David Goldberg launched Endemol USA in 2000. Buoyed early by the European parent company’s “Big Brother” format, the American offshoot has consistently spun reality into “extreme” ratings gold under his watch.
The Endemol North America chairman can lay claim to high-energy hits “Fear Factor,” “Deal or No Deal,” and the Emmy-winning “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” “Wipeout,” an elaborate obstacle-course competition, premiered on ABC last summer and held strong numbers. A third season has been set for summer 2010.
“ABC has made a commitment so far to use ‘Wipeout’ as their summer hit,” Goldberg says. “… That will hopefully ensure longevity.”
What makes a reality series really successful, in his view?
“Never becoming complacent,” Goldberg explains. “Upping the ante. Look at ‘Extreme Makeover.’ … (When) we started out, we might take half the house down to the studs and redo. Now we come to the existing house, we blow it up with dynamite, and rebuild it to three times the size.”