BIARRITZ– “Anything Goes,” an entertainment format masterminded by French famed host/producer Jacques Essebag (aka Arthur), won the Format Export Prize at Biarritz-set Rendez-Vous mini-mart.
The Rendez-Vous, hosted by TV France International, also gave a Special Format Prize to “My Life Made in France,” created by Upside Distribution and Camera Subjective.
“My Life Made in France” centers around a young journalist who decides to change his way of life by replacing each of his goods by products manufactured in France. The program bowed on primetime Canal Plus last March and garnered the pay TV channel’s best ratings ever for a doc. The format has sold to Germany (Tresor TV Produktions), Italy (Ballandi Multimedia), Spain (TV Commercial), Ireland (Dineen Productions) and Russia (KB Production), among other territories.
Meanwhile, “Anything Goes” (Ce soir tout est permis), produced by Essebag’s Paris-based company Satisfation, is an entertainment format featuring local celebrities performing sketches, singing and dancing on a tilted set built at angle of 22.5 degrees.
“The whole point of the original format is to entertain and have fun so there’s no competitive elements to it, there are no teams or scoring — and that’s one of the main reasons behind its success,” said Laetitia de Falandre, head of acquisition and international for Satisfaction.
Sold by Shine International, “Anything Goes” has been picked up in more than 20 countries, including the U.S. (Fox), Australia (Seven), Spain (Antena 3), China (Yunnan TV), Brazil (TV Globo), Germany (Sat. 1) and Mexico (Canal 5).
The show has been a hit on French commercial net TF1 for the last two years.
De Falandre said Satisfaction’s other popular format is “Stars Under Hypnosis,” which aired last summer on TF1 to top ratings. The shingle is in discussions with various sales companies to hand out international rights.
The format business is heating up in France, per Mathieu Bejot, managing director of TVFI. Indeed, sales of homegrown formats keep going up every year and brought 22.1 million Euros in 2013.
Even countries with strong local production like the U.K., Spain and Italy, are tuning into French formats. “As always with these kinds of deals, the upside for producers is to minimize risks and save on development costs with formats that have already been developed and have a proven track record,” explained Bejot.
The Rendez-Vous mini-mart wraps on Sept. 11.