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Red Arrow Develops a ‘Taste’ for What Stands Out in Reality

Unscripted shows form a major part of the Red Arrow Intl. slate with a wide range of gameshows and reality formats on offer.
One of its biggest hits is cooking show “The Taste,” which has sold to more than 80 territories as either a taped show — which is produced for ABC in the U.S. and stars Nigella Lawson and Anthony Bourdain — or a format.

The market for cooking-show formats is very competitive and to be successful, shows need a twist, such as the blind audition on “The Taste.” “Midnight Feast,” another cooking show on the slate, also features a twist: Competitors are in a closed food hall where they can use every ingredient, but if they lose they foot the bill.

“What I believe makes ‘Midnight Feast’ stand out is its combination of reality, cooking and competition all set on location away from the studio,” says Henrik Pabst, who heads Red Arrow Intl. alongside Irina Ignatiew. “This gives the show a much younger and fresher feel, which is often missing in more traditional cooking programming.”

An emerging unscripted trend is social experiment reality shows. Red Arrow Intl. has two such programs: “Married at First Sight,” in which single folk wed strangers selected by experts; and “Escape Your Life,” where couples are offered a chance to reinvent themselves.

“In the end it is about the idea,” says Pabst. “It is about what it looks like. It’s about whether the viewer can jump in at any time and play along.”

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