Report – Who Wants to be a Kids’ Millionaire?

Posted on: Thursday 07 July 2016 5:48pm

The highest rating TV shows among children today are formats. From ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ to ‘Great British Bake Off’, kids are viewing in droves. The problem? Nearly all the shows they watch are adult ones. So as these formats take off around the world, delivering big bucks for their rights owners, why aren’t children’s TV producers reaping the same rewards?

Guest blogger Val Taylor takes us through the discussion.


  • You need passion and perseverance to create a format
  • Look at your existing catalogue for ideas that can be repurposed
  • Kids are already watching big adult shiny formats in droves so you have to be able to have real standout to compete


With UK production houses looking to find International hits the panel deliberated whether kids’ formats will be the next big thing.

The session nearly finished before it had started, with Zodiak’s Michael Carrington declaring that there was no money in kids’ formats as they were so expensive to make. Could the rest of the panel change his mind?

The first point made was that not all formats need to be expensive game shows with huge sets. Tessa Moore from FremantleMedia – a global leader in creating hits like ‘X Factor’ and ‘Got Talent’ – suggested that to be able to fully monetise formatted shows they had to work in four areas: They had to be transferable to work in multiple markets, returnable and promotable. They also needed to have elements that you could ‘own’ like the red button in ‘BGT’.

Tessa pointed out that with 31 production offices around the world FremantleMedia Kids & Family has the ability to create their own shows across multiple territories. They are currently selling the format of CBBC hit ‘Marrying Mum and Dad’ and have strong interest from the Nordics who like the idea of running the show on prime time.

Hugh Lawton from CBBC noted that Children’s BBC do not get pitched a lot of formats and admitted that there were hurdles to get across in creating an international format in terms of matching the funding timings with the timeline of getting the commission and delivering a fully finished show. However he reiterated that they were open to ideas as formatted programmes could deliver scale and scope.

Richard Rowe from DHX Media highlighted the success of ‘High 5’ and ‘Airmaggedon’, but pointed out that localising content was a difficult issue and DHX Media was exploring ways to make the show appeal internationally.

It was generally agreed that it was a challenging area but that there was a future in formats. With broadcasters looking at their local audiences in the first instance it would take something special to break through, but that if one worked others would follow.

A lively and interesting discussion but did it change Michael Carrington’s mind? I think it did!

By guest blogger Val Taylor

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