Ben Silverman returns to reality at MIPTV

Former NBC exec shopping 12 new shows at confab

Ben Silverman is going back to his career roots as an international reality formats specialist as he heads to Cannes under his new banner, Electus, an operating business of Barry Diller's publicly traded IAC conglom. The former NBC programming chieftain has also partnered with another key global player, Elisabeth Murdoch and her Shine Group, to launch Electus Distribution, which is coming to market with a dozen projects in the nonfiction arena.

In addition, Silverman will deliver a keynote speech on the global transformation of programming and distribution in the digital era on April 13 at MIPTV.
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"We are thrilled to team up with some of the most talented producers, broadcasters and digital entities to bring to market a compelling slate of high-concept, next-generation programming for global audiences," Silverman said.

"A number of our projects are truly bridging the gap between traditional television, the Internet and other media platforms which will greatly enhance the audience experience," he added.

The new block of television and digital programming for international distribution includes partnerships with producers from Sweden, to Israel, to China.

Among them: "Munch Madness: The National Food Tournament," a national food showdown in the vein of the Eurovision Song Contest where competitors compete across various food divisions in a tournament bracket format played out like a food-fueled version of March Madness, the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Show is in partnership with Sharp Entertainment.

Together with Mark Burnett Prods. and Swedish-based developer Bringiton, Electus Distribution will co-produce "Big Time Spender," a Chinese game show for U.S. auds. Martin Gisselman, who created and produced the show in China, will remain attached to the U.S. version as a producer.

Silverman and his co-head of distribution Chris Grant are also bringing to the Croisette format rights to a Canuck series on CTV, "Hiccups," which was produced by Thunderbird Films.

And in keeping with the newfound global interest in Israeli TV creators, Electus has partnered with Abbot Reif Hameiri Prods. in that Mideast territory to reversion its shows in the U.S. across various digital platforms. Likewise, Hameiri has the opportunity to repurpose Electus multi-platform content to sell to the Israeli marketplace.
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