MIPCOM Wrap Up: Celebrities Diving, “The Money Pump”, “The Bank Job”, and Others
This week in Cannes is the international television market MIPCOM. For those not familiar with it MIPCOM is the world’s largest market for creating, buying, and selling television shows and formats. Naturally game shows are very prevalent here due to their nature, and they were indeed out in full force. Through awards, new shows, and acquisitions, the genre had a big week.
First off, congratulations to Endemol who won the award for best studio-based game show for The Bank Job. The show beat out The Exit List, Are You Normal, and many others. We did enjoy Bank Job and, to be honest, out of those formats it was the best. It was hampered by some production decisions we didn’t agree with, and we’d still love to see the floated-around daytime version, but regardless it is a fun format we’re glad to see the team win. Congratulations to them. Looking back at clips I do miss seeing the show, actually.
An Israeli format has been the talk of the town lately and native US and UK versions look to be coming soon. ITV Studios has acquired the rights to the format The Money Pump for local versions in Germany, Australia, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland in addition to America and England and others down the line. The show sees a team of two people answering questions as quickly as they can, because the longer they take the more cash is taken out of their bank through the money pump. Wrong answers mean that the pump increases its speed and money disappears faster.
We saw the pitch film and some of the Israeli version of The Money Pump and it’s another one of those shows that “just exists”, which seems to be our new motto for the genre recently. It does nothing new or unique. Frankly it feels really close to Million Pound Drop in that it’s another exercise in futility as people just try to not lose so much…not necessarily win. We’ve seen that style of game hasn’t gone over that well in many places including some of the markets ITV Studios is targeting. However, in this current time, it’s amazing when any quiz format gains any traction at all so we’re very happy to see something that requires you to have a shred of knowledge go far. We’ll keep you up to date on this. Here’s the trailer for the show. What do you think? I’ve got some major issues but I’m curious how you feel.
The most confusing sensation at MIPCOM, though, is this string of celebrity diving competitions going around. It’s been the talk of Cannes this week and I can’t put my finger on why anyone thinks this is a good idea. ABC has already picked up Celebrity Splash as we previously discussed, and literally a second format (this time from Banijay) is now making the rounds and selling. So, yes, there are two competing shows that see celebrities jump into pools. Am I missing something here? I don’t like the celebrity dancing shows but I understand why they’re popular. However, let’s be honest, the entire point of the celebrity diving shows is the hope that a famous person will belly flop. If they don’t people don’t care. There’s some marvel to ballroom dancing because not everyone can do it and it is visually appealing. This is just watching people jump off a board. Again, please tell me if I’m missing something. Here’s a film for this one to get you prepared.
In other MIPCOM news, we found that Sony Pictures took The Pyramid, The Bible Challenge, Russian Roulette, and many others for sale. We expected the first two given The Pyramid‘s international notoriety and The Bible Challenge‘s big success, but Russian Roulette surprises me. It’s undeniably a great format, possibly one of the best of the past decade, but it’s been gone for a while. Networks in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Iran and the Balkans have picked up the full rerun package to ITV’s award winning game show The Cube. It’s a smart move. There’s no knowledge barrier and the visuals and game aspect is universally understood. It would be great to see some network, even like a Syfy, pick it up here. Click here to visit our Facebook page and here for our Twitter page to get the most up to date information on MIPCOM, since news is coming in constantly.