Silverman's new entity shows inaugural slate at Mip
Ben Silverman’s Electus is partnering with Mark Burnett to bring the Chinese gamer “Big Time Spender” to U.S. audiences. As part of its inaugural slate of TV and multimedia programming, Electus also has food-based competish show in the works as well as projects culled from Israel-based Abbot Reif Hameiri Prods.’ library, an Internet project from thesp Vanessa Williams, and the U.S. rights to the Canadian series “Hiccups.” “A number of our projects are truly bridging the gap between traditional television, the Internet and other media platforms,” Silverman said. Electus announced its development lineup a few days before the Mip TV international sales confab convenes today in Cannes, where Silverman will be a keynote speaker Tuesday. “Big Time Spender” was created by Swedish-based Bringiton and produced for China’s CCTV — the first time a Western-owned format was successfully broadcast there, Electus said. The reality gamer centers on contestants who compete to become the nation’s smartest shopper. Electus, Burnett and Bringiton will produce, while creator Martin Gisselman will remain involved in the U.S. version. “Hiccups,” from Canada’s Thunderbird Films, centers on a children’s author with anger management issues who gets help from a life coach. Canadian comedy star Brent Butt created and stars in the show. The food competish “Munch Madness: The National Food Tournament” takes elements from the Eurovision Song Contest and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament to create a bracket-style faceoff among U.S. restaurants. Sharp Entertainment (“Man vs. Food”) is producing with Electus, making this the first of three projects the two companies are partnering on. Electus’ previously announced partnership with Abbot Reif Hameiri Prods. has so far resulted in development of the Israeli gamer format “Cuckoo’s Nest,” as well as Israeli docudrama “TLV,” about four twentysomething roommates. On the web, “Ugly Betty” star Vanessa Williams and producing partner Michael Gruber are co-producing the series “Stylized With Patricia Field,” in which stylist Field makes over ordinary women. And the dance competish “Ready, Set, Dance,” from Notional execs Cleve Keller and Dave Noll, will use TV and the web. Electus has also partnered with recently launched production/distribution entity Engine Entertainment to co-produce interactive game show “Thumb Wars.” Show will use smart phone apps for clues to find a hidden treasure. Stimulii created the show, which started out on South Africa’s SABC network. Engine CEO Chris Philip and Michel Rodrigue will exec produce with Silverman. “Ben and his team move fast and understand complex product and digital integration,” Philip said. Silverman is partnered with IAC in Electus, while Electus Distribution is a venture between Silverman and Shine Intl.