Following in the footsteps of hit comedy format Benidorm Bastards, That Awkward Moment has been a big hit for VMMA’s 2BE channel and has just started breaking into international markets.
When Shelter-produced Bastards was pushed out beyond the Belgian market Red Arrow shopped it to numerous broadcasters, most notably NBC which remade it as Betty White’s Off Their Rockers.
Also in that 2BE slot was What If?, which won the Rose d’Or comedy gong. There are then, high expectations That Awkward Moment will work as an international show and format.
The show is produced by Belgian indie Dedsit.
“We were in a brainstorm for a new skech show and we went out for a break and were talking about awkward and embarrassing things that had happened to us,” says Dedsit creative director Erik Gordts of the show’s genesis. “So we changed the brainstorm and made awkward situations the focus of the brainstorm and said ‘let’s make that a format’.”
In the series a 20-strong troupe of actors re-enact excruciating and embarrassing stories based on real-life events but finessed by a writing team.
As with Benidorm Bastards, the same group acts out all of the scenes. Each sketch lasts a couple of minutes and some have adult themes.
Gordts admits he was surprised it went out at 8.30pm on 2BE. It has performed strongly in that slot, doubling the average share.
Matthieu Porte’s indie distributor Can’t Stop Media is on sales duty. German broadcaster WDR, part of pubcaster ARD, and SBS in the Netherlands have picked up the finished version of the series, while ITV Studios has optioned Australian format rights.
Having two series worth of sketches – season two has just been greenlit – will mean the format has greater international sales potential and buyers are already circling, says former Zodiak exec Porte.
The show: That Awkward Moment
The producer: Dedsit
The distributor: Can’t Stop Media
The broadcaster: 2BE (Belgium)
The concept: A half-hour sketch show in which actors recreate excruciating and embarrassing real-life stories