Polish net casts local line

Producing culture-based programming

WARSAW — TVN, Poland’s youngest net, is in search of longrunning, culture-based programming. The rising cost of buying foreign product for broadcast has prompted the development of Polish-language programming in Poland and increased advertising spending.

TVN, which launched last October, is particularly interested in creating its own shows. According to TVN’s Luc Tomasino, the net has been squeezed by private net Polsat and pubcaster TVP, who have bought up many of the top movies and TV series. This prompted the need for originals in a country where Polish programming is the apparent ratings preference.

As No. 3 in an explosive market, TVN is highly motivated. “Shoot for the Stars,” a talent search hosted by ex-TVP star Krzysztof Ibisz, is currently TVN’s highest-rated show.

Tomasino said of the CME-backed TVN, “We want to run high-end and high-quality shows on the weekend.” The new-format variety-gameshows are a combined effort of CME, Poland’s ITI media conglomerate, and Dutch producers Endemol.

Cher-clone Kayah, a vastly popular Polish singer, is to host a new gameshow called “Those Were the Days,” which focuses on Polish trivia. The show features two teams of three Polish stars each competing to remember nostalgic cultural facts.

“We’re trying to create quality stuff that has a more human and local touch,” adds Tomasino.

According to a TVN source, the series will have a maximum of 14 shows, each with a budget of $50,000 to $100,000. And if prices keep going up, more and more Polish series will likely be developed.

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