MIPCOM: Entertainment One Acquires International Rights to 'The Project: Guatemala'

3:46 AM PST 10/02/2013 by Etan Vlessing

The distributor says the Canadian reality series about privileged young people building an orphanage is a format ripe for millennial eyeballs worldwide.

CANNES – Entertainment One has acquired the U.S. and international distribution rights to Canadian reality series The Project: Guatemala.

Ahead of MIPCOM, eOne's Prentiss Fraser insisted the format was suited to millennial eyeballs around the world. The six-part series is from Canadian indie producer Buck Productions.

The Project: Guatemala follows nine unsuspecting Canadian 20-somethings selected for what they believe will be a Jersey Shore-style sand-and-surf holiday in Tecpan, Guatemala.

But on their arrival, they quickly discover they have to help a local charity organization build a rural community center for orphaned and abandoned children.

Fraser, senior vp worldwide sales and acquisitions at eOne Television International, said the bait-and-switch reality series is ripe for younger generations disengaged from traditional TV and looking at how they can improve the world.

"The Project: Guatemala is what The Voice is to American Idol," she argued.

Young Canadian audiences who have grown up on Teen Mom, Beyond The Hills and Punk’d have in the OLN/City series a nurturing rather than nasty reality show about privileged and pampered young people giving back to society.

"We see this as the evolution of Jersey Shore. We identified these characters in society," Fraser said. "But rather than having the audience watch and laugh, we're trying to effect change and build up the characters."

"We want to capitalize on the power of television to send a message to our viewers, and for them to walk away entertained and educated about another part of the world and, hopefully, themselves," added Sean Buckley, executive producer at Buck Productions.

eOne will be shopping the original Canadian series and format rights to The Project: Guatemala starting at MIPCOM.

The distributor also has the international distribution rights to Our Family Vacation, a travel show for Canada's Travel + Escape cable channel that features two different families in each episode heading to a world destination and given a camera to capture every moment of their vacation from start to finish.

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