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Show of the week: Buying Blind

Buying Blind is a “classic Red Arrow format in that it’s a noisy, must-see primetime show that over-delivers for its budget and can carry a schedule”, says Harry Gamsu.

Red Arrow International’s VP of non-scripted has been pushing the format since before MIPCOM, where the reaction was decidedly positive.

The series continues in the Red Arrow tradition of taking major life events such a marriage (Married at First Sight) and dating (Kiss Bang Love) and turning them into the basis for television formats.

This time round is the torture of house buying. The format tries to take the pain out of the process by handing responsibility over to an expert, with an interior designer then renovating the property.

Buying Blind is a hybrid format, mixing property and makeover/renovation with the reality drama of couples trying to find a home,” says Gamsu.

“With every house hunt there is a personal story to follow: we dive into the relationships as well as follow the drama of a blind house purchase and the subsequent renovation.”

Each self-contained episode includes a number of hooks as viewers see the couples’ initial house buying dreams dismantled and the rebuilt by the experts. Often the purchase-reveal results in disappointment, before a dramatic transformation occurs and is revealed.

“It’s these key format beats that make this show perfect for commercial broadcasters and their audiences,” says Gamsu, who adds the format is varied and that “no journey is the same”.

“It is easily scalable dependent on the budget, and you can increase the size of the renovation and the search to adapt the show for local markets,” he says.

The reality show comes from Red Arrow’s US prodco Kinetic Content, which was brainstorming new iterations of Red Arrow’s influential Married at First Sight, which has sold globally. The development team cottoned on to the idea many people and families will go through the process of buying a home, but few really understand.

“The idea is to apply the formula of Married at First Sight, but for homes, where a family who can’t decide what house to buy put their life-savings in the hands of experts to purchase them a home – without ever having seen it,” says Gamsu.

The series debuted on TV3 in Denmark, where Gamsu says a Snowman Productions-created show boosted the channel average by over 58% in all viewers (+3 years).

Nine Network in Australia has now ordered a version, which Endemol Shine Australia is producing for next year; and casting is underway at RTL in the Netherlands. Gamsu says broadcasters in France and Belgium have also picked up the show.

The show: Buying Blind
The producer: Kinetic Content
The distributor: Red Arrow International
The channel: TV3 (Denmark), Nine Network (Australia), RTL (Netherlands)
The concept: Reality show in which families allow experts to buy a new home for them