Veralia revives mid-'90s gameshow format

MADRID — Veralia, the Madrid-based production holding, is readying a Latin American reboot of mid-90s Spanish gameshow “El Gran juego de la oca” (Goose Game), which was based on the Snakes and Ladders boardgame.

Produced in Bogota, and set up at Veralia’s light entertainment producer Europroducciones TV, one of its five production companies, “Goose” will be syndicated to around four or five Latin American broadcasters, including a top channel in Mexico, Stefano Torrisi, director of Veralia’s international division, told journalists in Madrid.

Veralia will attempt to replicate the production structure set up by Europroduzione TV, Europroducciones’ Italian subsid, which produced a big studio redo of “Guinness World Records,” added Marco Fernandez de Araoz, Veralia director, international acquisitions and sales.

Budgeted at nearly Euros1 million ($1.4 million) per show, the Italian “Guinness” studio production is used by smaller country companies for their own versions of the format.

Veralia is in talks with Mexican and other Latin American networks. It is in advanced negotiations for Colombia’s Dynamo Capital, a private-sector fund and producer, to co-produce “Goose” using its Colombian studios, Torrisi said.

Each Latin American broadcaster will shoot its own version.

According to Torrisi, producing out of Colombia could halve Spanish-level production costs, bringing the show in at Euros2.5 million ($3.4 million) for 20 episodes.

The revamp will include a “Harry Potter”-style magical castle and a “Pirates of the Caribbean”-style sailing ship.

Developed by “Fort Boyard” format creator Joselyn Hattab, the original was a big hit for leading Spanish broadcaster Antena 3 TV over 1993-95. Its original taped version punched high ratings in Chile, Mexico and other Latin American territories.

A ramping up of international co-production, especially with emerging markets, looks like an increasing trend for Spanish TV production companies, as Spain’s TV ad market double-dipped first-half 2011, plunging 7.4% to Euros1.21 billion ($1.66 billion).

“Seeing what’s going on in local markets, we have to go abroad to avoid shrinking until we close down,” said Fernandez de Araoz.

Europroducciones TV has also inked with Mediaset Espana to reversion “The Cube” for the ME-owned free-to-air web Cuatro.

Sold by All3Media Intl., the BAFTA-winning U.K. gameshow will air from January in daily access primetime slot, a first for the format, which usually plays primetime. Europroducciones TV will produce 60 segs straight off, Torrisi said.

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