A+E Networks’ canine competition show “Top Dog” has been optioned for both the U.K. and Irish markets by Scottish production company Two Rivers Media.
Created by MGM’s Big Fish Entertainment and broadcast as “America’s Top Dog” on A+E Networks’ A&E channel Stateside, the format sees teams of dogs and their owners tested on their speed, agility and teamwork by completing a series of tasks on a massive obstacle course.
Each week’s winning team receives prize money and an additional sum to donate to the animal charity of their choice. In the final week of competition, top competitors return to the finale course to battle for the “Top Dog” title and an additional cash prize.
Two Rivers’ option of “Top Dog” was supported by the National Lottery through Screen Scotland’s Broadcast Content Fund.
Founded in January 2019 by CEO Alan Clements, former director of content at STV Productions, and headquartered in Glasgow, Two Rivers creates content across factual, factual entertainment, entertainment and scripted.
The outfit’s creative team includes head of factual Mick McAvoy, former head of factual at STV Productions; head of entertainment Mirella Breda, most recently managing director of Endemol Shine label Initial; former Channel 4 acting head of features Lizi Wootton; ex-head of U.K. factual development at Wall to Wall Media, Lucy Bacon; and head of drama Marcus Wilson, who came to Two Rivers from scripted indie Fifty Fathoms Productions.
The company is backed by Noble Grossart and the Channel 4 Growth Fund, which upped their stakes in Two Rivers to buy out Kew Media Group, which entered administration last month and previously held a minority stake in the company.
Mirella Breda, head of entertainment at Two Rivers, said: “I can see why (Top Dog) has been such a huge hit in the States — it’s got that magic combination of high octane challenges and big emotional stories.”