Toronto, Canada-based prodco marblemedia is producing a North American version of the unscripted competitive sports series All-Round Champion, to air in Q1 2020.
The 11 x 60-minute series features ten young athletes (12- to 15-years-old) who compete in sports like wakeboarding, diving, gymnastics and skateboarding. Aimed at kids seven- to 15-years old, and hosted by world champion hurdler, Perdita Felicien, the non-elimination serialized format stars different sports celebrities every episode. Professional athletes will coach and encourage the athletes to overcome the challenges of the sports they try.
Canadian broadcasters Knowledge Network and TVO and American broadcaster BYUtv commissioned the new series with plans to debut it early next year, although no official date has been scheduled yet.
All-Round Champion is based on the the original series titled Best i mest (20 x 40 minutes), created and produced by Norwegian pubcaster NRK and prodco Beta Film. It won an International Emmy Kids Award for non-scripted entertainment before marblemedia picked up the format rights.
To make the series its own, marblemedia added in some new elements, like focusing on summer sports (whereas the original highlighted winter sports), says the All-Round producer Matt Hornburg. If the series continues on after season one, there could be potential to explore winter activities as well, he adds. The new episodes also include segments where the young athletes learn about the principles behind each activity, adding in an educational component to the show.
Driven by a desire to create a deeper narrative and not just showcase sports, the unscripted series features the athletes’ families. marblemedia’s goal in including the parents is to also draw in adult viewers for a co-viewing audience, says Hornburg.
“Unscripted content is part of our DNA at marblemedia, but we’ve never done sports before,” says Hornburg. “Sports is aspirational for kids and not only is it a very popular genre in North America, it has built-in drama, stakes and educational elements that make for good TV.”