Advanced Television

Warner Bros revelas slate of title for Formats Showcase

February 26, 2024

Warner Bros International Television Production has revealed a wide ranging slate of new formats to be presented to the world’s buyers at its upcoming Formats Showcase, to be held at BAFTA on February 29th, during the London Screenings.

With topics covering everything from drama and dating, to DNA puzzles and dinner with friends, the new formats provide producers and broadcasters with a compelling selection of innovative ideas and refreshing twists on global hits across popular reality, entertainment and factual entertainment genres.

Spearheading the slate is Bring the Drama, an inspiring vocational competition format created for BBC Two by Wall to Wall. Eight people who’ve dreamt of becoming professional actors but have never had the chance, take on the audition process of their lives by re-creating scenes from the nation’s most loved dramas – with real scripts, real cameras and all the real pressures actors face. With each challenge, they receive advice and encouragement from some of the country’s top actors, as well as a casting director who acts as their mentor. At the end, the casting director chooses the three most promising actors and presents their showreels at an industry showcase for the chance to secure representation from a leading agent.

In the dating/reality arena, WBITVP has two fresh formats to join its enviable catalogue of global successes such as First Dates and The Bachelor. Boys Like Boys, the Portico Media show for Taiwanese streamer GagaOOLala, is WBITVP’s first LBGQT+ dating title. It features eight gay guys living together for a week in the hope that romantic surroundings, plus a series of games, date opportunities, and ‘Secret Talk’ calls with the objects of their affections, will make true love flourish. There’s no manufactured drama or eliminations, just the chance for real emotions to develop and for the audience to learn more about the everyday experiences of gay men and the challenges they face. It’s authentic, sweet, can generate huge amounts of social media buzz and is unlike any other dating show currently available.

Meanwhile, The Bachelor franchise is extended with The Golden Bachelor, a new senior-focused take of the hugely popular title in which a hopeless romantic in his golden years gets a second chance of love later in life. A smash hit on ABC when it launched in 2023, it was the network’s top unscripted series in almost four years, with the finale reaching close to ten million multiplatform viewers.

Three new factual entertainment formats also make their debut this week. Born from the Same Stranger, created by Wall to Wall for ITV1, is a new ‘personal discovery’ format that follows people born from sperm and egg donors as they discover

where they came from, as well as some new family members along the way. My Family Mystery, created by WBITVP New Zealand for TVNZ1, uses a single clue – such as a photograph, diary or memento – to help someone solve a family mystery. Packed with social history and fascinating discoveries along the way, it builds to a final emotional reveal. Capitalising on the market interest for formats that tap into nostalgia, as well repairing, WBITVP will be launching Toy Hospital. Created by Ricochet, the makers of The Repair Shop, for Channel 5 in the UK, it’s a heart-warming and charming format that sees the nation’s top ‘toy doctors’ offer a lifeline to damaged or broken patients – from teddy bears and dolls to bikes and train sets – and their desperate owners. While following meticulous and intricate repairs to restore each toy to its former glory, viewers learn the unique story behind each patient – all adding up to a wonderful celebration of the history and nostalgia of the world of toys.

Finally, WBITVP will be showcasing two entertainment formats. Star Vs Food, which has already seen two successful seasons on Discovery+ India, is a new chat-meets-cooking format. Each episode follows a celebrity as they work alongside a famous chef in their restaurant kitchen, preparing a meal and sharing anecdotes before they sit down to enjoy the fruits of their labour with their friends and family. Will the guests guess that the celebrity has helped cook the meal?

Meanwhile, Sing Again, the Korean talent format from SLL Joongang that has already run to three seasons on JTBC/Discovery in South Korea, will be re-launched to buyers on the back of a new production for VTM in Belgium. Sing Again sees once famous and now forgotten singers – maybe former child stars, boy band members or one-hit-wonders – given a last chance to prove their talent over a series of challenges and elimination rounds, initially with their identities hidden from the judges.

Andrew Zein, WBITVP’s SVP creative, format development and sales comments: “Great formats continue to be very much in demand, with broadcasters around the globe always keen to find new ideas with proven success that they can make their own. WBITVP has an enviable track record in both creating and acquiring ratings-winning formats and this year’s slate for Formats Showcase is no exception.

“Bring the Drama is something totally new to the vocational competition space and is a brilliant way for broadcasters to find new talent as well as celebrate their scripted output. Both Born from the Same Stranger and My Family Mystery bring innovative thinking and new twists to the increasingly popular personal discovery arena, while Toy Hospital beautifully taps into trends for repairing, crafting, and nostalgia. And with its premise of learning more about our favourite celebrities – plus some new cooking skills – Stars Vs Food serves up a perfect recipe for relaxed entertainment. I am, however, especially excited by our two new dating formats, both of which attracted huge amounts of interest from their premieres. Boys Like Boys is a really wholesome gay dating show and stands out in the marketplace not only because of its obs-doc elements but also due to a complete lack of gimmicks, while The Golden Bachelor and its focus on seniors finding love is destined to be the most successful franchise extension yet of one of the biggest dating brands on the planet.”

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