BBC Worldwide America will debut a kids game show format (22 minutes per episode) called Insides Out at NATPE. A series of games are played inside a structure shaped like a human body. The preteen audience cheers participants from a huge ribcage-shaped seating arena.
Susanna Pollack, director of co-production and sales for BBCWWA children’s and drama programming, says the plan is ‘to fly a U.S. host and contestants to the U.K. to shoot the show on the same day as the BBC version. That way, they get the set, our production experience and the audience.’ Using a U.K. audience for a U.S. show might seem like cutting corners. But Pollack argues that ‘U.S. and U.K. kids look similar and share the same enthusiasms.’
Denmark’s ITE is following up the success of Hugo the Troll with a new interactive format for preteens called Stinky & Beaver. The show features the two eponymous characters as they compete in a series of physical games in the woods. ‘It’s a sort of woods Olympics featuring two cute characters,’ says ITE’s Jesper Helbrandt. ‘Hugo was so successful that we needed a similarly targeted property for other broadcasters.’ As with Hugo, ITE will provide help with computer hardware and software, as well as scripts.
Columbia TriStar’s Paul Gilbert is dusting down a vintage radio format that he believes is ready for a reappearance on TV. Quiz Kids Challenge pits kids against grown-ups in a classic Q&A set-up. ‘Both sides are asked the same questions,’ says Gilbert. ‘Kids love to see if they can outwit adults, and the grown-ups get drawn in as well.’ Typically, Gilbert would aim to get the format in children’s afternoon or weekend blocks with eight- to 13-year-olds the broad target. However, the nature of the format also makes it appropriate for evening slots, he says.
Granada first started talking about a 25-minute kids format called Jungle Run at MIPCOM, but has yet to begin a concerted sales drive. The show, which aired on ITV in the U.K., features a team of four children playing a series of games in a huge jungle set. Guided by a presenter, they perform a series of challenges and collect ‘banana currency’ along the way. The currency then buys them time in the Temple of the Jungle King, where they solve puzzles to win prizes. The target age is kids ages seven to 13, and interested parties could negotiate access to the set. Granada is also promoting an adult ‘guy wins gal’ version of the show.
U.S.-based SPI has a new seasonal format called Secret Santa that is currently airing on SIC in Portugal. The 15-minute show is broadcast for 20 consecutive nights in the run up to Christmas. A group of Christmas revelers, led by local TV talent, travels across the country entertaining underprivileged kids and handing out gifts. In Portugal, Toys `R’ Us is a major sponsor.