U.S. ‘Crash’ course

'Lingo' team IDTV to steer Euro format skein

The Dutch producers behind Game Show Network’s surprise hit “Lingo” are hoping to make an impact with another Euro format: the auto accident skein “Crash.”

Series will use stuntmen and CGI animation to graphically re-create actual car crashes, showing what led to the accident and the impact on victims in the aftermath.

Holland-based IDTV, led by Harry de Winter and Gerda Boerboom, has tapped Stateside producers Mark Marabella (“FBI Files”) and Howard Swartz (“The New Detectives”) to adapt the format for U.S. viewers via the latter duo’s Bella Swartz Prods. They’ll begin shopping for a U.S. network home later this month.

“It’s the science of tragedy,” Marabella said, noting that each year 40,000 people die in the U.S. from auto accidents. “In the same way we broke down murders for ‘FBI Files’… the show will try to put together what the cause of a crash is and flash back to find out what these people were doing that brought them together. It’s a little bit like ‘Sliding Doors,’ that random moment where people’s lives were changed forever.”

While the program will no doubt appeal to gore-lovers and speed freaks, producers hope the U.S. version of “Crash” will mirror its Euro counterparts by serving as an educational tool.

Paradigm Agency alternative department topper Pierre Brogan, who’s packaging the project, said the dramatic elements of “Crash” have also been effective in deterring accidents — so much so that local authorities have gotten involved in some territories.

“It’s been running quite some time overseas, and many governments of these countries actually fund these shows,” he said. “They’ve found that the show actually prevents accidents from happening.”

Brogan, who launched Paradigm’s alternative department three years ago, also expects to start shopping other projects from IDTV in the near future.

“Bachelor’ grad snagged

Meanwhile, Brogan and Paradigm recently signed “The Bachelor’s” Andrew Firestone, who toplined the reality skein’s third edition, and his fiancee, Jen Schefft. Paradigm’s looking at a number of opportunities for Firestone, who hails from a winemaking family, as well as for the couple together.

“It’s a combination of what we can do with him based on his interests and hers,” Brogan said. “He’s a car aficionado and knows wine. At the end of the day, what we like most about him is he’s an all-around great guy and very appealing. So the scope of things we’ll be doing includes hosting to creating his own show to being an expert. We’re exploring different endorsements for him and print ads.”

Clients such as Bella Swartz Prods. and Firestone are part of what Brogan describes as Paradigm’s strategy of focusing on reality talent early in their careers.

“As a real alternative to the larger agencies, we’re one of a few agencies that focuses on the next generation,” Brogan said. “We take more of a managerial approach. There needs to be another wave of producers out there, and we’ve set out to create and foster that generation.”

Recent signings at Paradigm include Zanzibar Prods.’ Nicole Torre, David Clair and Lauren Friedland, producers on Bravo’s reality skein “The It Factor,” and Gotham-based production shingle Varsity Entertainment. Tenpercentery also reps Adam De La Pena, the “I’m” in Comedy Central’s just-bowed “I’m With Busey.”