Five international TV formats to watch in 2022 – Deadline


The past year has been fantastic for the world of formats, as offerings from developing content giants such as South Korea travel the world and innovative ideas are popping up in every corner. Below, Deadline has identified five key formats to watch for next year, which we could see replicated in many more territories in the years to come.

Make up your mind (The Netherlands)

The wild success of RuPaul’s Drag Racewhich was remade in the Netherlands and will soon launch a World Cup-style version on BBC3, looks set to usher in a wave of similar formats, and Make up your mind fits this bill perfectly. After launching as a critically acclaimed and ratings pilot on RTL4 over the summer, the show will return as a full series in 2022. Appearing like you’ve never seen them before, Make up your mind sees a group of celebrities take the stage after undergoing a visual and dramatic transformation into drag queens. A panel of celebrities made up of two teams must guess who each of the personalities are as they compete over three rounds, with their performances, dance moves and, of course, their lip-syncing skills put to the test. Once revealed, the celebrity transformation is told through a moving compilation of highlights. Fremantle Global Entertainment chairman Rob Clarke said producer Herriemakers and RTL4 have “created a show with heart and a helpful message at its centre”. “We are confident that this show will be hugely popular with international audiences, who will enjoy guessing who the celebrities are while celebrating the beauty and importance of representation,” he said. Meanwhile in the Netherlands, SBS6 is launching a survival game show Million Dollar Island and innovative talent show Avastars, in which singing and dancing talents are combined via AR to create a virtual super talent. Great year for upcoming Dutch formats.

The language of love (UK)

Davina McCall

Davina McCall
Channel 4

The world of television is more mature than ever with non-English speaking content, and here comes the world’s first ever closed captioned dating show. The premise of the Channel 4 format seems simple but dazzlingly effective: six British singles arrive at a spectacular finca in the Spanish mountains and discover that the Spanish singles they will be dating don’t speak the same language. Hosts Davina McCall and bilingual Ricky Merino invite singles to “La Selección”, a ceremony in which singles choose the person they want to spend time with and, over the next two days, sparks fly as flirting becomes competitive. As they try to establish romantic relationships and overcome language and cultural differences, viewers will be treated to surprising, charming, and often comedic results. Banijay Rights’ format has a lot of international potential and follows in the footsteps of similar Channel 4 offerings such as affectionate dance, which was picked up by Fox. “Anyone can relate to a holiday romance or have a hard time being understood by someone you love,” said Lucas Green, global head of content operations at Banijay. “With a super simple premise at its heart – ‘can love overcome the language barrier?’ – Combined with a comedy of miscommunications, this show brings pure romantic comedy to the “relationship reality” genre.

mom the idol (South Korea)

squid game may have picked up all the Korean applause lately, but let’s not forget that it was the nation that brought us the mega formats, including The Masked Singer and I can see your voice. Having just started on the CJ ENM tvN channel, mom the idol builds on the phenomenal success of K-pop to put the stars back in the spotlight. Former legendary figureheads of the genre, who left the stage due to childbirth, return to perform on stage and relive the old days. Sehee Jang, CJ ENM’s senior director of international content marketing, said the “fresh and impressive format” merges K-pop music, dance performances and reality into one. “It’s not just a music show format,” she added. “This is a special and touching story of legendary stars finding their own names on stage.” This one is sure to have an addicted audience.

Sweet Masters (Germany)

Sweet Masters

Viewers, get ready to salivate: a new food format is in town and it might be the tastiest yet. RTL Sweet Masters will tap into Germany’s love for all things sugar as professional pastry sculptors walk the screens. After devoting their lives to creating mind-blowing sculptures out of sugar, cake, ice cream and chocolate, six of the best professional teams will compete to create the perfect edible dream. A group of judges must select a team to send home at the end of each episode, as the groups are put through their paces, tasked with creating gigantic replicas of spectacular fashion designs. Banijay’s global head of content development, James Townley, said the format “combines creativity, delicious food, craftsmanship and competition” and “taps into the global demand we’re seeing for competition formats based on the expertise”. He quoted people like Lego masters and Domino Challenge having a similar reach, tapping into the viewer’s appetite to watch the pastimes unfold on screen. If the global success of Great British Bake Off (it airs in Germany on Saturday 1 as Das Grosse Backen) is something, RTL could be a winner here.

Rat in the kitchen (YOU’RE USELESS)

This one-of-a-kind kitchen format may have its beginnings in the United States, but it has its origins in the crowded kitchen of British formats, where Glenn Hugill, founder of ITV Studios’ Possessed label and creator of Agreement or no agreement, came up with the idea. The show was first picked up by the BBC but was scrapped due to Covid-19. In the United States, however, TBS landed a 10-episode order. Produced by Thinkfactory Media in association with Possessed, hosted by Natasha Leggero and judged by celebrity chef Ludo Lefebvre, Rat in the kitchen is a hybrid competition cooking show and a traditional thriller. Six dynamic chefs come together to face off in the ultimate culinary battle, but among them is an undercover agent”rat in the Kitchen,” which sabotages the other contestants’ chances of winning the ultimate cash prize at every opportunity. If they manage to get the judges to give the dishes bad reviews and avoid detection by their fellow cooks, they can take home the money instead. “Rat in the kitchen is hands down one of the smartest formats we’ve ever heard of,” said Corie Henson, Executive Vice President/Head of Unscripted Development, TNT, TBS, truTV. “It combines innovative cuisine and everything you love about your favorite cooking shows, with a wholesome serving of classic true crime.”


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