Lighthearted, Nippon partner for reality

Duo to begin pitching 'All or Nothing' at Mipcom

L.A.-based Lighthearted Entertainment (“Moment of Truth”) has sealed a programming partnership with Tokyo’s Nippon TV Network (“Dragon’s Den”).

Under the one-year pact, the two companies plan to co-develop, co-own and co-distribute new reality TV formats for the global TV marketplace.

Lighthearted and Nippon are already set to begin pitching “All or Nothing,” a competitive reality format they plan to bring to the Mipcom TV confab next month.

“All or Nothing” follows a group of seven contestants as they are tasked with making it to a destination in 24 hours — but must make the right choices along the way. If they agree to the right moves and succeed, the team splits a $50,000 cash prize.

“It’s a show about group dynamics, about how people get along,” said Lighthearted prexy-CEO Howard Schultz. “It’s exploiting the fears, concerns and issues that each individual has, which slows them down in their decisionmaking.”

Under their arrangement, Lighthearted will shop the show in the U.S., while Nippon will distribute globally. The two companies have already shot a pilot, with American contestants, in the U.S. — but the episode aired in Japan, with Japanese dubbing and wraparounds featuring a Japanese host.

According to Schultz, “All or Nothing” was a competitive second place in its timeslot.

Lighthearted and Nippon were brought together by ICM, which reps both entities. Execs from both sides sat down earlier this year and each came up with 10 different show ideas. Together, Lighthearted and Nippon then whittled that down to six ideas — and later cut those final ideas down to two, one of which was “All or Nothing,” a Nippon idea that included elements from a Lighthearted concept.

“We were trying to do this in a cost-efficient way, so we funded just one project, but the second one we’ll probably do in the not-so-distant future,” Schultz said.

Schultz said he expected the relationship to continue beyond the initial first year commitment, with an eye toward developing one or two projects annually.

“We’re very happy with how it turned out, and I think they are too,” he said. “In this new global TV world we live in, these kinds of relationships will be going on more and more.”

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