In 50 years of MIPTV there have been hits, misses, flops and money makers. But its the rarest of shows that transforms the industry. THR pays tribute to 10 that changed the way we look at the small screen.
The BBC's Doctor Who beat it to air in England by two years but for the rest of the world, Star Trek was their introduction to small screen science fiction. The first truly cult TV show, Gene Roddenberry's space western paved the way for character-driven speculative fiction, from Lost to The Walking Dead.
The first prime-time soap, Dallas was also the first truly global series, dubbed into 67 different languages and airing in nearly 100 countries, it helped create the international syndication business.
THE KIDS OF DEGRASSI STREET (1979)
When European buyers flocked to her Toronto-set young drama series, Degrassi creator Linda Schuyler knew she was on to something. What followed was a 30-year franchise that proved that America wasn't the only country tha could produce a global hit. The latest incarnation, Degrassi: The Next Generation, has sold to 140 countries. Not bad, eh?
THE COSBY SHOW (1984)
The accepted wisdom was that comedy doesn't translate and that international audiences wouldn't be interested in a show about an African American family. The Cosby Show proved them all wrong, ranking in the top ten in markets as diverse as the Philippines, Australia and Norway and becoming one of the biggest global hits of the decade.
THE SIMPSONS (1989)
When 20th Century Fox first commissioned Matt Groening's crudely animated show, the studio put a zero in the box estimating its international revenue potential. 25 seasons in with no end in sight, Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie are the the world's most famous TV family and year for year The Simpsons remains Fox's most profitable series worldwide.
MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS (1993)
Haim Saban first got the idea to remake a cheesy Japanese show about "five kids in spandex kicking moster butt" while watching TV in a Tokyo hotel room in 1984. After eight years of shopping around a 16-minute pilot, Fox Kids finally bit. An instant hit, the real mega-bucks for Power Rangers came from the show's merchandising rights -- a model that would transform the kids TV business worldwide.
BIG BROTHER (1999)
John de Mol's hidden camera reality show seemed the most unlikely international hit. A little infrared on-screen sex and the promise of 24-hour viewing via the Internet (a first for a TV show) and Big Brother went from local flop to global phenomenon. TV as we knew it, would never been the same again.
Singing competition shows are almost as old as TV itself but Simon Fuller's version of the old talent show blew them all away. Alongside its record ratings -- some 460 million viewers have watched a version of Idol somewhere in the world -- the show pioneered the use of telephone voting, sponsorship , merchandising and music sales to make it, with an estimated worth of some $8 billion, the most valuable TV format in the world.
CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION (2000)
Forensic pathologists hadn't been cool since Quincy but C.S.I., created by former L.A. tram driver Anthony E. Zuiker, launched a new wave of science-heavy procedurals that still rule primetime the world over. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer -- one of the first film-to-TV crossover cases -- helped shape CSI's cinema-quality visual style, raising the bar for everything that came after it.
When Showtime's U.S. adaptation of Gideon Raff's Israeli series Prisoners of War won the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series -- the first ever for a foreign format -- it changed the game. Suddenly TV producers from Singapore to Poland were pitching their shows to U.S. networks and the networks, suddenly, were listening.
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