Brits must ditch ‘dull’ formats, sez exec

ITV Studios Blumenfeld advises Brits to emulate U.S. programmakers

CANNES — A leading U.K. format specialist has accused British TV of being scared to generate exciting ideas for the international market.

Remy Blumenfeld, director of global formats at ITV Studios, said Brits needed to emulate U.S. programmakers by ditching “dull” storylines from its factual entertainment fare.

“The U.K. is the home of factual programming but for a long time it has been dulled down by all the residual fears that exist there,” Blumenfeld said at the Mip TV mart in Cannes on Tuesday. “In the U.S. entertainment shows are produced by entertainment departments so they have a licence to thrill.”

He said the “very truthful but dull factual programming come out of the U.K.” was sparked by “Queengate, when the BBC was censured for the editing of a documentary about Queen Elizabeth II that appeared to show her storming out of a photo shoot, when she was actually hurrying to get to the shoot.

“Producers have always created stories. Mostly they represented the truth but not necessarily the truth in every way,” he said.

Blumenfeld excluded his own slate from this criticism.

He singled out “Pineapple Dance Studios,” aired by pay web Sky 1, which ITV Studios is repping at the Mip TV sales mart.

Show is generating buzz among fans.

” ‘Pineapple’ brings the fun back into factual story telllng by blending genres — entertainment, documentary and performance,” Blumenfeld said.

So far no deals have been announced for the skein, made by Pulse, either as a format or a finished program.

But ITV Studios is optimistic that the program, favorably compared to “Glee,” will win a commission in the U.S.

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