October grabs int'l formats for U.S. shows


Eddie October Prods., the independent production company behind NBC's "Tommy Lee Goes to College" and Comedy Central's "Wanda Does It," has secured U.S. rights to a trio of international series formats: unscripted series "How Long Will You Live?" and game shows "Top of the Tables" and "Resistance."

"How Long" is a hit in the U.K., where it averages above a 30 share on RTE One. The series features people whose out-of-control lifestyle choices -- for example, smoking, drinking, poor diet, stress or no exercise -- wreak havoc on their health and drastically reduce their lifespan. Doctors calculate their life expectancy and put them on an eight-week regimen to change and extend their lives, after which their life expectancy is recalculated and the new results are revealed in an emotional unveiling.

"I try to do comedy-based or positive reality shows, and this is a totally positive, emotional, life-changing show," Eddie October said.

The original series is produced in Ireland by Waddell Media.

"Tables," which is in its fifth season on Belgium's Canvas Network, has been the highest-rated primetime series on the channel. It features one contestant competing with a string of 20 challengers in a test of general knowledge to win increasing amounts of cash.

"For game shows, finding out what pure game mechanic works is part of the trick, and this one works," October said.

In the U.K., Spain and France format "Resistance," two people are faced with one ridiculous proposition. They are offered increasing amounts of cash until one accepts the proposition and goes home with the money, or a pre-determined amount -- unknown to the contestants -- is reached and the game ends.

"It's really comedy-based," October said. "It's simple but outrageous."

October is planning to pitch the projects to broadcast and cable networks in the next couple of weeks. The U.S. versions of all three would be produced by Eddie October Prods. The format deal for "How Long" was brokered by Chris Bonney of Outright Distribution, while the deals for "Tables" and "Resistance" were brokered through Zeal TV's Andrea Jackson.

October's other credits include VH1's "Bands Reunited" and several specials for MTV Networks' Logo. He also was showrunner on NBC's "Later With Greg Kinnear" for three years and was executive producer of the syndicated talker "The Roseanne Show."

October is repped by CAA and attorney Jared Levine.