BBC, Fremantle partner on formats
BBC shows which have never been adapted for Australia or have long since disappeared from our screens could be re-activated under a new co-venture between FremantleMedia Australia (FMA) and BBC Worldwide Australia & New Zealand.
Among the formats that could emanate from the partnership are current BBC shows Mastermind, Bargain Hunt and Antiques Roadshow and, from the Beeb’s vaults, The Weakest Link, The Generation Game, Last Choir Standing and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?
The deal also covers Dancing With the Stars if that show is commissioned by the Seven Network or another Australian broadcaster next year.
The multi-year agreement was announced by Ian Hogg, FMA Regional CEO Australia/Asia Pacific, and Jon Penn, Managing Director of BBC Worldwide Australia & New Zealand.
Explaining the rationale for the alliance, the BBCW tells IF, “BBC Worldwide owns some great entertainment formats but we do not currently have the production expertise and resource in Australia to produce these locally. FMA has a great track record in our market and by partnering with them we will be able to fully realise the potential of our entertainment formats and create multi-platform brands that have a commercial life off the screen, as well as on.”
The JV will be driven from the BBC side by the yet-to-be appointed director of TV who will replace the incumbent Deirdre Brennan, who is joining the ABC as controller of children’s TV in January.
Dancing With The Stars ís co-produced by BBC Worldwide and Freehand. The BBC owned a stake in Freehand but the two parties decided amicably to part ways last year. As part of the separation it was agreed that if there were another series of Dancing it would be produced by BBC Worldwide or its appointed producer. FremantleMedia would be the BBC's preferred producer.
An FMA spokesman nominated The Weakest Link, The Generation Game, Last Choir Standing and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner among the formats that would be considered, adding, “It is early days and our creatives will now start working with BBC to go through their extensive catalogue.”
Hosted by Cornelia Frances, The Weakest Link ran on the Seven Network from 2001-2002. The ABC produced a local version of Mastermind, hosted by Huw Evans, from 1978 to 1984.
The Bargain Hunt team including host Tim Wonnacott came to Australia to shoot five one-hour specials which screened on The LifeStyle Channel last year.
Six episodes of Antiques Roadshow were co-produced in Oz in 2005 by the BBC and The LifeStyle Channel.
The Generation Game was a long-running game show presented by Bruce Forsyth, Larry Grayson and Jim Davidson, in which four teams of two people from the same family, but different generations, competed to win prizes.
Last Choir Standing was a 2008 talent show that followed amateur choirs vying each week to be the 'last choir standing.’
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? was a short-lived show in which Anne Robinson invited celebrities to host a fantasy dinner party where they got to choose the venue, menu, and guests.