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ITV, Talpa Present ‘The Desert’ Survival Format as Buyers Converge on U.K. Screenings

U.S. network circles ITV Studios’ Celebrity Format ‘I’ll Get This’

It’s post-Berlin and pre-Cannes and the focus of the international TV business has shifted to London as the major distribution outfits present their new wares to buyers.

ITV Studios was up Friday and showed buyers its unscripted lineup. Highlights included “The Desert,” a new desert-based survival format from the Middle East division of “The Voice” creator Talpa. It has just launched on SBC in Saudi Arabia. It sees contestants trained in survival skills, with the weakest eliminated before the finalists take on a multi-day race across the desert.

Elsewhere, 12 Yard, the producers of celebrity dinner party gameshow “I’ll Get This” reported interest from an as-yet-unidentified broadcast network for a U.S. version.

There was also an early glimpse of another 12 Yard format, “Catchpoint,” a physical gameshow it is making with Possessed for the BBC in the U.K. It was described as “University Challenge meets the Olympics.” Half the room didn’t appear not have the stomach for “Operation Live” – a slow-TV take on an operation that shows surgeons in action in the theater in unflinching detail.

ITV was warming up buyers before taking the formats to MIPTV in April. The sales arm of the U.K. broadcaster had the morning in London’s Ham Yard hotel before handing the venue over to Warner Bros.’ in the afternoon.

The U.K. Screenings have grown in scale and importance. The BBC’s Showcase event was the initial pull for buyers to head to the U.K. and it kicks off next week. BBC Studios, keen to have acquisition execs’ undivided attention, holds its event outside London, in Liverpool. David Attenborough and Riz Ahmed are among the talent it will have in town.

Elsewhere, All3Media has had a formats event and will give buyers a glimpse of shows including “Baptiste” and “The Feed” at a drama event held after Showcase. The likes of Cineflix, Fremantle, and Sony also have screenings.

The emergence of London and Liverpool as destinations for buyers in February changes the dynamics of the international business as the major distributors are set out their stalls earlier in the year and ahead of MIPTV.

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