MIPCOM: Warner Bros. Takes Distribution Rights to Germany's New Reality Show

The studio acquires the rights to "Two vs. the Nation," a game show pitting celebrities against the country in a variety of challenges.

The international production unit of Warner Bros. has snapped up distribution rights to the format of a new entertainment show on Germany's commercial broadcaster RTL from Teutonic outfit I&U TV.

In Germany, the premiere episode of Two vs. the Nation aired on RTL Sept. 9 and was the most successful RTL entertainment show premiere of 2013, attracting 5.5 million viewers -- almost double the station’s average share.

Two vs. the Nation, a live studio show, pits two celebrities against the country in a variety of physical and mental challenges. In addition to the in-studio action, there is interactivity with home play-along.

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“The great mix of elements make it a fast-paced and fun show that we are excited about bringing to the market,” said Andrew Zein, svp format development and sales for Warner Bros. International TV Production.

“We are very happy that Warners has taken on the format to sell internationally and are sure that it will travel well around the globe” said Andreas Zaik, CEO of I&U TV. The first sales opportunities for the show begin next week during the MIPCOM market in Cannes.

In the past several years, Warners (like several other Hollywood majors) has upped its nonfiction bona fides abroad by establishing or acquiring  companies in key foreign territories in order to become a leading producer of local scripted and nonscripted programming.

In those territories where WBITVP establishes a production base, it operates by developing and producing original programming and also producing local versions of formats owned and controlled by the majors, such as The Bachelor and Who Do You Think You Are? In areas where WBITVP has no local production capability, it licenses Warner Bros. formats to third parties.

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WBITVP has taken significant steps by acquiring a majority stake in U.K. producer Shed Media, which operates in both Britain and the U.S., and in BlazHoffski, which operates in both the Netherlands and Belgium.

It's unclear whether Warners' format deal with I&U is a harbinger of an outright stake in the German company or just a one-off arrangement. No financial terms were disclosed.