Taking a cue from their American counterparts, foreign TV stations are increasingly putting on their own game face, in many cases in primetime.
Latest example: the upcoming Mark Burnett quizzer for Fox called “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader,” which has in the space of a month been licensed in a dozen territories abroad.
Pitch was formalized to overseas station buyers several weeks ago during NATPE, specifically during a run-through of the show complete with peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches.
“We knew it would be fun to watch smart, everyday people prove how much they have forgotten from their elementary school studies. When you add in a group of fifth graders…it makes for really fun, family-friendly television,” Burnett said.
Mark Burnett Prods. has partnered with Ben Silverman’s Reveille to distribute the gameshow internationally.
Among the outlets that have signed on the dotted line for “Fifth Grader” are Germany’s commercial powerhouse ProSieben, France’s Endemol, Australia’s Network 10, Viasat in Scandinavia and SBS in Belgium, Brazil’s SBT and Solar in the Philippines. (Sales in Italy and Spain are close to being clinched.)
All of the above will make their own localized versions of the show.
Several others — Global in Canada and Dubai TV — have acquired the finished U.S. episodes.
“Fifth Grader” premieres on Fox in the post-“Idol” slot Feb. 27-28 and will air there for two weeks before moving to Thursdays.
“We wanted to partner with Reveille because they’ve made a specialty out of selling formats of gameshows and reality abroad,” Burnett’s head of international Scott Cru said.
Cru said he expected the joint foreign sales strategy worked out with Reveille’s international senior VP Chris Grant to be “just the beginning” of an ongoing relationship.
Reveille has recently licensed its gameshow “Identity” as well as reality formats “Date My Mom” and “The Biggest Loser” in most key territories abroad.
Mark Burnett Prods. has partnered with other distribution banners before, most notably with FremantleMedia to jointly distribute “The Apprentice” abroad.