripted and original content for our digital and non-linear platforms as well. There’s so much content that needs moving around the group and we’re creating brands, and by creating brands we’re creating value, so from that perspective that’s our plan.
Can you tell me about Endemol Shine’s growing activity in the factual genre?
We’re doing those big factual pieces [The Island, Ambulances and Hunted] in a different way by giving it a drama feel not in terms of money, but in terms of pacing, editing and scale. Moving forward, that’s certainly something we’re going to see a lot more of in the factual genre. It feels like it’s the start of something exciting and the beginning of a curve.