Par, Goodson pick Strix reality shticks

Prod'n co. sold p'gramming to over 20 territories

AMSTERDAM — Hot Swedish reality shop Strix Television broke barriers Aug. 21 when Jonathan Goodson Prods. and Paramount Domestic Television optioned nine of its reality formats for the U.S. market.

Programming from 13-year-old Strix has sold to more than 20 territories and been optioned to 27. But the new deal is the first time the TV production arm of Scandinavian media conglom Modern Times Group has broken into the U.S., the world’s most lucrative television market.

Among the formats to be developed are “The Bar,” now in its fourth season at Sweden’s TV3, which has been licensed or had options sold to 18 territories, the latest being Portugal where it mopped up 60% aud shares on commercial broadcaster SIC. In “The Bar,” male and female competitors live and work together running a bar while cameras record their dramas and conflicts.

Also included in the deals are new formats “Harem,” “The Farm” and “360 Degrees” as well as some of its older formats such as “Trading Places.”

Strix has, in fact, been breaking borders in the reality genre since 1996 when current managing director Ana Brakenhielm, then head of development, licensed “Survivor,” a format now owned by Castaway Prods. and sold to some 35 territories.

Strix chairman and founder Robert Aschberg recalls: “Ana had seen just a couple of scraps of paper with the ‘Survivor’ idea on it, called us and said she just had to have it. She was really stubborn about it, so we told her, ‘Make the deal.’ ”

Skein’s a ‘Survivor’

In 1997 Strix bowed “Expedition Robinson,” the first version of “Survivor.” Aschberg adds: “Even before we started producing it for Swedish Television (SVT), the show stirred up a huge commotion in the government and the press. It was the first of its kind, and people were outraged. They thought it was too exploitative.”

The show hits its fifth season on SVT in the fall. Final season last year picked up a 78% aud share.

Strix’s background as a game and talkshow producer has helped it get a fix on formats. Aschberg, a former journalist and one of Sweden’s most popular TV hosts, says: “You don’t have to be a Nobel Prize winner to come up with the ideas, but you do have to make them work. We have some unwritten but pretty strict rules for producing formats, and so far we haven’t flopped yet.”

Most of the Strix formats are produced inhouse. Brakenhielm says she has developed a gut feeling for the winners. “Sometimes I come up with the idea, sometimes someone else inhouse or even the broadcaster will, but the idea always comes first. Then we brainstorm how we will produce it.”

She adds she is hopeful the sale in the U.S. will result in Strix formats hitting the networks, but adds: “This deal is an option. I’m not taking anything for granted. It gives us a foot in the door.”

What’s next? Says Auschberg, “We’re busy trying to figure that out ourselves.”

More TV

  • How Cooking-Travel Shows Are Changing TV

    How Cooking-Travel Shows Are Changing TV

    Toyo hunches over his street food stove, cooking tuna with a blow torch, stopping to light his cigarette with it and produce a cheeky grin. The Japanese chef, who owns a roadside stand in the city of Osaka, is one of many highlighted in the Netflix series “Street Food.” Over the course of 30 minutes, [...]


    SAG-AFTRA Leaders Approve Proposal for New Film-TV Contract

    The SAG-AFTRA national board has approved proposals for a successor deal to its master contract covering feature film and primetime television — a key step in the upcoming negotiations cycle with companies. The board approved the package Saturday with the performers union declining to reveal any specifics — its usual policy. The board established the wages [...]

  • Shannen Doherty'Jennie Garth: A Little Bit

    Shannen Doherty Joins 'Riverdale' Season 4 in Luke Perry Tribute

    “Riverdale” is planning to make a special tribute to Luke Perry. The show’s executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa announced at Comic-Con that Shannen Doherty, Perry’s longtime friend and “Beverly Hills 90210” co-star, will guest star in the season 4 premiere. The tribute episode will “reflect Perry’s enduring legacy and the indelible imprint his character” Fred Andrews [...]

  • Supernatural CW

    'Supernatural' Team Gets Emotional Final Season Sendoff at Comic-Con

    The cast and creative team of “Supernatural” bid a fond farewell to the attendees of San Diego Comic-Con on Sunday. At the show’s final panel in the gargantuan Hall H, the team thanked the fans for all of their support over the years as the series prepares to enter its final season. “I’m trying not [...]

  • Alicia Rodis photographed by Alicia Rodis

    SAG-AFTRA Moves to Standardize Guidelines for Intimacy Coordinators

    SAG-AFTRA is moving to standardize guidelines for intimacy coordinators as part of an effort to establish policies for union members when their work involves nudity and simulated sex. “Our goal is to normalize and promote the use of intimacy coordinators within our industry,” said SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris. “Intimacy coordinators provide an important safety net for [...]

  • SDCC TV News Roundup: Syfy Releases

    SDCC TV News Roundup: Syfy Releases 'The Magicians' Season 5 Clip (Watch)

    In today’s SDCC TV news roundup, Syfy shares a clip from “The Magicians” Season 5, and Amazon sets the Season 4 premiere of “The Expanse.” CASTING Julie Gonzalo and Staz Nair have joined the cast of “Supergirl” for its upcoming fifth season. Gonzalo will portray iconic DC character Andrea Rojas aka Acrata, a polished businesswoman [...]

  • Doom Patrol -- Ep. 101 --

    'Doom Patrol' Renewed, Season 2 to Stream on DC Universe and HBO Max

    “Doom Patrol” has been renewed for a second season and will soon be available outside of DC Universe. At San Diego Comic-Con, series executive producer Jeremy Carver and star Diane Guerrero announced not only that the show will be back for another season but also that it will be available on HBO Max, the upcoming [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content