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FremantleMedia Brings Global Entertainment To MIPCOM

Cannes, 04 October 2010: FremantleMedia, one of the largest creators and producers of entertainment brands in the world, brings to MIPCOM 2010 a fantastic mix of inspiring global entertainment, with challenging competitions, exciting game shows and gripping factual entertainment programmes. Exceptional new talent is on show as contestants battle it out in casting format My Name Is..., while fun, unpredictable game shows Total Blackout and Face It join the excitement and humour of Comedians Under The Hammer, Children or Animals, The Better Sex and All New Hot Streak. Real-life emotional challenges are overcome in You Can’t Take It With You and Who Does What?, while inspiring displays of raw talent in Ultimate School Musical and Work Of Art round off FremantleMedia’s internationally appealing blockbuster slate.

Rob Clark, President, Worldwide Entertainment for FremantleMedia, said: “We have a very strong slate for MIPCOM and we are confident buyers will find something that audiences will love. Our exciting new game shows, entertainment, and factual entertainment formats join a well established catalogue of some of the world’s most successful shows, including X Factor, Got Talent, Take Me Out, Idols and Farmer Wants A Wife. We’re very pleased to be bringing to this year’s market new shows such as My Name Is…, a big cross-genre entertainment show that takes impersonation and look-a-like programmes to the next level, and Total Blackout, which was developed as a part of our hugely successful Creative Exchange Alliance in collaboration with Fuji TV. We have fantastic programmes from all over the world, with good production track records and great broadcast partners that will be sure to inspire and entertain audiences around the world.”

Headlining this year’s slate is the nationwide casting competition, My Name is... which aims to find a country’s best young and adult impersonators of world class performers. An uplifting, feel-good entertainment show, My Name is... sees competitors of all ages battle it out on stage to prove themselves the best at playing world-renowned stars such as Justin Bieber, Amy Winehouse, Puff Daddy and Lady GaGa. With every contestant set on a personal mission to prove that they embody the performing spirit of their favourite star, it’s a thrilling battle of song and dance, with live shows, iconic routines, and amazing passion and talent on display. Exploring the relationship between contestants and their heroes the show uncovers heart warming stories of people who share the same dream. This engaging format, based on an idea by Albert Verlinde and developed by Blue Circle, has had huge success for broadcasters RTL4 in The Netherlands and VTM in Belgium, ranking as the number one programme in its time slot in both countries and winning audiences of over 1.5 million.

Viewers of all ages will love Total Blackout, the hilarious new game show in which players are thrust into a room of total darkness to compete in a series of outrageous challenges. In order to emerge victorious into the light they must survive a series of knock-out rounds in which they come face-to-face with their worst nightmares. With unpredictable games that range from navigating your way around a sumo wrestler in a tiny room, to plunging your hand into a tank containing a live animal, it takes brains, courage and a sense of humour to survive this game. Seriously scary for contestants and devilishly funny for audiences, Total Blackout was created out of the FremantleMedia / Fuji TV Creative Exchange Alliance, and has already received a fantastic reception internationally with pre-sales to broadcasters in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, and a Japanese version set to air on 30 October 2010.

Next is the groundbreaking factual entertainment programme You Can’t Take It With You, which tackles head on the often unaddressed problems of dividing an estate and writing a will. Laying bare the deepest secrets and grievances amongst relatives, You Can’t Take It With You follows real families on an emotional journey as they make the ultimate decision about who gets what, and why. It can be difficult to separate emotions from money, so families are assisted by a lawyer and an expert presenter to help them rationally navigate the process. Together, they face and resolve their fears and dilemmas, and talk openly about the future for what’s often the very first time. This touching, insightful and beautifully crafted format is from talkbackTHAMES in the UK, and will air on BBC.

Showcasing creative talent, Work Of Art challenges a group of aspiring artists to compete for a solo show at a prestigious national gallery. Each episode sees contenders of various skill levels, styles and characters compete over a challenge to create a unique and thought-provoking piece of art. Throughout the series contestants must defend their unique creations to a panel of top figures from the world of art in their efforts to get one step closer to reaching their dream of a successful career in art. This hugely enjoyable series from Magical Elves Inc. and Pretty Matches has proved a ratings success on Bravo in the US, doubling the channel average share for the commercial target of Adults 18-49.

Face It is the shocking, madcap game show from the creators of Hole In The Wall, Fuji TV, in which contestants confront physical challenges, using only their heads. This zany competition sees teams playing against each other in a series of elimination rounds to win their place in the final. Players can use their mouths, teeth, lips, ears, faces and heads to negotiate each challenge – and penalties are imposed if any contestant uses their hands. It’s compelling, grotesque and very, very silly!

Next up, Who Does What? is the anti-therapist show for every couple that’s ever argued over just who does what to keep their household running. This pioneering series puts perceptions to the test as couples face up to the facts about who really does what in their homes and relationships. Each episode begins with couples declaring the amount of work they feel they do, but as cameras observe their activities over the course of a week, the reality becomes clear. Partners are monitored then presented with quantitative evidence about who really does what, and with these foolproof statistics for all to see, the results are indisputable. Couples are challenged to redress the imbalance to revive or even save their relationship, and one month on, we revisit the couples’ homes to see what’s changed. Only this exciting new format from talkbackTHAMES can get to the bottom of Who Does What?

Turning the TV studio into an auction house of comedy, Comedians Under The Hammer sees celebrity comics competing to make the most outrageous bid, using ridiculous suggestions of what they would do when posed a question. The winning bidder, as selected by the show’s host, is then set the challenge of acting out, or being subjected to, their winning offer. With comedians jousting to be the funniest in the room, wild and wacky comic carnage ensues, with the resulting videos played back to the assembled comedians and audience. One comedian may opt to be woken every day by having a wheelbarrow of dirt dumped on their head, another may need to be on guard every day of a week as an American football squad are out to tackle him at every turn; the bids and challenges just get more and more extreme, as audiences in turn laugh more and more. Irreverent, original and outrageously funny, Comedians Under The Hammer is a Tokyo Broadcasting Systems format developed in the UK by talkbackTHAMES and has already sold to TPI in Indonesia.

From challenging the professionals, to putting future talent under the spotlight, Ultimate School Musical from Mentorn gives one ordinary high school the chance to prove how extraordinary its pupils really are. Top producers and dance and singing coaches have just four weeks to cast, rehearse and stage a “one night only” performance starring students exclusively from the school. Packed with ambition, tension, and emotionally uplifting stories, we discover bookworms ready to throw caution to the wind, skaters with stage fright, and confidently cool kids failing to make the cut. From classroom to class act, we watch nerve-wracking moments and life-changing accomplishments, as the curtain rises for their one-off spectacular performance. For everyone involved, there’s just one question: will they pull it off?

Giving a classic game show a whole new dimension, All New Hot Streak is the funny, fast-paced test of quick wit, imagination and team spirit. Two teams of five contestants play a clever mix of two classic party games: Chinese Whispers and Charades, for a jackpot prize. The energetic first round sees players race against the clock to describe a clue to each of their teammates in turn, while never repeating the same word twice! The teams then test their miming mettle as they act out clues without using any words at all. The previous show’s champions then return for a second chance, and the winners of this round play a quick-tempo word association game for a chance to win an ever increasing jackpot, and return to the following show. FremantleMedia’s All New Hot Streak is the perfect stripped daily game show for broadcasters; a cost effective, self contained, ratings winner. In Spain, the show consistently increased its market share from launch, outperforming broadcaster Cuatro’s access prime time share by up to +96% for adults 13-24. It will also soon go to air in Indonesia on ANTV.

FremantleMedia’s The Better Sex is the strippable prime time battle of the sexes which pits men against women in an ultimate showdown to solve the age-old question of who really is better? Through a series of question and answer rounds, two teams – three men and three women - each supported by their enthusiastic panel, attempt to prove their superiority by answering gender-based questions to find out how much we really know about ourselves and each other. It’s a vivacious, dynamic, and determined showdown as the winning team goes on to the final round, where all the supporters play together. Each time the winning team get a question right, the opposing supporters who answered it incorrectly are eliminated from playing, but if the winning team get it wrong, it’s their own supporters that are at risk. Only when the winning team has dispatched all members of the opposing team supporters can they take home the jackpot, and truly declare themselves The Better Sex.

Breaking all the rules in television is FremantleMedia’s Children or Animals, where the only thing that’s guaranteed is that the unexpected will happen! Two contestants team up with celebrities to play unpredictable games involving children, animals, and ultimately, both. Even challenges that seem straightforward take on a whole new hilarious twist in this fun filled prime time family gameshow.

This strong selection of entertainment formats joins FremantleMedia’s established catalogue of blockbusters including some of the world’s fastest selling formats of 2010, Got Talent and Take Me Out, as well as Idols and The X Factor, which continue to smash audience figures around the world, bringing inspiring entertainment to millions of viewers.

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Notes to Editors


FremantleMedia is one of the leading creators and producers of entertainment brands in the world. FremantleMedia is part of the RTL Group, Europe's largest television and radio broadcast company, which is in turn 90 percent owned by Bertelsmann AG, one of the world's major media and entertainment companies. FremantleMedia’s worldwide production arm is responsible for many of the world’s highest rated prime time entertainment, drama, serial drama and factual entertainment programmes. FremantleMedia Enterprises is the brand extension arm of FremantleMedia, offering a one-stop-shop for all Licensing, Distribution and Home Entertainment around the world. The FremantleMedia Group (which includes talkbackTHAMES, UFA and Grundy amongst others) has operations in 22 countries, one of the most comprehensive global networks, creating nearly 10,000 hours of programming a year, rolling out more than 60 formats and managing over 300 individual titles. FremantleMedia has some of the world’s most sought after and long running formats in its catalogue, and globally, produces such programmes as: Idols (co-produced with 19 Productions in the US), The X Factor (co-produced with Syco in the UK), Got Talent (co-produced with Syco in the UK and the US), Neighbours, Family Feud, The Price is Right, Farmer Wants A Wife and Hole In The Wall.

For further information:

Blair Metcalfe, Ogilvy PR

Tel: +44 (0) 207 309 1024