Reveille to Cannes with TV formats to spare

SBS in deal for unscripted shows

On the eve of the MIPCOM TV sales bazaar in Cannes, international format specialist Reveille has unveiled a couple of deals in Europe that suggest a future direction for the company.

The international unit of the Ben Silverman-owned indie producer-distributor has inked a multiyear output deal with SBS, which will see five TV stations in western Europe commit to the company's current and future formats for airing on SBS-owned outlets in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Holland and Belgium.

In addition, Reveille is setting up a joint-venture company in Finland with Solar TV to co-produce formats for that market.

The MIPCOM mart unspools Monday and runs through Friday, with a large contingent of Hollywood players expected to do brisk business for its shows, especially the new fall series on the networks as well as new unscripted formats. MIPCOM brings together 12,000 program buyers and sellers from stations and cablers worldwide, with Hollywood sellers typically playing a key role.

Reveille comes to Cannes with its largest-ever batch of unscripted titles, including "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" "Identity" and "The Biggest Loser." The distributor also will be repping on the Croisette several unscripted titles from third-party producers, including Mark Burnett's "Amnesia," Production Partners' syndicated game show "Crosswords" and a revamp of "American Gladiators," which is being prepped for NBC stateside and distributed abroad in partnership with MGM.

Reveille's international managing director Chris Grant told The Hollywood Reporter that the format biz abroad has never been more vital, pointing to several success stories in territories as far-flung as Italy and Colombia.

He noted that shows that might not have a long life on-air stateside can run for years abroad if formatted astutely to reflect local tastes. "Identity," for example, aired for only 12 episodes in the U.S. but is going gangbusters in Italy on pubcaster Rai, where 78 customized episodes already have aired in primetime.

Reveille also is handling "The Moment of Truth," which originally aired on and was axed on NBC, but it was so widely licensed abroad that it's now been resurrected by Fox for an upcoming midseason berth stateside. And the company also is taking to Cannes several recently greenlighted cable titles from its in-house production unit, including "American Ugly" (for VH1) and "Making Menudo" (for MTV).
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