De Mol looks to trump German ‘Apprentice’

Endemol inks first format pact with Czech Republic

COLOGNE — Dutch producer John de Mol will star in an Endemol rival to “The Apprentice” for Haim Saban’s German TV channel ProSieben this fall.

Business reality format “Hire or Fire” will test 10 candidates for the position of creative director for de Mol’s new production shingle, after his departure at Endemol.

ProSieben, which normally specializes in U.S. fiction series and films, also picked up cosmetic surgery show “The Swan.” The German version will be produced by Grundy Light Entertainment.

Meanwhile, Endemol has inked its first format agreement for the Czech Republic, selling more than 50 episodes of the gamer “1 vs. 100” to AQS, acquisition arm of commercial net TV Nova. Broadcast is set for the fall.

In “1 vs. 100,” a contestant plays against 100 people to answer questions correctly. Format has aired in seven other territories including Germany.

The gameshow also has sold to Cactus Prods. in Tunisia for broadcast on ERTT in the fall.

Endemol format “Split Decision” pulled market shares of as high as 70% on ERTT, enough to convince the net to reup for a second season, which will air next year.

Endemol has appointed Ed Sharples as its new director of sales for Southeast Asia. Sharples, who stepped down as director of international for Zeal Television late last year, moved to his new spot July 1 and reports to Endemol director of programming and licensing Mike Morley.

(Marlene Edmunds in Amsterdam contributed to this report.)

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